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13 Major Health Benefits of Elderberries

Elderberries are the delicious berries that belong to the Sambucus genus of the flowering plant in the Adoxaceae family. These fruits are mainly found in the temperate to subtropical regions of the world and are widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. However, they are also found in some parts of Australia, Asia and South America which are part of the Southern Hemisphere. There are many species of elderberries and some of these species are known not only for the delicious fruit they provide but also for their ornamental leaves and flowers. Elderberries are a good source of many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers, phytonutrients, and polyphenols etc. and the presence of these compounds make them very beneficial for us. In this article, we will know about the major health benefits of elderberries, but first, let’s take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart of elderberries.

Nutrition Chart of Elderberries

Nutrition Chart of Elderberries
Source-USDA

Health Benefits of Elderberries

Health Benefits of Elderberries
Source-Pixabay.com

(1) Strengthens Immune System

Our immune system plays an important role in keeping us healthy. It is the defense mechanism of our body that prevents microbes such as bacteria and virus etc. from entering our system, and even if they manage to enter our body and make us sick, it is the immune system that fights against these bacteria and makes us healthy again. For this reason, it is important for us to make sure that our immune system stays stronger and elderberries can help in doing the same.

Eating elderberries on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for making our immune system stronger. This benefit of elderberries is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants like vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc. in them.

These antioxidants and the relevant compounds fight with the free radicals of our body, stabilize them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells including the white blood cells that form the backbone of our immune system. By making our immune system stronger, elderberries reduces the risk of various types of diseases and also reduces the risk of being infected by fever, flu, cold and cough etc. to a significant level.

As per a Japanese study, elderberries are useful for weakening the symptoms of the influenza virus.

Vitamin C is not only antioxidant but also an anti-inflammatory compound that aids in reducing the risk of upper respiratory tract infections and other respiratory ailments. Cytokines in the elderberries also possess anti-inflammatory properties and help with the respiratory system.

(2) Good For Respiratory System

Regular and moderate consumption of elderberries is found to be very beneficial for our respiratory system and provides relief from various respiratory ailments such as a sore throat, a cough, cold and bronchitis etc.

This benefit of elderberries is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants like vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc. in them. These antioxidants and the relevant compound protects our respiratory system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals of the body. They are also anti-inflammatory in nature and helps in relieving the symptoms of various respiratory problems.

As mentioned earlier, they strengthen our immune system and when our immune system is stronger, the risk of infections like flu, fever, and cold etc. reduces to a great level.

In addition to this, other compounds such as flavonoids and anthocyanins etc. present in the elderberries provide relief from the inflammation and the irritation associated with the respiratory problems.

Elderberry syrup ( which is made by boiling elderberries in water, along with cinnamon, clove and ginger etc.) acts as an expectorant and clear out the phlegm that traps foreign agents in your glands.

(3) Good For Digestive System

Another advantage of eating elderberries on a regular and moderate basis is their ability to improve our digestive health. This benefit of elderberries is mainly due to the presence of dietary fibers in them.

The dietary fibers present in the elderberries acts as a natural laxative which means it improves bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of stool from our system. This provides relief from constipation and also aids in providing relief from other gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating, flatulence etc.

In addition to this, the antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc. present in the elderberries protects the digestive system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals of the body.

(4) Reduces The Risk of Various Cancer(s)

Consuming elderberries on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for reducing the risk of various types of cancers such as lung cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer etc.

This benefit of elderberries is because of the presence of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc. in them.

These antioxidants fight with the free radicals of our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells, and thus reduces the risk of various cancers.

Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that get formed in our body during the oxidation process. As these are unstabilized, so, they steal electrons from the neighboring molecules and while doing so, it causes oxidative damage to them.

Elderberries are also known to inhibit “hedgehog signaling”, a biochemical process which is linked to prostate cancer and thus minimizes the risk of prostate cancer.

Suggested Read- 12 Wonderful Beauty Benefits of Elderberries For Skin And Hair

(5) Improves Cardiovascular Health

Eating elderberries on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for our heart and improves our cardiovascular health.

This benefit of elderberries is because of the presence of various nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers and phytonutrients etc. in them.

The antioxidants like vitamin C and relevant compounds present in the elderberries protects our cardiovascular system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals of the body.

It is also a good source of potassium, a vital nutrient that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation and provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure, a common health problem that affects millions of people around the world and is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat etc.

Additionally, the dietary fibers present in the elderberries reduces bad LDL cholesterol from our system and thus reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition caused by the hardening of arteries due to the accumulation of fat deposits in them. This improves our cardiovascular health and keeps our heart healthy.

These delicious berries also contain “anthocyanins”, a flavonoid that protects the inner layer of the blood vessels from the oxidative stress of the free radicals. This protects the cells from inflammatory stressors, improves blood circulation and thus reduces the risk of heart diseases.

(6) Regulates Blood Sugar Level

Elderberries is found to be very beneficial for the individuals suffering from diabetes and for those who are at the risk of developing diabetes. This benefit of elderberries is mainly because of its low glycemic index. Being a low glycemic index fruit, it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow pace and prevents a sudden spike in the blood sugar level. This helps in regulating the blood sugar level and thus helps in managing diabetes.

