Elderberries, also known as black elderberry, elderberry plant, or Sambucus nigra, are a fruit that is found in temperate regions of the world, including North America, Europe. They are known for their deep purple-black color, which is where they get the name “black elderberry”.
Elderberries can reach up to two inches in length and are found on the elder tree during summer, their once annual bloom.
They have a tart flavor that resembles cranberries but elderberries are also notable for the fact that they have an earthy, slightly bitter flavor.
Elderberries are known for their immune system boosting properties and have been used in medicinal preparations since ancient times.
While there are many different fruits in the Sambucus family (a close relative of the blueberry), black elderberries are some of the most commonly sought after because they have an exceptionally high concentration of antioxidants.
Elderberry Nutrition Facts
Elderberries are packed with key nutrients like:
- Vitamin C
- Beta Carotene
- Folic acid
- And Vitamin B12.
Each of these nutrients has its own health benefits (which we'll explore below), but it's the antioxidant properties of this tiny berry that make them so desirable.
As a powerful antioxidant, elderberries provide resistance to free radicals in your body - which are unstable molecules that damage cells' DNA by oxidizing their healthy fats (like cholesterol) into harmful compounds like peroxides. These toxic substances can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
This is a major reason why elderberry has been used as a common remedy throughout history.
Kidney and Urinary Health
Elderberry helps boost kidney and urinary health by preventing bacteria from sticking to the cells found in these areas. This, in turn, helps avoid kidney infections and reduces symptoms of urinary tract infection.
Protect Against Heart and Cardiovascular Disease
Elderberry can also help protect your heart and cardiovascular health by preventing cholesterol and fatty deposits from attaching to the cells. This helps block cholesterol production which can lead to heart disease.
Lower Your Risk of Cancer
lderberry can also help mitigate factors that lead to cancer. This is because it helps stimulate the immune cells to attack cancerous cells, and also helps your body fight off viruses that could lead to tumor growth.
Helps Lower Your Blood Glucose (Fights Diabetes)
Elderberry also helps your body fight diabetes, by helping lower blood glucose levels. The way this works is that elderberry has been shown to help reduce insulin resistance (a key factor that can lead to diabetes) and also slows the breakdown of sugar in your digestive system.
Elderberry has also been shown to significantly reduce inflammation, which helps all around your body. For example, inflammation in your digestive tract can lead to ulcers, and inflammation in the joints can cause arthritis. In fact, elderberry can even help with eye inflammations or asthma symptoms, showing how versatile this berry is.
However, the most powerful benefits from Elderberries come from its work in your immune system.
First, their antioxidant value is incredibly high, which helps your body fight against free radicals, toxic cells that can otherwise occupy your immune system. With these antioxidants working overtime to keep your body clean, your immune system can focus on the real threats, like viruses and bacteria.
Second, elderberries offer both antifungal and antibacterial properties. This means that elderberries don't just clear the way for your body to fight potential infections and disease, they also actively help fight these contagions