With a New Year right around the corner, it's time to dust off that juicer you've used twice, stock up on vitamins, join a gym, and of course only eat raw for a week or two until you crack and hoon a pizza in T-minus three seconds. More sensible surely to add healthy things to your regular routine as opposed to going full Hollywood diet, am I right? And one food you might want to add to the mix is the humble elderberry. But what are the health benefits of elderberries?
Well according to Medical News Today, these vitamin rich little berries pack a lot of punch in just one cup. The publication reports that contain:
- 870 mg of vitamin A
- 406 mg of potassium
- 52.2 mg of vitamin C
- 9 mg of folate
- 55 mg of calcium
- 2.32 mg of iron
Add to this that they are a pretty damn good source of fibre, and really what more could you want? Well, a 2004 study by the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School of 60 people found that the humble elderberry can help treat the flu, reducing recovery time in patients by around four days. According to the American Nutrition Association it can also improve acne, when used in face wash form, and y'all most importantly it contains that vitamin A which the AMA states is good for fighting impending wrinkles. Wahey what's not to love?! Of course more extensive studies need to be done in order to prove they do all these things but I am totally here for it.
OK, but what even is an elderberry. I am here waxing lyrical and then I just realised, I have no actual idea what it is. Elderberries are the fruit of the Sambucus tree. The tree is also famed for its flowers, erm hello elderflower everything. Delicious. As British as Mary Berry reading an Enid Blighton book while singing Jersusalem, elderflower is a bit of a nation's favourite. I mean who doesn't love a bit of elderflower cordial, or a naughtier home-brewed elderflower champagne? Yummy.
Elderberries themselves also have lots of delicious uses, like elderberry crumbles, pies, sloe gin-style liqueurs, jams/chutneys, and delicious cordials.
OK, I am hooked already, where do I buy these yummy little treats? Well, guys, fresh elderberries aren't grown commercially, meaning it can be tricky to get hold of them fresh. However, they grow wild meaning they are an absolute forager's delight. Live your off-the-grid best life by going out and gathering them between August and October, before making them into lots of delicious preserves, freezing them ready to chuck into a smoothie, or just flipping munching them all raw. But do take special care to pick them from a tree and not accidentally pick up animal droppings in your quest for the good life. Also make sure you wash them thoroughly.
You can also buy them dried if you absolutely must and also they are available in many different forms including preserves, supplements, and even a "superjuice" in your nearest supermarket. Hell yes, please and thank you.
As with all foods with great reported health benefits, it is important to remember that rights don't necessarily outdo wrongs and, in my experience, healthy foods are best for you when they are accompanied by a balanced diet.