Flu Fighters

The healing power of elderberries


If you’re looking to naturally protect your family from the flu, elderberry may become your new line of defense. Studies indicate that this superfood can stimulate the immune system and provide antiviral and antibacterial effects. High in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, elderberry may help lessen cold and flu symptoms, according to licensed dietitian Betsy Opyt of Healthy Concepts Consulting in Naples.

Elderberries aren’t easy to find and can be toxic if prepared incorrectly. Fortunately, elderberry supplements in the form of capsules, syrup, and powder are readily available. One company, New Chapter, even has elderberry gummies specially formulated for kids, delivering the benefits of elderberries with fruit as the only sweetener. Opyt suggests adding elderberry powder to chia pudding, sprinkling it on yogurt or oatmeal, or using it in a smoothie. If your kids don’t finish their drink, she says, pour the leftover smoothie into popsicle molds for a healthy treat. As with any supplement, be sure to tell your doctor if you choose to take elderberry, as supplements can interact with certain medications.

Ready to give elderberry powder a try? Then put this smoothie recipe to the test. 

Double Berry Boost Smoothie


  • 1 cup unsweetened nut milk
  • 1 tbsp. nut or seed butter
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. plant protein powder
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. elderberry powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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