Flu season is just around the corner. In fact, the fall and winter months are the illness’ playground.
So, if you want to avoid the days of misery, stuck in bed, sneezing, coughing, body aches and everything else that goes with it, the time to start preparing to fight it off is now.
And, I’ve got good news for you…
Nature has given us all two ways to combat the flu using one little berry.
Proven flu-fighting power
What berry am I talking about?
Well, it’s known as the elderberry and while you probably won’t find it in the fruit section of your regular grocery store, it’s likely that you’ve at least heard of it.
That’s because many people use elderberries or supplements with elderberries in them to get over the flu faster. And, using elderberries to overcome viruses like the flu has been used since ancient times.
Yet, whether or not they work has been controversial. Especially, in the medical community who prefer drugs that can be prescribed rather than remedies and folk medicine they don’t understand.
Related: Get over the flu faster
But, that controversy has now been resolved in a big way in favor of that little berry thanks to a study by researchers at the University of Sydney. The team performed a comprehensive analysis of the phytochemicals (the compounds that give the fruit it’s vivid purple coloring) combat flu infections.
The researchers applied elderberry juice to cells before, during, and after infection with the flu and found that those phytochemicals had the power to stop the virus from infecting the cells. And, to top it off, they were also able to stop the virus from spreading at later stages in the flu cycle.
If that wasn’t enough, elderberry juice even “stimulated the cells to release certain cytokines, which are chemical messengers that the immune system uses for communication between different cell types to coordinate a more efficient response against the invading pathogen.”
According to Dr. Peter Valtchev, these findings are significant because “Blocking the viral cycle at several stages has a higher chance of inhibiting the viral infection.”
And, if you thought those benefits would be the most elderberries could possibly have to offer, you would need to think again.
That’s because elderberries are also packed with antioxidants, compounds that fight free radical damage, and which have been proven time and time again to enhance immune system function.
They work in two ways…
First by shielding immune cells from that free radical damage that could destroy their ability to protect you.
And, second by promoting the production of white blood cells that help to fight off infections. While you don’t necessarily need these white blood cells to keep from getting the flu since they attack bacteria rather than viruses, they’re still incredibly important since you can often end up with a bacterial infection secondary to a viral infection like the flu.
Utilizing elderberries for flu protection
With all that flu-fighting power, it’s clear that elderberries could be your best way to stay healthy this fall and winter.
Unfortunately, as we said earlier, it’s unlikely that you’ll find the fresh berries during your grocery store excursion. Not only are they not that common in the fresh fruit section, but the most likely time to find ripe berries is in July and August, so by fall you’ll be fresh out of luck.
Luckily though, you can take an elderberry supplement year-round without having to worry about the growing season or whether or not your store stocks the berries.
My elderberry supplement of choice is Peak ResV+ Superfruits™ because it not only gives you the elderberries you need to boost your immune system but also a big hit of multiple other antioxidants including resveratrol, acai, goji berry, mangosteen and more to further enhance your immunity.
Start your flu-prevention routine now because flu season will be here before you know it!
- Eating elderberries can help minimize influenza symptoms — Medical Xpress
- Physiological role of antioxidants in the immune system — Journal of Dairy Science
- Positive effect of antioxidants on immune system — Immunopathologia Persa
- How do antioxidants support the immune system? — Sharecare, Inc.