In addition to this, elderberries are also a good source of dietary fibers that reduces the rate at which sugar gets absorbed by the bloodstream and thus helps in keeping blood sugar level under control.

Although elderberries are good for the diabetic patients, studies are limited in this regard and it is therefore advised to first consult with your doctor about the same.

(7) Provides Diuretic Benefits

Elderberries are diuretic in nature which means they naturally promote the production of urine in our body. This property of elderberries makes it very beneficial for the individuals that suffer from urinary problems like urinary tract infection etc. The diuretic nature of elderberries helps in getting rid of the extra fluids and is often recommended by the doctors.

In addition to this, the antioxidants such as vitamin c and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc. combat with the free radicals of the body and thus protects our renal system from the oxidative damage.

(8) Make Our Bones Stronger

Consuming elderberries on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for making our bones stronger and thus reduces the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which our bones becomes very weak and more prone to fracture and related issues.

This benefit of elderberries is mainly because of the presence of calcium in it. Calcium is an essential nutrient that strengthens our bones, increases bone density and thus reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Other nutrients like potassium and iron etc. also plays a significant role in making our bones stronger. Potassium helps in maintaining critical fluid balance in the body and thus strengthen our bones.

Additionally, anthocyanins a flavonoid present in the elderberries is known to prevent bone loss in certain cases and is thus considered good for bones.

Suggested Read- 7 Major Side Effects of Eating Too Many Elderberries

(9) Helps With Weight Loss

Elderberries is found to be very beneficial for the people who are on a weight loss journey and would like to get rid of some extra pounds.

This weight loss benefit of elderberries is mainly because of the presence of dietary fibers in them. The dietary fibers present in the elderberries keep our stomach fuller for longer duration and decreases our urge to eat again and again, and thus helps in controlling overeating. As overeating is a major cause of obesity, so by controlling overeating it helps in controlling obesity.

They are also rich in water content which also provides fullness to our stomach and thus helps with the weight loss program.

Eating 100 grams of elderberries provides around 73 calories of energy which is still low in comparison to other fruits like avocados, dried fruits, coconut flesh, grapefruit, and banana etc. that provides more than 100 calories ( some even up to 400 calories) of energy for every cup of their serving. By keeping the elderberries intake in moderation, one can still enjoy weight loss benefit and other benefits of elderberries without worrying about the excessive calorie gain.

A German study has also found that individuals who took elderberry syrup on a regular basis saw a significant improvement in their weight regulation.

(10) Good For Eyes

Our eyes are the vital organ that acts as a window to the world and allows us to experience the beauty of this world. It is therefore important for us to make sure that we take good care of our eyes and elderberries can help in doing the same.

Elderberries is found to be very beneficial for our eyes and aids in reducing the risk of various vision ailments like glaucoma and macular degeneration etc.

This benefit of elderberries is mainly because of the presence of antioxidants like vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc. in them. These antioxidants and the relevant compounds present in the elderberries fights with the free radicals of our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells and thus minimizes the risk of various problems such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma etc.

Free radicals are nothing but the unstabilized ions that get formed in our body during the oxidation process. As these are unstabilized, so, they steal electrons from the neighboring molecules and while doing so, it causes oxidative damage to them.

In addition to this, these berries are also rich in vitamin A which is considered as an essential nutrient for our eyes as it provides a number of benefits such as improves vision, treats dry eyes, reduces the risk of cataract and macular degeneration and so on.

Other nutrients like vitamin B complex etc. also plays a significant role in keeping our eyes healthy.

(11) Aids In The Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections

Another advantage of including elderberries in your diet is their ability to help with the treatment of urinary tract infections.

This benefit of elderberries is mainly due to the presence of various nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers and phytonutrients and polyphenols etc.

Antioxidants like vitamin C and other relevant compounds protect our renal and the urinary system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals of the body. Vitamin C is also anti-inflammatory in nature which means they are very helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with the urinary tract infections.

In addition to this, elderberries are diuretic in nature which means they increase the production of urine in our system. This allows our body to get rid of the urine and toxic compound from our system in an efficient manner, and thus reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.

(12) Provides Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Elderberries are very useful in providing relief from the pain and inflammation caused by the inflammatory problems such as arthritis, gouts, rheumatism and eye inflammation etc.

This benefit of elderberries is mainly because of the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds such as vitamin C in it. Vitamin C, an antioxidant not only protects the cells and tissues of our body from the oxidative stress caused by the free radicals of the body but also provides relief from the pain and inflammation.

Additionally, they are also a good source of anthocyanins, a flavonoid that possesses anti-inflammatory properties and helps in fighting against inflammation.

(13) Improves Cognitive Functions

Elderberries are very beneficial for our brain and reduce the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease etc.

This benefit of elderberries is primarily due to the presence of antioxidants like vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc. in them.

These antioxidants fight with the free radicals of our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells including the brain cells or neurons. This reduces the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, amnesia etc.

In addition to this, they are also a good source of quercetin and anthocyanins, the flavonoids that reduce inflammation at the cellular level and thus helps in keeping our neurological system healthy. They also activate the mitochondria ( powerhouse of the cell) of the cell and thus boosts cellular health.

Reference(s)

https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-health-benefits-of-elderberries/

https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-benefits-elderberries/

https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/elderberry.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus

Disclaimer

The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

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