As the cold months approach, the risk of catching colds and flu increases. Bundling up in warm clothes is one way to stay healthy and warm and provides comfort too.
In addition to this, you can add a few nutritional delights, such as elderberry syrup to your routine to boost overall health, protect against illness, and take care of the entire family.
Elderberry syrup is a lot easier to make at home than maple syrup. Plus you can save lots of money with a fun, DIY project. Here are the many health benefits you can take advantage of.
Along with most berries, elderberries are full of health benefits and make the perfect addition to any health-promoting plan. Used by the ancient Greeks and passed along through folk medicine, elderberries have served medicinal purposes for centuries. Here is why:
The antioxidants in elderberry syrup provide additional support to your immune system, allowing your body to better fight disease. They can protect against common cold viruses that work to destroy your cell walls. A variety of juices can also be helpful.
By triggering increased production of inflammatory cytokines, elderberries can better treat common respiratory illnesses and conditions. In addition to this, these berries reduce mucus production, which is common in cold and flu season and can reduce the duration and severity of most common colds and flu.
Elderberries are a great source of natural fiber that improves digestion and promotes gut health. With regular consumption, you can avoid common digestive troubles such as constipation, bloating, abdominal cramping, and gas.
With much of your immune system living in your gut, it is important to maintain a healthy digestive system. It’s one reason probiotics are good for your immune health. Elderberry syrup both directly supports your immune system and works to maintain optimal digestive health.
The rich levels of potassium in elderberries make them ideal for controlling blood pressure and help fight off the problems of hypokalemia. As part of your regular diet, this syrup can keep blood vessels relaxed, which reduces the amount of strain placed on your heart and protects you from heart disease.
Powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins are also found in elderberries, and these compounds protect blood vessels from oxidative stress which prevents disease and improves circulation.
Research has identified certain anti-carcinogenic properties to elderberries that make them useful in treating cancer. Compounds such as quercetin along with the protective antioxidants inhibit the biochemical processes that are linked to the development of cancer while at the same time boosting your immune system to aid recovery.
Despite being syrup, which is commonly linked to a high amount of sugar, elderberry syrup can help to lower blood sugar levels. Because the sugars in fruits (fructose) do not impact blood glucose levels as dramatically as other sugars, your levels can be easily maintained.
The fiber content in fruits also slows down the digestion and absorption of the sugar, so it cannot cause spikes and crashes that are dangerous to diabetics.
The anthocyanins protect from oxidative stress and inflammation and along with other anti-inflammatory compounds, help to protect you from serious diseases that are commonly linked to inflammation. With inflammation linked to asthma, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, elderberry syrup seems like an ideal concoction to have around.
The calcium, iron, and potassium of elderberries help to strengthen bones and improve bone density, which helps to protect against osteoporosis. The anthocyanins also promote bone health by preventing bone loss that can occur naturally as you age.
Women are more at risk for osteoporosis, particularly after menopause but studies have found that antioxidant-rich berries can protect you from bone density loss and this unpleasant condition.
Elderberries contain high amounts of potassium, which helps regulate the potassium to sodium ratio of your blood. By providing a healthier ratio, you can prevent high blood pressure, increasing your risk for serious heart problems.
The high iron content in these berries also supports the efficient production of red blood cells, thereby protecting you from anemia.
Brain Health Booster
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of elderberries make these fruits perfect for combating cognitive decline. The compounds within these berries help to prevent neurodegeneration associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The flavonoid, quercetin, is also important to boosting brain health as it reduces inflammation and activates the mitochondria in your brain cells, helping to power brain function.
In addition to this, elderberry extract has been linked to reduced depression symptoms so it may serve as a more natural antidepressant.
3/4 cup dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 teaspoon dried cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon dried cloves or 4 whole cloves or 1 drop clove essential oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger or 1 drop ginger essential oil
1 cup raw honey
1. In a large pot, bring the elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to a gentle boil. Then, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, which is typically about 40 to 45 minutes.
2. Allow the liquid to cool, and then drain it using a fine-mesh strainer. Press all liquid out of the berries using the back of a wooden spoon and add the raw honey, mixing well. The elderberry syrup is best when stored in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator and will be good for up to two months.
Making your own elderberry syrup saves money and makes sure you have this beneficial fruit on hand whenever you need it. The immune-boosting syrup tastes better than any medicine and provides more protection.
The recipe is easy and can be made as you do your daily household chores. This delightful berry is also versatile enough for you to make jams, jellies, sauces, and even wine so you can boost your health during each meal.