Role of Elderberry in heart, respiratory, and bone health.Nuturemite
Elderberry is a certain kind of purple coloured small berries, native to Europe. They are not edible in its raw form and have to be cooked. They are extremely nutritious and with several benefits.
Benefits of elderberry
Aid in Digestion –
Dr. Paulo D Picon and his team of researchers published a report in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine which stated that although most fruits and vegetables can help to hit our fiber goals for the day, few fruits can boost more than 40% of our daily requirements of fiber in a single serving. Elderberries come packed with dietary fiber that can help to eliminate constipation, reduce excess gas, and generally increase the health of your gastrointestinal system. Fiber can also help to increase the nutrient uptake efficiency in the gut.
Improve Heart Health –
A study published in the Phytotherapy Research revealed that high fiber levels in elderberries help to eliminate excess cholesterol from the system and make room for HDL (good) cholesterol that the body needs. This can help to eliminate the chances of developing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular issues. Additionally, a diet rich in flavonoids like anthocyanins reduces the risk of heart disease. The high levels of potassium in elderberries also protect the heart by relaxing the tension of blood vessels and arteries. As a vasodilator, potassium can significantly reduce blood pressure and keep the heart-healthy.
Improve Respiratory Health –
When it comes to clearing up a sore throat, cough, cold, bronchitis, or any other issue that affects your respiratory system, elderberry juice might be your best choice. Like many other cough syrups, elderberry syrup contains active ingredients (bioflavonoids like anthocyanins, to be exact) that can soothe inflammation and irritation. The syrup also acts as an expectorant and clear out phlegm that can entrap foreign agents in your glands. Doctors recommend Elderberry juice for people with asthma. According to a study in the Journal of International Medical Research, flu patients who were given a dosage of elderberry syrup recovered in 3-4 days earlier than those who were not given these supplements.
Boost Immunity –
Elderberry syrup has certain antibacterial and anti-infectious qualities and is very commonly used to ward off influenza during bad seasons, where it seems like everyone is catching it. Furthermore, elderberries can protect against the effects of autoimmune disorders, even alleviating certain symptoms and the associated pain of AIDS. A 2011 paper published in the Romanian Biotechnological Letters cited a study in which rats who were given elderberry polyphenols were found to aid immune defenses by raising the number of WBCs.
Control Diabetes –
The active antioxidant ingredients in elderberries work directly on the pancreas to regulate insulin and glucose levels. This either provides the stability for people, who suffer from diabetes or help non-diabetics to avoid developing this terrible condition.
Improve Bone Health –
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds found in elderberries can help alleviate joint pain and soreness from inflammation. The high levels of essential minerals help to promote bone strength and the development of new bone tissue. Osteoporosis is a condition that millions of people face in the later years of their life, but increasing bone density during younger years can delay the onset considerably.
Skin Care –
Elderberry makes its way into a lot of cosmetic applications, primarily because the bioflavonoids in elderberries can boost your skin health. The antioxidant activity, combined with its significant levels of vitamin A, make elderberries perfect for preventing or lessening wrinkles, helping age spots to fade, and generally improve the glow and tone of the body’s largest and most visible organ.
Weight Loss –
With the high level of dietary fiber, combined with the metabolism-speeding effects of a solid vitamin and mineral injection, elderberries aid in weight loss. The fiber keeps one feeling full, the low-calorie count doesn’t affect the intake too much, and also help get dozens of other health benefits as well.
Adding elderberries to your diet
Elderberries can be made into syrups, tea, jams, wine, etc. The flowers of the elderberry plant are used to make jelly. They can also be used in baking.
The elderberry flowers are also used internally for treating influenza and skin irritation.
Recipe for Elderberry Tea
1 cup of water
A few elderberries
A pinch of turmeric and cinnamon
Firstly, add water and elderberries to a saucepan. You can also add turmeric and cinnamon.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Let the liquid cool. Strain the berries using a strainer. Your tea is ready.
You can also make the tea by boiling 3-5 grams of elderflowers in 250 mL of water. Or if you are using the bark, take one teaspoon of it and add to half a cup of boiling water.
Recipe for Elderberry Syrup
Prep Time – 5 mins, Cook Time – 45 mins, Total Time – 50 mins
This elderberry syrup comes among one of the natural remedies for cold and flu symptoms. When taken within 48 hours of symptoms, it’s been shown to reduce the duration of symptoms by 4 days.
1/2 cup dried elderberries (see notes)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger , minced (optional)
1/2 cup honey
Combine the elderberries, water, and ginger in a small saucepan over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer, until the water has been reduced by half, for about 45 minutes.
Transfer the cooked berries and liquid to a clean bowl and pour it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the berry skins. Use the back of a spoon to press on the berries in the strainer, to extract all of the juice, then discard the small amount of pulp left in the strainer.
Allow the elderberry juice to cool to room temperature, so that the heat doesn’t harm the nutrients in the honey, then stir the honey. Use a whisk to incorporate it smoothly, then transfer the syrup into a sealed glass jar that you can store in the fridge.
Store this syrup in the fridge, which can last for about two weeks. If you don’t think you’ll use it all before then, feel free to freeze it until you’re ready to use more.
Since most of the berries in the genus Sambucus are toxic, caution is suggested, and cooking the elderberries before consuming is always a wise choice. The branches, leaves, and twigs of all species contain trace elements of cyanide, which can build up in your body and eventually kill you, so be careful! Considering that so, only a few species are edible, don’t pick wild elderberries and it is always wise to find elderberries in a licensed and reputable store.
Furthermore, being allergic to plants in the honeysuckle family is not uncommon, so be careful about being up-to-date on your food allergies before adding elderberries to your diet.
Finally, they are known to act as diuretics for some people, so if you are already struggling with kidney problems, then elderberries may exacerbate them.
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