Frozen elderberries’ recent surge in popularity can be largely attributed to the numerous scientific studies suggesting their legendary ability to fight infection may have merit. To date, hundreds of studies have investigated the chemical composition, biological activity, and health effects of frozen elderberries and elderflowers. Researchers continue to seek answers about how the biologically active constituents in elderberries actually work in our bodies. Search the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed database for “Sambucus,” and you’ll find over a thousand studies applauding the benefits of frozen elderberries.
So what do we know about how frozen elderberries work? Though that is still a matter of debate, elderberries contain a number of compounds widely believed to support health in a variety of ways. Elderberries contain high concentrations of compounds called flavonoids, which are prized for their ability to combat what’s known as “oxidative stress,” a state in which our bodies have an excess of unstable atoms called free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA, cells, and proteins, leading to health consequences that include the development of cancer, neurological diseases, and inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
All kinds of normal bodily processes produce free radicals, but things hard to avoid in the modern world, like air pollution and exposures to chemicals in the environment and food supply, can increase how many we produce, with damaging effects. Psychological stress, lack of sleep, smoking, and a diet high in processed foods and sugar have also been linked to oxidative stress.
Put simply, if we can keep our levels of free radicals in check, we may stand a better chance of avoiding many of these diseases. Enter the antioxidants, like those we find in frozen elderberries and elderflowers, which scientists believe protect us from oxidative stress by countering free radicals.
Fortunately, freezing doesn’t significantly diminish elderberries’ nutrition. In fact, elderberries are harvested for freezing when they’re at the peak of freshness, so you can enjoy them all year round.
Benefits Of Frozen Elderberries
1. Fights the Flu
While frozen elderberries may not prevent the flu, they may be an effective treatment option if you got hit with the virus. Research shows the use of frozen elderberries could shorten the duration of flu by about three to four days, along with lessening symptom severity if taken within the first 24 hours of having the flu.
2. Reduces Cold Duration
Along with being a supportive agent against the flu, frozen elderberries are well-known in their fight against the cold, particularly related to their vitamin A and C content.
3. Manages Diabetes
Frozen elderberries have been traditionally explored in their treatment of diabetes, with evidence published in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrating the presence of insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity in the proclaimed anti-diabetic plant, Sambucus nigra.
4. Promotes Mental Health
Extracts from an elder plant have been shown to act as a natural antidepressant source. Though more research is still warranted in frozen elderberries’ role in mental health.
5. Acts as A Natural Diuretic
Diuretics increase the amount of water and salt expelled from the body in the form of urine and are mostly used to treat high blood pressure. There has been some indication frozen elderberries offer diuretic properties, along with acting as a laxative in the treatment against constipation.
6. Supports Skin Health
Frozen elderberries have been shown to support skin health thanks to their anthocyanin content, or the compound that gifts berries’ vibrant color. Anthocyanins have shown to combat the internal consequences of natural aging, therefore improving the external appearance of skin tone and glow. Elderberry is also a rich source of vitamins A and C, each showing to moisture the skin and maintain its integrity.
7. Reduces Inflammation
Frozen elderberries display numerous anti-inflammatory activities, particularly related to their anthocyanin and vitamins A and C contents. Inflammation has shown to be the root of many chronic diseases, which may label elderberry as a contender against the fight against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.