Once a star ingredient in ice creams and shakes, black currants are now being embraced in many other foods. They are also used in place of raisins, dates and prunes in various baked goods. Tart in taste, these berries have four times more vitamin C than oranges and twice the antioxidants of blueberries.
Black currants are loaded with a high content of GLA (Gamma-Linoleic Acid) and potassium. In fact, they contain twice the amount of potassium found in bananas. They also boast of anthocyanins that are said to assist in fighting against several conditions such as cardiovascular disease, joint inflammation, eye strain, urinary infections, kidney stones and cancer. Like most other berries, these sour berries also keep you young with their stellar anti-aging properties.
Helps Fight Cancer
According to a study by researchers from Hungary, Italy and the United States of America, black currants are rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins. These are helpful in the prevention and control of various diseases by stabilizing the imbalance of oxidative and antioxidative factors in the living systems. They specifically studied the activity of the skin of black currants against liver cancer cells. The study concluded that black currant skin containing an anthocyanin-rich fraction stops the growth of liver cancer cells.1 Since berry is dried along with the skin, you can reap the benefits of dried black currants when you consume it.
Black currant extracts have also shown promising results in other types of cancers. According to a study, the anthocyanins in black currant work very well as an anticancer agent in breast cancer cells and human endometrial cancer cells.2
Loaded With Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber has proven to play a crucial role in increasing good cholesterol and reducing bad cholesterol. It is also conducive to heart health, while decreasing the risk of obesity, high blood pressure and stroke. Consuming a cup of dried black currants helps you meet approximately 40 percent of the Food and Nutrition Board’s recommended daily allowance of fiber for healthy adult men and women following a 2,000-calorie diet.
The great news is that dried black currants are abundant in both soluble and insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber keeps you at arm’s length from chronic diseases such as diabetes, insoluble fiber regulates bowel movements and may help prevent digestive disorders.
Great For Bone Health
Dried black currants are an incredibly rich source of bone-friendly minerals such as potassium, manganese and copper. Snacking on dried black currants provides you with the power to lower the risk of bone-related disorders such as joint inflammation, osteoporosis and arthritis.3
Manganese supports the production of bone tissue, while potassium is crucial for bone growth, development and maintenance. Copper, on the other hand, keeps our bones strong. Its deficiency is linked to brittle bones and greater chances of fractures, especially in seniors.
Lowers The Risk Of Diabetes
The same anthocyanins in dried black currants that help in cancer, also help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to a study published in Reviews in Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders, anthocyanins are naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds abundant in dark-colored fruits, vegetables and grains.4 Studies suggest that increased consumption of anthocyanins lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and complications related to the chronic disease, including promotion of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, improvement of insulin resistance, and lowering of cholesterol along with decreased blood sugar levels.
Hydrates Your Eyes
If you’re suffering from dry eye, you may as well give a shot at consuming some dried black currants regularly. According to a clinical trial, those who received a 300mg daily supplement of GLA (Gamma-Linoleic Acid) noticed significant improvement and experienced relief from the symptoms of dry eye.5 Black currants are abundant in this variety of omega-6 essential fatty acids.
Each cup of dried black currants offers 367mg of copper, fulfilling about 37 percent of an adult’s daily requirement. Copper is not only responsible for promoting the absorption of iron, but also helps produce collagen, the major building blocks of our connective tissues. Collagen keeps the skin, hair, bones and muscles in ship shape.
It even helps the gut! Copper also helps your body use energy efficiently and prevents free radical compounds from damaging cellular tissue and DNA. Adequate copper intake keeps osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, thyroid problems and anemia at bay. Of course, as a bonus, it helps your skin from sagging and hair from becoming brittle, leading to a forever young you.
|↑1||Bishayee, Anupam, Erzsébet Háznagy-Radnai, Thomas Mbimba, Péter Sipos, Paolo Morazzoni, Altaf S. Darvesh, Deepak Bhatia, and Judit Hohmann. “Anthocyanin-rich black currant extract suppresses the growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.” Natural product communications 5, no. 10 (2010): 1934578X1000501020.|
|↑2||Nanashima, Naoki, Kayo Horie, Toshiko Tomisawa, Mitsuru Chiba, Manabu Nakano, Toshifumi Fujita, Hayato Maeda et al. “Phytoestrogenic activity of blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) anthocyanins is mediated through estrogen receptor alpha.” Molecular nutrition & food research 59, no. 12 (2015): 2419-2431.|
|↑3||Della Pepa, Giuseppe, and Maria Luisa Brandi. “Microelements for bone boost: the last but not the least.” Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 13, no. 3 (2016): 181.|
|↑4||Guo, Honghui, and Wenhua Ling. “The update of anthocyanins on obesity and type 2 diabetes: experimental evidence and clinical perspectives.” Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders 16, no. 1 (2015): 1-13.|
|↑5||Rand, Allison L., and Penny A. Asbell. “Current opinion in ophthalmology nutritional supplements for dry eye syndrome.” Current opinion in ophthalmology 22, no. 4 (2011): 279.|