Elderberries are obtained from a flowering plant called Sambucus, usually found in North American and European countries. These berries were a part of the folk medicine in the ancient times, as it has several medicinal properties. These bluish black berries are loaded with antioxidants and can promote the immune system, lower cholesterol, cure viral and bacterial infections, improve vision and are useful for treating flu, cold and cough. The flowers of elderberries can be used for skin care to tone, soften, moisturize, relax and soothe the skin.
The presence of proteins and bioflavonoids in elderberries makes it an ideal choice to reduce the ability of viruses causing flu and cold to avoid infections. These juicy fruits are rich in nutrients and minerals like dietary fiber, proteins, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus and Vitamins A, B and C. Plus, the organic compounds act as anti-inflammatory agent that makes these berries, a great source to stay healthy.
Top 10 Health Benefits and Uses of Elderberry
We have compiled the list of the top health benefits of elderberries to help you stay healthy and stay free from all infections.
1. Improves Digestive Health
Elderberries are a powerful source of dietary fiber that helps it to lower the gas formation and alleviates constipation by easing the bowel movement. Adding a cup of elderberry to your meals will give you dietary fiber of 10 grams. In short, elderberries can improve the health of your gastrointestinal system. Dietary fiber promotes the nutrient intake efficiency of your gut to help you absorb more nutrients from the foods.
2. Protects Against Cardiovascular Issues
The presence of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium and fiber helps elderberries enhance your heart’s health. It is rich in fiber and helps in flushing away the toxins for eliminating the excess cholesterol from your body and preserves the good cholesterol necessary for you. It also prevents the risk of developing serious cardiovascular issues like atherosclerosis. These potassium rich berries also protect your heart by keeping the tensed blood vessels relaxed and improve the health of arteries.
3. Prevents Respiratory Infections
A cup of elderberries can contribute up to 87% of Vitamin C to your everyday requirements. Being a natural antioxidant and water soluble in nature, Vitamin C enables your body to have enough resistance to fight against the agents of infections and gets rid of the free radicals too. Taking elderberry juice everyday will help in clearing infections like bronchitis, sore throat, cold, cough and other infections in your respiratory system.
The syrup of elderberries has active ingredients like anthocyanins, which is a bioflavonoid that acts like a cough syrup and soothes irritation and inflammation. It also performs like a cough expectorant the remove the phlegm in your system, as it can affect your respiratory glands. People suffering from asthma can take the juice of elderberries to get good relief.
4. Boosts Immune System
Elderberries are known as immune system boosters, as it has potent chemical compounds known as anthocyanidins that are rich in immunostimulant effects. The flavonoids present in these berries can bind with the H1N1 influenza virus in humans and with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. It possesses anti-infectious and antibacterial properties that help in warding off flu, cold and influenza when it is rapidly spreading during a specific season. Apart from strengthening the immune system, elderberries also offer protection against autoimmune conditions and alleviate the symptoms of AIDS too.
5. Slow Down Aging Process
The Vitamin C rich elderberries can develop and maintain the essential protein called collagen, which aids in hair growth and skin health. It also has Vitamin A and bioflavonoids that improves the antioxidant activity in your body. Elderberries also prevent the development of crow lines, laugh lines, wrinkles and help in fading of the age spots to improve the radiance of your skin.
6. Prevents Blood Sugar Spikes
The elderberries and their flowers are widely used in ancient medicines for treating diabetes. The extracts of its flowers can kindle the metabolism and aids in insulin secretion while lowering the blood sugar levels. The extract of black elderberries increases the transport of glucose, oxidation of glucose and glycogenesis, the process which flushes out the excess blood sugar. The presence of active antioxidant ingredients in elderberries help in keeping the blood sugar in stable condition in diabetics and prevent the occurrence of diabetes in others.
7. Drains Excess Body Fluids
Elderberries are known to improve the process of urination and promote the bowel movements. It has natural diuretic effects which increase the urine production I your body and gets rid of the excess fluids that get retained in elderly people. It also helps in losing excess body weight caused by water retention.
8. Fights Against Anemia
You will get 13% of the daily recommended amount of iron for your body from 1 cup of elderberries. It improves the amount of hemoglobin in your blood and promotes the amount of red blood cells. Being a powerful source of iron, elderberries aids in the development of fresh red blood cells. Women who have experienced heavy bleeding during periods or in menopause stage can consume elderberries to cope up with the loss of blood count in the body.
9. Builds Stronger Bones
Elderberries have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that help in preventing inflammation, soreness and pains in bone joints. It has high levels of essential minerals, which improves the strength of your bones and aids in the formation of bone tissues. People who consume elderberries everyday will be able to prevent the osteoporosis condition while they grow older. It contains potassium, iron and calcium helps in strengthening the bones and improves the density of bone minerals.
10. Prevents Cancer
Being the powerhouse of antioxidants, elderberries can do wonders for preventing and inhibiting the spread and growth of cancer cells. Plus, its antioxidants fights against the damage causing free radicals, which can affect the health of the cells and infects them with cancer. The extracts of elderberries are loaded with anthocyanins, pharmacologic, therapeutic, anti carcinogenic properties and chemopreventive properties to reverse, delay and inhibit the formation of cancerous cells.
We have covered almost all the health benefits that elderberries have to offer for you. Include this wonder fruit in your daily diet in the form of tea, jams, jellies, wine, syrup, juice, infusion, pills and powder to stay free from severe health conditions.
|Elderberries, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories(1 cup 145g)|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||26.68g|
|Fiber, total dietary||10.2g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.72g|
|Vitamin A, IU||870IU|
|Vitamin A, RAE||44µg|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||52.2mg|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||0.116g|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||0.358g|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.033g|
A Word Of Caution On Elderberries
- Even though there are several variants of elderberries, only the black variants are fit for consumption, as others have toxic substances.
- Consume elderberries after cooking it and avoid eating it in its raw form, as it contains cyanide like chemical. Consuming uncooked berries can induce vomiting and diarrhea.
- Elderberries are known to trigger allergic reactions. So, stop consumption if you experience a mild allergic reaction and seek medical attention.
- If you are offering elderberries to your kids or elderly, consult your doctor.
- Do not consume elderberries if you are nursing or pregnant.
- If you are suffering from any autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, then seek medical advice, as it will improve the functions of your immune system.
- If you have undergone an organ transplantation procedure, then avoid consuming elderberries.