Elderberry is a fruit from a plant called Sambucus; it is also commonly known as elderflower or elder. Elderberries are primarily found in the Northern hemisphere, especially in North America and Europe, while a few southern species grow in Australia.
Elderberries are dark blue or black, and usually have a sweet and sharp flavor that makes them a preferred ingredient for various desserts like syrups, jellies, jams, and spreads. You can also use them as a base for numerous beverages and cocktails. Also, elderberry wine is a popular drink which can be prepared easily at home.
The leaves, branches, and twigs of all elderberry species have trace elements of a toxin called cyanide, which can accumulate in the body and can be fatal, so you need to be careful!
Despite the implicit health risks associated with elderberries, the fruit is rich in beneficial nutrients; therefore, elderberries have been an important element of traditional medicine for centuries.
Elderberries pack a hearty, nutritious punch and are rich in minerals such as potassium, iron, copper, and phosphorous. They also contain vitamins like vitamin B, vitamin A, and vitamin C. They are a good source of dietary fiber and proteins. The fruit also functions as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent in your body.
11 Health Benefits of Elderberries
Elderberries have numerous benefits. Some important health benefits include
- The ability to strengthen the function of immune system, protect against infections and bacteria
- Retard the spread or growth of cancer
- Avert the development or progression of diabetes
- Enhance the digestive process
- Limit the speed and pain linked with autoimmune diseases
- Help control weight
- Alleviate allergies
- Reduce blood pressure
Let’s discuss them in more detail
1. Aid Digestion
Elderberries are rich in dietary fiber that helps eliminate or lower constipation, cut down excess gas, and improve your gastrointestinal health. Fiber is also helpful in increasing your nutrient uptake efficiency, allowing you to get more nutrients out of the food.
2. Cardiovascular Protection
There is a strong link between fruit and vegetable intake and cardiovascular health. High fiber content in elderberries helps cut down excess cholesterol from your system to accommodate the good cholesterol your body needs, which can considerably lower your risk of developing atherosclerosis and similar cardiovascular problems.
Elderberries also have high potassium levels which can protect your heart by relaxing and calming the tension in the arteries and blood vessels. Potassium is also a vasodilator and can considerably lower your blood pressure, keeping your heart safe and healthy.
3. Enhance Respiratory Health
Elderberry juice can be an ideal choice for a cough, clearing up a sore throat, bronchitis, cold, or any issue that impairs the respiratory system. Elderberries, like cough syrups, contain ingredients (bioflavonoid such as anthocyanins) that help soothe irritation and inflammation. These ingredients also work as an expectorant to clear out phlegm and flush out foreign agents from the glands. Also, elderberry juice is suitable for asthma patients.
4. Boost Immunity
Elderberries have certain anti-infectious and antibacterial qualities and are often used to ward off cold and influenza especially during seasons when people are more susceptible to these illnesses. Moreover, elderberries can reinforce your immune system against itself, and guard against various autoimmune disorders.
5. Control Diabetes
A few active antioxidant ingredients found in elderberries work on your pancreas and help regulate glucose levels and insulin, providing more stability for individuals who have diabetes and assisting non-diabetics to avert the terrible condition.
6. Enhance Bone Health
The high content of essential minerals in elderberries helps improve bone strength as well as the formation of new bone tissues. Millions of individuals are afflicted with osteoporosis, but increasing your bone density in the younger decades can considerably delay the onset of this grave medical condition.
7. Skin Care
Elderberry is used in plenty of cosmetic applications, mainly as the bioflavonoid present in elderberries play a significant role in improving the skin. The high levels of vitamin A coupled with useful antioxidant activity, make elderberries ideal for lessening or preventing wrinkles, helping reduce age spots, and gradually improving the tone and glow of the body’s most visible organ!
8. Reduce Weight
The high content of dietary fiber along with the metabolism-accelerating effects of mineral and vitamins make elderberries great for losing weight. The fiber makes you feel full, its modest calorie count has little effect on your intake, and you usually get plenty of other health benefits too.
9. Prevent Cancer
Elderberry extracts contain anthocyanins, which have a wide spectrum of pharmacologic, therapeutic and anti-carcinogenic qualities. Studies also indicate that elderberries have a few chemo preventive properties which delay, inhibit or reverse cancer formation.
10. Natural Diuretic
Elderberries promote both bowel moments and urination. Studies show that elderberries have natural diuretic effects, which means they promote the production of urine. Doctors often prescribe diuretics if your body retains excess fluids, and older adults often encounter this complication.
Moreover, elderberry juice is a good laxative and facilitates natural bowel movement and is, therefore, a great remedy for constipation.
11. Reverse Signs of Aging
You do not need to splurge on a plethora of anti aging products anymore. A small quantity of elderberry juice is important if a healthy and glowing skin is what you want. Elderberries are an ideal source of polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins, carotenoids, phytochemicals, and flavonoids. They act as vital building blocks for a radiant and glowing skin.
Daily intake of small quantities of elderberry juice along with a healthy and balanced diet will protect your skin cells from degenerating and keep your skin soft and smooth and give it a natural and youthful glow. It will also make your skin firmer and prevent sagging. You can reverse skin aging by making elderberry juice your elixir.
Therefore, you should definitely try and incorporate elderberries in your diet. Consuming small quantities of this berry will provide you the many health benefits listed above. The bottom-line is that elderberries are great for your overall health and you should consume more of them.