A nutrition report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that millions of adult Americans have nutrition deficiencies. The truth is that most people do not get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need from their daily food intake.
This is why the market for supplements and superfoods is booming—many people need them to boost their physical wellbeing.
One of the superfoods you should be acquainted with is the elderberry. If these berries are not yet part of your daily nutrient intake, you are missing out on the many benefits it offers.
Getting To Know the Elderberry
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a dark purple berry that comes from the elder tree of Europe. It has been used by indigenous people to relieve symptoms of rheumatism and fever and to keep other health conditions at bay. And ancient Egyptians used elderberries to treat burns and improve their complexions. This medicinal plant has also established a reputation for being effective against the common cold and flu.
Today, it is still used in traditional medicine and has become one of the most popular ingredients in supplements.
Every part of the elderberry is valuable for culinary and medicinal purposes. When cooked, the berries are tart, and the flowers provide a lovely whiff of muscat scent. Its leaves and flowers are used to ease pain, inflammation, and swelling, while elderberry bark can induce vomiting and be used as a diuretic.
If you don’t need any healing interventions, then you can enjoy cooked elderberries as a gastronomical delight in the form of jams, juice, chutneys, and even wine.
Health Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberry has an excellent reputation because of its many health benefits. It is a plant that can heal you, whether you use its bark, leaves, flowers, or fruit.
Here are some health advantages you can look forward to when you incorporate elderberries into your diet.
1. Contains Many Essential Nutrients
Elderberries are rich in nutrients that one needs for long-term health. One cup of elderberries contains 106 calories and 26.7 grams of carbohydrates.
Here are the other vital nutrients you can get from these berries:
- Vitamin C – One cup of elderberries (about 145 grams) contains 52 mg of Vitamin C. This is 57% of the recommended daily intake.
- Dietary fiber – You can enjoy 10 grams of fiber in every cup, about 36% of the recommended daily intake.
- Anthocyanins – These compounds give elderberries their rich, dark purple hue. They are also antioxidants that can help with inflammation.
- Phenolic acid – This is another antioxidant that helps reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress to your body.
2. Helps with Flu and Cold
Black elderberry extract and flower infusions are well-known and have long been used to relieve colds and influenza.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
When you incorporate elderberries into your diet, you can significantly improve your body mass index (BMI) and overall weight loss. Supplement your weight loss plan with a daily dose of elderberry to enhance the effects of your diet and continue your healthy eating habits.
4. Rich in Antioxidants
The fruits, flowers, and leaves of elderberries contain potent antioxidants such as flavonoids, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, and quercetin.
Note that there are no set measurements of how much antioxidants you can get from elderberries. Their antioxidant potency can be reduced due to the way they are processed.
5. Boosts the Immune System
Elderberry contains polyphenols that are known to support and boost the immune system. Ingesting the berries regularly can help increase white blood cells for protection.
6. Maintains a Healthy Heart
Elderberry also has positive effects on the heart because it helps decrease cholesterol and reduce fat in the blood, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.
These berries can also reduce the amount of uric acid that contributes to spikes in blood pressure.
7. Improves Blood Sugar Levels
These powerful berries are also known to increase insulin secretion and help in improving blood sugar levels.
If you have Type II diabetes, you are at greater risk of developing heart and vascular illnesses, so proactively managing your sugar levels is crucial. The alpha-glucosidase enzyme in elderberries can help you control your blood sugar.
8. Protects Against Ultraviolet Radiation
Skin products that contain elderberry essence can act as a protective barrier against harmful UV rays. This extract has an SPF of 9.88%.
9. Defends Against Bad Bacteria
10. Slows Cellular Aging
Aging is inevitable, and not even the powerful superfood like elderberry can fully stop this process. But thanks to its antioxidants, it can help your cells as they defend your body from oxidative stress.
Ideal Elderberry Supplement
Thankfully, today you can get your daily dose of elderberry without going out and harvesting this plant.
You can order supplements that contain organic elderberry juice extract. All you need to do is take one capsule a day. It is much easier to incorporate this supplement into your daily vitamin intake because it is convenient and readily accessible.
When choosing your best elderberry supplement in your preferred form, consider the following:
There are many types of elderberry supplements available today. Commercially prepared elderberries used to treat colds come in capsules, liquids, gummies, and lozenges, and they can be conveniently purchased from pharmacies.
If you are uncomfortable swallowing pills, then a chewable version, gummy or liquid, is your better option. It is best to opt for one that you can commit to taking daily.
And because of its many varieties, you can still get your dose even when you’re away from home. Just bring easy-to-pack teas and capsules as part of your essentials.
There is no standard guideline on how much elderberry you can take daily, but studies indicate that 1,000 mg per day is sufficient.
Again, it pays to check the nutrition label on your elderberry supplement. Make sure that your brand of choice contains organic black elderberry extract, elderberry juice, or elderberry syrup that comes from the Sambucus nigra species. This is the only species that has been scientifically shown to support a healthy immune response.
When in doubt, talk to your health care provider to ease your concerns about this ingredient. If you are pregnant or immunocompromised in any way, you may require a different dosage recommendation from your doctor.
Now more than ever, it’s important to remain as healthy as possible. Add elderberries to your daily nutrition intake to boost your overall wellbeing. It has a long history of efficacy, and it is very popular in the wellness industry for a reason.
With the convenience of taking elderberry supplements in different forms, you can easily integrate this fantastic superfood into your diet!