There are a wide range of elderberry health benefits to enjoy when you add this fruit to your diet. Black elderberry, Sambucus nigra, is smaller than most fruits, but don’t let its size fool you.
Black elderberry is laden with naturally-occurring nutrients you simply don’t get from other fruits. It could be just what you need to stay in shape and maintain excellent health for the long term.
When it comes to elderberry extract, whether it is elderberry syrup, elderberry juice or a more potent elderberry extract like Fresh Healthcare's vegan-friendly gummies, the health benefits of elderberry are many. From strengthening the immune system against cold and flu symptoms to better heart health and even weight loss.
Let’s explore the amazing world of black elderberry and see just what it could do for you ...
The Best Way to Take Elderberry
Before you start going out into the wild to find some black elderberries, it’s important to remember that raw and uncooked elderberry is unsuitable for consumption. Naturally occurring toxins are present in the fruit and must be neutralised first by vigorous cooking and preparation before it is safe to eat.
While you may find it easy to pick strawberries or other fruits, elderberries are best left to the professionals to prepare, or you risk making yourself very unwell.
There are a number of elderberry varieties to look out for, which grow across the world. Sambucus nigra is more commonly found in Europe, whereas the Sambucus canadensis shrub is found here in North America.
The American elderberry grows slightly shorter than its European counterpart, and the flowers that ultimately transform into the berries themselves bloom a bit later than in Europe. Not only can you find naturally-growing black elderberries all over the world, but red ones too, otherwise known as Sambucus racemose.
The most popular elderberry variety consumed worldwide is Sambucus nigra. When prepared properly so it’s safe for human consumption, black elderberry can be made into jams and juices. At Fresh Healthcare, we have our very own Black Elderberry Gummies. Made using vegan-friendly gelatin, our gummies are packed with all the goodness of Sambucus nigra, ideal for anyone with a sweet tooth who needs that elderberry boost.
What is Black Elderberry Good For?
Now you know some of the fun ways you can consume black elderberries, it’s time to explore why it’s such a nutritious fruit in the first place.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient which keeps your immune system functioning properly. Without Vitamin C, you’re unable to absorb as much iron from the food you eat, making it harder for your blood to carry oxygen around your body. In addition, Vitamin C is needed to ensure that wounds heal and that blood can form clots and repair damage.
Humans are at a slight disadvantage in evolutionary terms, when it comes to Vitamin C, because we’re less capable of synthesizing Vitamin C from the food we consume than are other animals. This means we need to boost our uptake of Vitamin C to maintain better overall health to begin with.
An article published in Nutrients journal in 2017 asserted that Vitamin C helps phagocytes, such as white blood cells, engulf pathogens far more effectively, as well as helps your immune system produce a higher volume of B and T cells.
These cells are able to use antibodies to neutralise bacterial and viral infections while also producing cytokines to ensure killer white blood cells engulf them before they can do any damage to healthy tissue.
Black elderberry is a densely concentrated source of Vitamin C. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 100g of elderberries contains as much as 35mg of ascorbic acid. The US Department of Health and Human Services further claims that the average person aged 19 or over needs 75-90mg of Vitamin C in their daily diet, suggesting that black elderberry Vitamin C levels are high enough to warrant including some supplementary form of the fruit in your daily diet.
Elderberry Nutrition Facts
Vitamin C plays a significant role in making black elderberry one of the greatest super-foods you can find, but that’s not all. Just a single 100g serving of elderberries provides as much as 305kJ of energy, not to mention 280mg of potassium. As with many fruits, the juice of wild elderberries contains sugars that your body can burn to keep you going through the day.
Potassium is essential in ensuring the effective functioning of your kidneys, heart and muscles and the transmission of signals through your nervous system. Adults require significant amounts of potassium on a daily basis, ranging between 2,600-3,400mg per day.
High blood pressure can be a sign that you’re not getting the potassium you need, as can kidney stones. Potassium deficiency can even lead to the development of insulin resistance. Being unable to absorb insulin effectively can ultimately lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Elderberry Antiviral Properties
The Vitamin C in black elderberries does wonders for your immune system, and elderberry supplements are a perfect way of bolstering your defences against pathogens. Vitamin C is vital in producing the types of cells that ultimately help protect and defend you from harmful infections, and develop immunity in many cases.
Viruses are fast-moving; they come and go all the time, with many debating whether they are even living things. While some organisms can take millions of years to evolve, viruses can evolve far more rapidly. Ever wondered why you need to get that flu shot each and every year?
Believe it or not, but the flu you face this year is subtly different this time round, having found a way to inhabit its hosts with new adaptations to increase the chances of spreading. What makes COVID-19 such a serious risk to the health of many Americans is the fact that it is a novel coronavirus, which means no strain of this virus has encountered a human until now.
Elderberry gummies can’t stop viruses from existing altogether, but what they can do is provide you with all the natural goodness of elderberries. Fresh Healthcare's gummies make sure your immune system is as strong as it can be, to help prepare it for any combat with invasive microbes or viruses, wherever they come from.