HuffingtonPost: Antioxidant-Rich Elderberry Can Help with Weight Loss
By Carl Thompson
Effective, safe weight loss is about more than dieting. It’s about maintaining a healthy lifestyle: good nutrition and often, regular exercise. But sometimes the ability to stay active can be hampered by injuries or fatigue — and one of the main causes of such discomforts is inflammation. Luckily, elderberry can help: the fruit is among the top sources for antioxidants, which play a proven role in reducing inflammation. A dose of elderberry may help keep you on your feet and on track with your fitness and weight loss goals.
This natural substance is anything but a recent fad: the healing qualities of European black elderberry, (Sambucus nigra), have been known for thousands of years. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates called it his “medicine chest.” In the Northern Europe of the middle ages, it was considered the staple of countless salves, balms, extracts and elixirs; a curative so vital that an entire book, Anatomy of the Elder, was devoted to its use — and has recently been reissued for modern readers.
Reducing inflammation, improving circulation
The most notable use of elderberry today has been as an ally against colds and flu: a host of studies have proven the fruit’s antiviral and antibacterial properties. But recent research also points to its ability to reduce inflammation, a beneficial effect primarily due to the presence of the natural pigments, called anthocyanins, that give the elderberry its dark color.
These natural antioxidants are highly effective at destroying the free oxygen radicals increasingly created during exercise. The oxidation that results from free radicals can cause tissue and DNA damage, and has also been linked to the development of degenerative diseases such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
A 2013 study, conducted by a team of German researchers and published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that elderberry was among a range of plant extracts that significantly reduced inflammation. Researchers worked with a group of obese women on a program of exercise over the course of eight weeks. The study tracked how these women’s bodies dealt with circulatory issues and inflammation. One group of women was given a placebo, and the other capsules made from plant-derived antioxidants, such as elderberry extract. Those given antioxidant capsules had markedly less inflammation and oxidative stress. They also showed significant improvement in microcirculation to the skin……..
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