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Elderberry: the secret ingredient we all need this winter.

Elderberry: the secret ingredient we all need this winter.
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According to WebMD: " Elderberry is the dark purple berry from the European elder tree. The berries are used to make medicine. Do not confuse elderberry with American Elder, Elderflower, or Dwarf Elder." This miracle berry has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for the cold and flu. 

Robin Foroutan, M.S., RDN, a registered dietitian specializing in integrative medicine at the Morrison Center in New York City and a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said : "What's so interesting about it is that in the years before antibiotics, elderberry was one of the most often-used medicinal remedies by herbalists, physicians and pharmacists."

If you ever saw elderberry before, you probably noticed the dark deep color which is a good indicator that the berry is full or phytonutrients - antioxidants. It is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron and potassium and some people believe it has antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Elderberry contains proteins that block viruses from entering our cells, has been found to stop viruses from replicating, and it may also increase levels of virus-fighting antibodies," said Foroutan. Meaning, if you have the flu taking elderberry might help the infection from getting worse but it also helps not getting sick in the first place - if you take the right amount.

You can use it daily for the cold and flu season to prevent getting sick or you can take it when you feel ill. There are syrups, lozenges and gummy supplements available to take. What could be even better is making elderberry tea or your own elderberry syrup at home! Simply buy the dried berries (it can be found online or in health stores) and infused with boiled water. You can also boil elderberries in a pot and drink the liquid once drained. There are so many options available, simply find which one work best for you.

Have you heard about elderberries? Have you ever tried them? 

Source: Eating Well · Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

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