Are you ready to make this delcious Immune boosting smoothie? And learn all about immune-boosting elderberries? I am super excited about this post! I have loved using elderberries in my home for the past eight years to keep our immune systems healthy when I know there are colds, flu, and viruses going around. It has worked well for my family, and I hope it becomes a new staple in yours too.
Where do elderberries come from?
Elderberries are from a Sambucus tree, which is a flowering plant belonging to the Adoxaceae family. The most common type of elderberry is from the Sambucus nigra tree, also known as the European elderberry or black elder. This is what is commonly used in most herbal formulas to help support the immune system. Our neighbours actually have a few of these gorgeous trees and we have been fortunate enough to make our own elderberry syrup. Here is the recipe for my elderberry syrup.
How do elderberries support your immune system?
Elderberry is currently one of the most-used medicinal plants worldwide. Crazy right?! There needs to be more studies done on this fantastic berry to reflect its many benefits for your immune health.
One of the possible reasons it supports our immune system is due to elderberries’ high levels of flavonoids called anthocyanins. Giving the elderberries their bluish-purple colour.
The flavonoids in elderberries have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants in recent clinical trials have found to improve specific immune responses significantly. (1) Also, there is evidence to show that supplementation with antioxidant vitamins can also protect immune responses in individuals exposed to specific environmental sources of free radicals. (2)
There were a few studies done on elderberry:
- There was a randomized study done on participants with influenza A and B and it showed to reduce the symptoms of the flu by a 4-day average (3).
- A study of 312 air travellers taking elderberry extract three times per day found that it could help reduce illness while travelling. It also helped a shorter duration of illness and less severe symptoms in those participants who got sick vs the ones
receivingthe placebo. (4).
Favourite Elderberry Supplement
MegaFood just developed a gummy with elderberry magic called MegaFood Elderberry Immune Support. They contain organic elderberry, zinc, farm-fresh organic wild blueberry, and organic ginger. My husband even likes them, and he is picky, lol. My girls also love these little gummies. They are free from GMO’s, high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin, artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives of any kind, making these gummies a great way to get that immune support in your belly.
Immune Boosting Smoothie Recipe!
This smoothie was delicious! I had to remake it twice because everyone kept drinking it before I could take pictures. I added lots of berries in the recipe to boost the antioxidant levels. The freshly squeezed grapefruit juice adds that extra boost of Vitamin C for your immune system. I wouldn’t substitute with store-bought juice because it is pasteurized. (The beneficial enzymes are dead).
The elderberry juice is at your local health food store. The brand I bought was from Biotta. Elderberries are very bitter, so a sweetener is needed to combat the tartness. The brand I purchased is sweetened with agave. If you find an elderberry juice that isn’t sweetened, you are going to need to add a sweetener to the smoothie recipe.
Elderberries have to, be cooked to be safe for consumption. So read up on Elderberries before you go picking them and making your juice at home. I did a post on this here.
If you make this recipe with frozen berries, it makes a great smoothie bowl too! You can top with your favourite fruit and toppings.
Serves 16 oz smoothie
Yields 16 oz smoothie
A delicious way to boost your immune system with this very berry elderberry smoothie. You can use fresh or frozen berries.
5 minTotal Time
- 1/2 cup elderberry Juice (can find this in your local health food store)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large grapefruit
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup frozen mangoes
- If you don't have frozen berries fresh is great too.
- Squeeze juice out of grapefruit into blender.
- Then add in water, elderberry juice, blueberries, raspberries, and mangoes.
- Blend until smooth.