With Christmas just around the corner, January is also on the horizon. As we head into the new year the weather tends to worsen, resulting in colder temperatures and higher chances or rain or snow. This can leave you at risk of catching colds or other bugs that are going around.

Heading into worse weather and colder climes means that your immune system is going to be under attack from any number of possible illnesses. While the odd sniffle may not seem so bad, each illness weakens your immune system even more, meaning you could end up suffering from the full-blown flu in no time at all.

Rather than worrying about the possibility of getting ill, take precautions to strengthen your immune system in order to avoid any illnesses altogether. There are a number of ways you can do this but one effective immune booster is the elderberry.

Elderberries come from the same family as blackcurrants and are fast becoming recognised for their multiple health benefits. They contain high levels of vitamin C, flavonoids, beta carotene, fruit acids and antioxidant polyphenols, which help to keep your body and happy. Research has also suggested that the human body absorbs these beneficial nutrients much better from the elderberry than from other types of fruit.

It is thought that elderberries help boost the immune system through their high concentration of anthocyanins. These nutrients are thought to boost the production of cytokines, which are proteins that help to regulate the response of the immune system. Producing more of these proteins can help make your immune system stronger and ensure that it attacks any illness at the first sign.

Elderberries are also thought to contain antiviral compounds, which can help to fight off winter illnesses, such as colds and flu. Eating the fruit regularly, or taking an elderberry extract syrup daily, might help you improve your immune system and lessen your chances of falling ill this winter. 

Including elderberries into your diet, such as in morning fruit smoothies, can help to keep you happy and healthy and ensure you dodge any germs that could have you laid up feeling under the weather.