were used during World War 2 as a replacement for oranges and other fruits rich in vitamin C
(as they were difficult to source in the UK at that time). These berries are extraordinarily
rich in vitamin C and are actually far superior to navel oranges – containing
more than three times as much of this powerful antioxidant. They also contain a good
amount of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, phytonutrients, vitamin E and other
antioxidants, including anthocyanins – a type of polyphenol. Blackcurrants are a great energy
food and the seeds are rich in unsaturated fatty acids. They can also help to prevent joint
inflammation, eye strain and urinary infections.
A recent scientific study revealed that the natural chemicals and compounds found in blackcurrants may help to balance the impact that exercise can have on the body. Researchers in New Zealand also uncovered a compound, which may help to improve breathing in some types of asthma. British scientists are now investigating how blackcurrants may hold the key in helping to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Blackcurrants are full of antioxidants, including anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give blackcurrants their characteristic dark colour and fight free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and cell damage.
Some of the health benefits of blackcurrants include:
Blackcurrants are high in antioxidants, including vitamin C. Along with the anthocyanins in blackcurrants, these antioxidants can help to give your immune system a boost, allowing your body to fight infection and viruses more effectively.
Blackcurrants are rich in an omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linoleic acid. This compound can help to reduce inflammation, as well as improve symptoms of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies also showed that gamma-linoleic acid helped to lessen joint pain and stiffness for people with arthritis.
Anthocyanin-rich blackcurrants may help treat glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness. The antioxidant increases blood flow in the eyes and may help to slow the progression of glaucoma. Gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid (found in vitamin C), and other antioxidants may also help to improve dry eye and symptoms of eye fatigue.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Blackcurrants contain soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which are vital for healthy digestion. While soluble fibre slows digestion so your gut can absorb more nutrients, insoluble fibre keeps things moving through the digestive system. It also helps to prevent the build-up of toxins and reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Blackcurrants have high levels of manganese, which is an important mineral for helping to control blood sugar level. Manganese may aid in proper insulin secretion and help level out blood sugar for people with type 2 diabetes.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
The antioxidants in blackcurrants help to fight free radicals in the body. They also help to reduce cell damage that can otherwise lead to certain types of cancer. Anthocyanins in blackcurrants may even help to slow the development of existing cancer cells on the liver.
Other vitamins and minerals in the fruit include:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
- Vitamin A
Black currants also have small amounts of folate, vitamin B3 (niacin), and zinc.