Health Benefits of Black Currants – All berries are considered to be super foods as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. From strawberries and raspberries to blueberries, cranberries, and black currants, they’re all great for your health. Black currants and blueberries, in particular, stand out for their immunity boosting power.
Black currants have long been known for their health benefits. They originated in northern Europe and Asia, and have been around for nearly 500 years. They were used by early Europeans to treat a number of illnesses. Black currants have a characteristic aroma and even the leaves give off this scent when rubbed. The fruits are astringent and suitable for cooking.
Black currants are not as well known in the US as they are in Europe, mainly because of the ban imposed on currant farming in the 1900s as the white blister rust – vectored by black currants – threatened the US logging industry. In the 1960s the federal ban was shifted to state jurisdiction; still, black currants are not grown widely in the US. You will find some farms in New York and California that grow these fruits.
Black Currants – Health and Nutrition
Black currants are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium as well as iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Studies conducted by the Scottish Crop Research Institute have shown that black currants contain more antioxidants and vitamins and minerals than any other fruit, including blueberries and pomegranates.
Black currants contain the antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Research has shown the direct effects of black currants on health and well-being.
Black currants help improve iron absorption, boost metabolism, and enhance liver function, regulate blood sugar levels . Research has shown black currants are beneficial in protecting against aheart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease (Tufts University Study 2006), diabetes and high blood pressure.
Not just the fruits, but black currant seeds also provide several health benefits. The seeds contain high levels of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which is believed to reduce inflammation and morning stiffness of arthritis, lupus, and other inflammatory diseases. GLA has also been shown to prevent blood clotting and may thus protect against heart attacks and strokes, apart from promoting quick healing of wounds.
GLA also inhibits blood clotting and thus may protect against heart attacks and strokes. The leaves and berries also contain substances that have antifungal and antibacterial properties and are effective in treating diarrhea cause by E. coli.
Since black currants have an astringent and strong taste, not everyone might enjoy eating them as they are.
- Black currants are best when processed and cooked, such as in jams, jellies, sauces, wines and juices.
- Black currants can also be dried and added to baked goods.
- Black currant cordials are also a great way to use the fruits. Add the cordial to drinks or cooking.
100 Ways to Boost Your Imnnune System – Theresa Cheung