Black currants are delicious fruits, packed with several vitamins and minerals. These dark colored jewels are commonly used for jams and desserts for that perfect purplish look. But there’s a lot more to this tiny fruit.
Since they are a powerhouse of nutrients, some experts even claim black currants need to be “superfoods.” Here are their benefits.
1. Stronger Immune System
Black currants are loaded with nutrients that make your immune system tougher. In fact, just a cup of black currant contains 338% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C – a feature that is useful to fight against colds and infections. Also, the fruit has been found to be anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial. 1 These properties are needed to make an efficient immune system.
2. Healthy Heart
Black currant is very heart friendly. They have been found to reduce plaque buildup in the heart (which otherwise could lead to blocks) and lower blood pressure.2They are rich in potassium and flavonoids. Both help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues. One study revealed that consuming 6 tablespoons of black currant daily for 12 weeks had lowered blood pressure, increased good cholesterol, and reduced LDL aka “bad cholesterol.”34
3. Ease Joint Pain
Black currants are anti-inflammatory in nature. One study found out using black currant seed oil reduced the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease.5 This is because it contains 15-20% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a type of omega 6 fatty acid that reduces inflammation and pain.6
4. Sharper Vision
Are your eyes tired of looking at a computer screen all day? Eat black currant! One study found out just having a tablespoon of these dark jewels (equivalent to 50 mg anthocyanin) reduced visual fatigue in just two hours.7 Anthocyanin reduces inflammation and blood pressure.8And that’s not all. The time taken for the eyes to adapt from being in bright light to darkness had also reduced. There was also more blood circulation in integral parts of the eye.9
5. Lower Glycemic Index Value
Glycemic index value is important for those with diabetes. The higher the number, the more it raises your blood sugar level. Black currants have lower glycemic index value, which means it takes a long time for the food to break down and for the sugar to release into the bloodstream.10
6. A Good Night’s Sleep
Black currants are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps you relax and sleep. They have been found to improve the quality of sleep and can be used to treat insomnia.11
7. Good For The Brain
A recent study found out black currants helped improve cognitive function. It suggests that drinking a glass of black currant juice daily could uplift moods, increase attention span, and decrease mental fatigue. It further revealed that it could be used to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.12
8. Smoother Digestion
Anything that is rich in fiber is great for your digestion. Black currants are high in dietary fiber and can enhance a smoother digestion process. They promote healthy bacteria in the gut.13
9. Burst Of Energy
Tired and exhausted? You might want to grab a cup of black currants. These are rich in manganese, which is required to push certain enzymes to produce energy. Also, black currants are loaded with antioxidants – another cause to get you pumped with energy.
10. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Black currants are high in vitamin C. This particular vitamin can prevent free radicals in our body from destroying cells. One study revealed that black currants prevented the growth of cancer cells, thanks to anthocyanins. Another study pointed out black currant extract decreased the size of gastric and esophagus cancers.14
11. Flawless Skin
Since black currants are extremely rich in vitamin C, they are useful to keep your skin soft and young. Vitamin C helps to create collagen, a protein found in hair and skin. Collagen is required for elasticity of the skin and to produce new cells.15
You could add black currants in smoothies, or have them dried, or in desserts. Enjoy!
|↑1||Declume, C. “Anti-inflammatory evaluation op a hydroalcoholic extract op black currant leaves (Ribes nigrum).” Journal of ethnopharmacology 27, no. 1-2 (1989): 91-98|
|↑2, ↑8||Christerson, Martina. “Anthocyanins and their effects on blood pressure.” (2016)|
|↑3||Basu, Arpita, Michael Rhone, and Timothy J. Lyons. “Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health.” Nutrition reviews 68, no. 3 (2010): 168-177|
|↑4, ↑10||Castro-Acosta, Monica L., Leanne Smith, Rosalind J. Miller, Danielle I. McCarthy, Jonathan A. Farrimond, and Wendy L. Hall. “Drinks containing anthocyanin-rich blackcurrant extract decrease postprandial blood glucose, insulin and incretin concentrations.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 38 (2016): 154-161|
|↑5||Leventhal, L. J., E. G. Boyce, and R. B. Zurier. “Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with blackcurrant seed oil.” Rheumatology 33, no. 9 (1994): 847-852|
|↑6||Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA). Arthritis Foundation|
|↑7||Yagi, Akihiro, Kiyoshi Fujimoto, Kazumi Michihiro, Bevy Goh, Daniel Tsi, and Hajime Nagai. “The effect of lutein supplementation on visual fatigue: a psychophysiological analysis.” Applied ergonomics 40, no. 6 (2009): 1047-1054|
|↑9||Nakaishi, Hitoshi, Hitoshi Matsumoto, Shigeru Tominaga, and Masao Hirayama. “Effects of black currant anthocyanoside intake on dark adaptation and VDT work-induced transient refractive alteration in healthy humans.” Alternative Medicine Review 5, no. 6 (2000): 553-562|
|↑11||Abbasi, Behnood, Masud Kimiagar, Khosro Sadeghniiat, Minoo M. Shirazi, Mehdi Hedayati, and Bahram Rashidkhani. “The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: a double blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences 17, no. 12 (2012)|
|↑12||Watson, Anthony W., Crystal F. Haskell-Ramsay, David O. Kennedy, Janine M. Cooney, Tania Trower, and Arjan Scheepens. “Acute supplementation with blackcurrant extracts modulates cognitive functioning and inhibits monoamine oxidase-B in healthy young adults.” Journal of Functional Foods 17 (2015): 524-539|
|↑13, ↑14||Digestion & Fighting Cancer. Black Currant Foundation|
|↑15||Telang, Pumori Saokar. “Vitamin C in dermatology.” Indian dermatology online journal 4, no. 2 (2013): 143|