Elderberries are small, dark berries that grow in bundles on Sambucus plants, members of the honeysuckle family.
Because of their dark color and unique grouping, elderberries have long been used as a decorative plant. However, this isn’t the only use that elderberries serve.
In fact, in recent years elderberries have had a resurgence in popularity due to their many health benefits.
Elderberries can be found throughout North America and in some warmer European countries.
It’s believed that Native Americans used elderberries for generations to treat fever and rheumatism before the benefits were discovered by settlers.
With the emergence of mainstream medicine, these benefits were overlooked for years. Now, as people start to learn more about all-natural treatments, the properties that elderberries offer are being reexamined.
While elderberries have many health benefits, one of the most popular uses for the little berries is as a weight loss aid.
Elderberries are filled with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, which make them some of the most potent berries available today.
Elderberry Weight Loss Benefits
Elderberries have many benefits, but one of the most exciting is how these small, dark berries can aid in weight loss.
The biggest way that elderberries help people shed extra weight is due to their extremely high levels of fiber. So many people in the Western world don’t get the amount of fiber they need from their diets.
Since fiber is crucial to keeping the digestive system working at optimum, this can cause a lot of unwanted weight gain.
A single serving of elderberry provides more than 40% of an average person’s daily fiber needs.
This means that with just one serving a day, people trying to lose weight can get their digestive system working properly again, flushing out harmful toxins and minimizing bloat and gas.
Elderberries are known for being filled with minerals that help keep the body running at optimum. These minerals include iron, copper, potassium, and phosphorous. Elderberries also contain Vitamins A, B, and C.
When you add this influx of minerals and vitamins to your system, your body reacts positively, sending the metabolism into high-gear.
Between the improved digestive system that the fiber provides and the metabolism boost that vitamins and minerals add, elderberries are an optimal weight loss aid.
To lose weight effectively, the body doesn’t just need to shed pounds, it needs to keep its vital organs working properly.
No two organs are more important for weight loss than the heart and the lungs. Elderberries provide support to these organs naturally.
By clearing the body of bad cholesterol and adding healthy cholesterol, elderberries reduce pressure put on the heart.
And, as mentioned above, because elderberries minimize inflammation, they’re perfect for protecting the lungs from irritations and swelling.
Other Health Benefits of Elderberry
As mentioned above, elderberries have many health benefits besides being a great weight loss aid.
One of those benefits is that they are filled with antioxidants. These antioxidants help keep the body free of the toxins and free radicals that build up in the system.
This type of flushing can help keep the body running properly.
Not only are elderberries powerful antioxidants, they are also strong antivirals. Recent studies have shown that elderberries can be used to treat colds and influenza.
These components are so potent that another study found that they can inhibit the spreading of the H1N1 virus.
While more research needs to be done on this specific aspect of the antioxidants in elderberries, it speaks strongly to the amazing effects the fruit has on health.
Elderberries work well to treat inflammation. This berry was used by Native Americans to treat fever, often caused by a cold or flu virus.
While the berries can bring down a fever, they have an added benefit for those who suffer from the sniffles.
Elderberry mixtures can be used to release the congestion in nasal passages caused by swollen membranes.
Not all the benefits of elderberries have to do with keeping the body balanced inside. Elderberries have also been used externally for several purposes.
Mixed with other herbs, elderberries can be used to wash and clean cuts and other injuries.
When prepared properly, elderberries also make an effective compress to protect wounds from infection.
The same elderberry wash that can be used to clean cuts can also be used to minimize inflammation, both in the skin and in the eyes.
For those who suffer from swollen or tired looking skin, a simple wash made with elderberry flowers can help reverse the damage.
Starting an Elderberry Diet
There are several different forms of elderberry and not all of them have the same health benefits.
This is why it’s extremely important that any elderberry fruits or extracts be purchased through the proper channels.
If you are looking to use elderberries to aid their weight loss, a combination of elderberry extract and the actual fruit will work well to provide all the benefits that the berries offer.
The berries can be added to cereals, smoothies, or eaten plain. Any extracts should be taken according to the directions on the packaging.