I know, I know. You’re thinking:

Superfoods again!? What food doesn’t claim to be a superfood these days?

And yes, yes you’re right.

Superfoods you're probably not eating - Part 1

But the reason I want to tell you about some of the foods I’ve been loving lately is because they’re just as nourishing for your insides as they are for your outsides. That’s right – you can put them on your skin and they do wonders to give you beautiful insides too. (Just because you can’t see those insides doesn’t mean they should be ignored!)

I planned to talk about 2 foods in this post but it got to be enormously long, so I’m breaking them out into a 2-part series that you’ll see the other half of next week. Today let’s focus on just one superfood, and if you hang on till the end, there’s a giveaway too!

Sea Buckthorn 101

Sea buckthorn is a plant (technically a herb) and comes from the Himalayas, although the plants are now grown all over the world. The leaves, flowers, and fruit have a whole bunch of uses, but it’s the berries that seem to be getting the most attention these days.

Think about these as the orange version of a pomegranate or acai berry – tiny but powerful when it comes to antioxidants! Here’s why they’re worth your attention:

  • Sea buckthorn berries contain loads of vitamins A, C and E, antioxidants, amino acids and fatty acids. This makes them great for nourishing skin, hair and nails, as well as internal functions like reducing inflammation, joint health, and strengthening the immune and cardiovascular systems.
  • The crazy high amounts of vitamins in sea buckthorn berries makes them a popular ingredient in anti-aging cosmetics.
    • Vitamin A helps to keep our vision and immune systems functioning properly
    • Vitamin C helps boost collagen production (which makes skin more smooth and firm)
    • Vitamin E helps correct skin discolouration and reduces the appearance of scars
  • Sea buckthorn berries have anti-inflammatory, soothing properties, making them good for treating sunburns, dry skin and eczema
  • The berries are also loaded with omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids (which our bodies need for everything from inflammation reduction to skin health) as well as omega 7s

Wait – what the heck is an omega 7?!

Great question! This was a new one to me up until recently as well. In addition to sea buckthorn oil, you’ll also find these monounsaturated fats in salmon and anchovies, olive oil, and macadamia oil. Unlike omega 9 fatty acids (which our bodies can make on their own) this is an essential fatty acid so we need to get it from food sources or supplements.

Sibu Omega 7 capsules

Science is starting to show that omega-7s can help produce some pretty great results, like decreases in LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower levels of inflammation, and improved insulin sensitivity. Another big plus is that there’s digestive benefits. Omega-7s as well as other fatty acids help to keep the cell linings of our organs hydrated and all lubed up, which means beautiful intestines and better GI health. That’s something I think we can all appreciate!

Where to find sea buckthorn

You can find sea buckthorn oil and juice (which is great in smoothies) at health food stores like Whole Foods. (For those in Canada who are wondering, I’ve seen all sorts of sea buckthorn products at Whole Foods.) If you check out Pinterest, you’ll also see it in everything from jams to sorbets – both of which are on my list to try!

Sea buckthorn is also available in supplement form. As far as your skin goes, you’ll find a whole bunch of cosmetics with it listed as an ingredient – especially the anti-aging kind. Quality and source matters, so be sure to read about how the brands you’re considering get their sea buckthorn berries.

Sibu Products with sea buckthorn

Speaking of brands and beauty products…

Back when I attended CHFA West in April, I met up with some lovely ladies from Sibu, an awesome company that cares just as much about product quality as they do about sustainability and protecting the environment. Sibu has a big line of skincare products and supplements, all of which contain sea buckthorn berries that are grown and harvested sustainably in Tibet.

Recently I’ve been trying a whole bunch of their products and so far, the results have been really positive! As someone who is very physically active, one of my goals for this year has been to increase healthy fat consumption. As part of this, I’ve been taking Sibu’s omega 7 supplement as well as consuming plenty of other healthy fat-rich foods like nuts and avocados. (For the record, I prefer to keep my supplement regimen as minimal as possible – this is just a short-term trial for now.)

Sibu Products with sea buckthorn

As far as what’s on my face, I’m trying Sibu’s cleanser, sea buckthorn seed oil, and moisturizer. The rest of me has been slathered in Sibu Moistuizing Body Cream which is super light, cooling, and smells really good too. (It’s becoming one of my favourite parts of my morning routine!)

Sibu body cream

While it’s still early days in my sea buckthorn skincare experiment I’m definitely seeing improvements. And if you’d like to give it a try as well, you’re in luck because I’ve got a giveaway for you to enter!

Sibu Daily Glow Kit

Sibu has graciously offered up one Daily Glow Kit to an Eat Spin Run Repeat reader. Inside you’ll find their Balancing Facial Cleanser, Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, Nourishing Facial Cream, and Cellular Support with Omega 7.

Here’s how to enter:

  • Mandatory entry: Comment below telling me your best tip for healthy skin
  • Bonus: Pop over to Twitter and follow @SibuBeauty and @eatspinrunrptLeave an extra comment below to let me know you did.
  • Bonus: Sign up for Eat Spin Run Repeat email updates – that way you’ll be totally in the loop on all upcoming giveaways!
  • Bonus: Tweet about this giveaway! Something like…

This one’s open to Canadian and US residents and closes at 8pm PT this Thursday, June 18th. I’ll announce the winner on Friday morning. Good luck! 🙂