Not only do elderberries taste amazing, but they offer vital health benefits that simply cannot be ignored, such as slowing the spread of cancer, immunity booster, protection against infection and bacteria, weight loss aid, reduces pain and speed of autoimmune disease, and more.
Elderberries are fruit from the flowering plant Sambucus, more commonly referred to as elder or elderflower. The scientific name of the most common variant, which the majority of elderberries come from, is Sambucus Nigra. Elderberries are mainly found in the Northern hemisphere, specifically in Europe and North America. Although, some southern species are also grown in Australia, too.
The berries are black, or a very dark shade of blue, and their sharp, sweet flavor makes them highly desirable for desserts, syrups, jams, jellies, and as a base for a variety of cocktails and drinks. They’re low in saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol, but high in dietary fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, protein, iron, phosphorus, copper and potassium. All of which are great for weight loss, and maintaining good general health.
A word of caution is necessary, though. Most of the berries in the variety of Sambucus are actually toxic, with the exception of Sambucus Nigra, and even then it is strongly suggested to practice caution, and cook the berries before consuming them. The branches, leaves, and twigs of all species contain trace elements of cyanide, which can build up in the body, and eventually kill.
However, despite the implicit risks there’s no reason to be running away from elderberries. Because of their beneficial nutrients, they’ve been considered a part of traditional medicine for hundreds of years.
Elderberries contain a high amount of dietary fiber that can help eliminate constipation, reduce excess gas, and overall increase gastrointestinal health. Fiber can also help increase nutrient uptake efficiently in the gut from food.
Protects The Heart
Another important perk of high fiber levels is that it eliminates excess cholesterol, which helps decrease the chances of developing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular issues. The high levels of potassium in elderberries protects the heart by relaxing the tension of blood vessels and arteries. Potassium can considerably reduce blood pressure and help keep the heart healthy.
Boosts Immune System
Elderberries are commonly used to fight influenza, and contain antibacterial and anti-infectious qualities. They can strengthen the immune system against itself, protecting against the effects of autoimmune disorders, even diminishing certain symptoms and pain associated with AIDS.
Fights Cold & Flu
If in need of clearing up a sore throat, cough, cold, bronchitis, or anything else affecting the respiratory system, then elderberry juice is the best choice. It contains active ingredients such as bioflavanoids like anthocyanins, which are also found in many cough syrups, that soothe inflammation and irritation while also working as an expectorant to clear out pesky phlegm. It tastes a whole lot better than the run-of-the-mill cough syrup at the drugstore, which kids will love, too. Elderberry juice is even recommended for individuals with asthma.
Due to its high level of dietary fiber, and metabolism-speeding effects of vitamins and minerals, elderberries are awesome weight loss aids. Its low calorie count won’t affect intake very much, and the fiber helps keep you feeling full.
Because of the bioflavanoids present in elderberries, which play a pretty important role in skin health, they’ve also been used in many cosmetic applications. By its antioxidant activity and high vitamin A content, elderberries are great for preventing or diminishing wrinkles, age spots, and improving overall glow and tone of skin.
Some of the active antioxidants present in elderberries work directly on the pancreas in order to regulate insulin and glucose levels, either by bringing stability for those who suffer from diabetes or preventing non-diabetics from developing it.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities in elderberries can help relieve joint pain and soreness. Meanwhile, the high levels of essential minerals help promote strong bones and the development of new bone tissue. By increasing bone density during youth the onset of osteoporosis can be delayed considerably.