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The Revitalizing Benefits of Elderberry

Posted by Jaime Camirand, RHN

If you weren’t already familiar with elderberry, you may have seen it pop up more and more lately as a sought-after superfood. It’s been recognized as a healing plant for thousands of years, but has recently gained more attention for its immune-boosting and antiviral characteristics. With a list of powerful attributes, it has certainly earned its “superfood” status.
Elderberries are the dark purple fruit of the elder tree. While each part of the plant contains different compounds, the fruit itself is rich in several valuable phytonutrients. These include anthocyanins, which are responsible for the elderberry’s deep pigment, as well as others like quercetin, kaempferol, beta-carotene and tannins. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron.1
As a source of so many potent bioactive compounds, it’s no surprise that elderberry has been linked to several protective health benefits. It’s one of the best known foods for immune support, and has been shown to significantly reduce the duration and severity of flu symptoms, displaying both antiviral and antibacterial properties.2,3,4 It’s also recognized for its powerful antioxidant properties, protecting against the effects of free radical damage and controlling inflammation.5 This has translated to many other potential benefits, with studies showing promising results for antidiabetic6 and even antidepressant7 effects of elderberry and its constituents. 
While it isn’t necessarily meant to be used as a treatment for any particular ailments, elderberry is an excellent addition to a diet or supplement routine to increase intake of valuable phytonutrients and support your body’s natural defences.

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References

 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7185606/#:~:text=The%20main%20polyphenols%20in%20elderberry,and%20isorhamnetin%2D3%2Dglucoside
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848651/
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/147323000403200205
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031942209002386
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814614000491?via%3Dihub
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25327310/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25491608/

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