October, the time of the year when people usually come down with a cold or the flu. It’s usually when the season changes, summer is gone and the cold wind from the mountains starts nipping at our immune system. We put away our shorts and T-shirts and put on a sweater. School has begun and parents want to make sure their kids are fit and healthy to start the school year, so they start giving them all sorts of vitamin supplements etc..
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Cold & Flu Prevention
But according to scientific studies, supplements sold over the counter including Vitamin C, Zinc or Echinacea are not very effective in prevention of a cold and the flu.
What really works is a good nights sleep of at least 6-8 hours a night, as much exercise as possible – ideally 4 times a week, healthy food and a positive mindset.
However you can boost your immune system with something natural, healthy, unique and very effective
That is the time of the year when Elderberries ripen. The number one antiviral herb on the planet, packed with antioxidants and flavonoids successfully deactivates viruses in our bodies. In order to keep as many antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory substances we recommend using fresh berries. Find more info about the medicinal benefits of Elderberries here
After a few minutes of picking, I ended up with 2 cups of elderberries. There are dozens of uses for Elderberries. I was tempted to put them to good use, anything from Jam, syrup to a tincture should be good. Jam it is. Jam is very versatile, rich and fruity. You can spread it on bread or serve it up alongside a cheese platter or other savory winter comfort foods. Alternatively swirled it into your morning yogurt.
How sad the world would be without the smell of jam. Georges Duhamel
Few important notes before we go into the recipe:
As for the sweet taste of jam, try to avoid using white refined sugar, because it decreases immune activity for several hours upon digestion. We have been using raw honey for this particular recipe as it has its own antibacterial properties and pulls out flavonoids and other nutrients. However feel free
to choose from other options, like stevia, maple syrup or brown rice syrup. Please find more info about suitable sweeteners here
To make a jelly-like substance, we replaced traditional pectin with chia seeds. Chia seeds have, among other abilities, the capability to transform any liquid into a jelly like substance.
To achieve the ideal consistency, we recommend cooking the fruits a little to release their juices before mixing in the chia seeds.
Chia seeds are rightfully named a superfood. They are rich in protein, fiber, manganese, phosphorus and calcium. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and omega -3 fatty acids and are responsible for reducing the risk of many adverse health conditions, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
More info about chia seeds you can find here
You can combine Elderberries with other fruits to enhance their taste and use them as natural sweeteners. Combine them with apples, pears, grapes or mango. However to achieve a deep purple color we decided to use blueberries – not only do they constitute a delicious blend when mixed with the elderberries, they are also high in antioxidants, low in calories and can help maintain brain function and improve memory.
Other natural Immunity boosters