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With fall already here and winter just around the corner, there’s one more thing that’s on its way…
Cold and flu season.
And that means it’s time to stock up your medicine cabinet with the berry that can help you not only ward off an infection but also kick one faster if you do end up sick.
So which little berry has proven flu-fighting power?
It’s all in the anthocyanins
Now, you’ll probably never see elderberries in the fruit section of your local grocery store, but these berries have been used for centuries to boost immunity and fight off viruses, like flu and the common cold.
Elderberries are even used in making jams, wine, juices and syrups.
Yet, they’re best known for their therapeutic qualities thanks to the fact that elderberries have the highest concentrations of antioxidants, including anthocyanins and flavonols, of any berry.
And those anthocyanins are what make elderberries so efficient at keeping you feeling your best, while others are falling to every virus that rolls around.
Anthocyanins are a group of deep red, purple and blue pigments that give the berries their rich colors. And along with the vitamin C you get from the berries, they work to fight the free radical damage boosting your immune system in two powerful ways:
- By shielding your immune cells so that they can shield you
- By promoting white blood cell production to fight off infection
So it’s no wonder that so many people turn to elderberries and elderberry syrup for cold and flu protection when the weather starts cooling down.
Elderberries versus cold and flu
And you don’t have to take my word for it when it comes to the power of elderberries to help keep you healthy this cold and flu season, since there’s plenty of research to back it up:
- One study found that compared to other groups a travel group that took elderberry supplements had fewer people affected by colds.
- Additional studies have shown that people who took elderberries had less severe symptoms of cold and got over their colds quicker.
- Researchers at the University of Sydney showed that applying elderberry juice to cells before, during and after infection with the flu stopped the virus from infecting the cells.
- A study by a team at The Franklin Institute of Wellness found that elderberry supplementation is highly effective at reducing the upper respiratory symptoms of both cold and flu.
In other words, elderberries and their anthocyanins provide powerful cold and flu protection.
Eat more berries
Luckily, elderberry supplements and syrups can be found online and sometimes in your local grocery store.
But if you have trouble nabbing some of the cold and flu-fighting gold, there’s more good news…
Because researchers have concluded that it is the anthocyanins in elderberries that guard against those viruses, there are other berries you can leverage that could add to your protection.
In fact, while the elderberry is considered to be the berry with the highest concentration of anthocyanins, right behind them are Aronia berries (or chokeberries), followed by blueberries.
There are also those who believe the Aronia berry offers a better make-up of vitamins and minerals the body needs to maintain optimum health and wellness.
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Research college finds that elderberry syrup has a powerful effect on cold and flu symptoms – Artemis International
5 Health Benefits of Anthocyanins – Cleveland Clinic
Can You Take Elderberry Daily? – MedicineNet