elberberries     Hey there, Well Beings!

I wrote an article for Inner Child Magazine back in December about how to keep your immune system running on all cylinders during cold and flu season, and since I took my sabbatical during that month, I wanted to share it with you now. We may not be in the midst of the holiday season anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from this cool little berry. Enjoy and be healthy!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

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We’re in the thick of the holidays, and while lots of us are thinking about cranberries, there’s another berry you may want to consider as you scramble for those last minute gifts for loved ones: the elderberry. Also known as sambucus, the elderberry is a berry with immune boosting benefits that could come in handy as the stress of the season starts setting in. Elderberry’s benefits extend beyond the common cold and flu, though. In fact, once you discover all of its amazing uses, you may find yourself wanting to keep this wonderful fruit around all year long.

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Nutritionally speaking, the elderberry is pretty impressive. Loaded with vitamins A though C and minerals like potassium and iron, it’s a supplement that adds plenty of value. It’s also full of dietary fiber and protein, making it a great addition to your existing lineup. If that weren’t enough, it’s higher in antioxidants than the blueberry. Not bad for an uncommon fruit!

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While multiple studies point to elderberry as helpful in fighting viruses such as influenza, according to Web MD, the small purple berry may also be of assistance with certain inflammatory ailments, such as sciatica and joint pain. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that elderberry may be useful in the treatment bacterial sinusitis, as well. It’s even been shown to improve gastrointestinal problems like gas and constipation and could be helpful in fighting heart disease.

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If you’re ready to reach for the elderberry, you have some options to consider. Aside from supplements in the form of syrups, tinctures, and capsules, you can also consume elderberries in jams and jellies, and even in wine. Don’t just pluck them off the bush, though. Consumed raw, the elderberry can be toxic, as it contains trace elements of cyanide that cook off when heated. For that reason, it’s best to stick to ready-made varieties. Finally, check with your doctor if you are pregnant, if you have any pre-existing health issues, or are taking any medications or supplements to make sure there won’t be any reactions that could cause harm to your health. Improvement is the name of the game, so be safe with your supplements and enjoy the fruits of this holiday season!

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