Nutrient-rich, versatile and full of health favors, the benefits of blackcurrant may not be known worldwide, but it should be. With the emerging evidence showing that blackcurrant possesses antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties and can be useful in curbing cancer growth, improving immunity and even preventing eye disease, this sour must be a mandatory test in everyone’s list. Not only can you enjoy this tasty berry alone, but you can also make a delicious addition to everything from baked goods to glazes and more. For added convenience, you can also extract a quick blackcurrant oil capsule to get an instant megadose of its many health benefits.
Whether you’re only hearing about blackcurrants for the first time or have been a lifelong favorite in your home, these cake berries are very beneficial for your health and can be a nutritious addition to any diet.
Benefits of Blackcurrant:
1. Rich in Anthocyanins:
The dark purple pigment of blackcurrant is attributed to its high anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are plant pigments that produce a red, purple or blue hue depending on their pH. Black currants contain a good variety of different anthocyanins, and some studies show that they contain up to 15 unique types. In addition to its role as a plant pigment, anthocyanins also possess many health promoting properties. Research has shown that anthocyanins can play a role in cancer prevention, heart health, obesity and even diabetes. They also act as antioxidants, which are compounds that neutralize harmful free radicals to prevent cell damage and chronic diseases. In addition to blackcurrants, other foods rich in anthocyanins include berries, eggplants, red cabbage and grapes. Including a good amount of these foods in your diet can have a lasting impact on your health.
2. Helps Reduce Cancer Growth:
One of the most impressive benefits of blackcurrant is its powerful effect on cancer. Thanks to its high anthocyanin content, some research has found that blackcurrant extract can help slow cancer growth. In one study, blackcurrant extract was shown to help inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells. Another study conducted in Japan found that blackcurrant extract blocked the spread of breast and endometrial cancer cells. Other research has shown that blackcurrant extract can also be effective in killing stomach and esophageal cancer cells.
3. Promotes Eye Health:
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause blurred and distorted vision and can even lead to blindness. This is typically a result of damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that connects the brain with the eyes.
“Some studies show that the compounds found in black currants could help prevent glaucoma and promote the health of your eyes”.
In one study, it was shown that supplementation of glaucoma patients with blackcurrant extract decreases the levels of endothelin-1, a type of hormone thought to contribute to the development of glaucoma. Another study found that blackcurrant anthocyanins helped reduce vision loss and improve blood flow to the eyes in glaucoma patients. When used in combination with traditional treatments, blackcurrant can be effective in promoting eye health and preventing vision loss.
4. Boosts Immunity:
The benefits of blackcurrant are packed with vitamin C. In fact, only one cup of raw blackcurrants can provide triple the amount you need for the whole day. Vitamin C is well known for its immunostimulant properties. Studies show that vitamin C can shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections and protect against malaria, pneumonia and diarrheal infections, among others. A review by the Department of Public Health at the University of Helsinki in Finland included 12 studies and found that vitamin C supplements reduce the incidence of a common cold by up to 91 percent and reduce the incidence of pneumonia by 80 percent to 100 percent. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, which can help prevent tissue damage caused by harmful free radicals and may even reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. For best results, combine the benefits of blackcurrant with other foods rich in vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, to keep your immune system strong.
5. Protects Against Pathogens:
In addition to its powerful antioxidant capabilities, blackcurrant also contains antimicrobial properties that could help protect against harmful bacteria and viruses. One study showed that blackcurrant extract with a concentration of less than 1 percent could block the growth of several virus strains, including those responsible for adenovirus and influenza, by more than 50 percent. An extract with a concentration of 10 percent could prevent 95 percent of these viruses from sticking to cell surfaces. Another study showed that treating flu strains with a concentrated amount of blackcurrant extract was able to completely suppress the growth of the virus. Other research has found that blackcurrant oil may be effective against H. pylori , a type of bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, abdominal pain and nausea. Blackcurrant can also be useful in the treatment of other types of diseases caused by bacterial infections, such as whooping cough.
6. Can Prevent Herpes Outbreaks:
Herpes is a common viral infection that affects millions of people worldwide. Symptoms may vary, causing fever blisters in or around the mouth in some people and painful and itchy genital sores in others. Some studies show that the compounds found in blackcurrant can help kill the virus that causes oral and genital herpes. One study showed that blackcurrant extract prevented the herpes virus from adhering to the cells and prevented the spread of the virus. Along with traditional treatments and other natural remedies such as L-lysine and zinc, blackcurrant can be a useful addition to the diet to help prevent outbreaks of herpes.
Blackcurrant Nutrition Facts:
Known by its scientific name Ribes nigrum, blackcurrant (also sometimes called blackcurrant) belongs to the family of gooseberries. This small shrub is native to certain parts of northern and central Europe, as well as Siberia and thrives in the cold temperatures found in these regions. The blackcurrant bush can produce up to 10 pounds each year of dark purple edible berries that have a sour taste and can be eaten raw or used to make tasty jams, jellies and juices. Black currants are nutrient-rich foods, which means they are low in calories but contain many important nutrients. They are particularly rich in vitamin C and can meet and exceed your daily needs in a single serving.
One cup (112 grams) of raw European blackcurrants contains approximately:
- 5 calories
- 2 grams of carbohydrates
- 6 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fat
- 203 milligrams of vitamin C (338 percent DV)
- 3 milligrams of manganese (14 percent DV)
- 7 milligrams of iron (10 percent DV)
- 361 milligrams of potassium (10 percent DV)
- 26.9 milligrams of magnesium (7 percent DV)
- 66.1 milligrams phosphorus (7 percent DV)
- 1.1 milligrams of vitamin E (6 percent DV)
- 61.6 milligrams of calcium (6 percent DV)
- 258 IU of vitamin A (5 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams of copper (5 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram of thiamine (4 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams of vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligram pantothenic acid (4 percent DV)
Benefits of Blackcurrant
How to Use the Benefits of Blackcurrant?
Black currants may be available at some grocery stores, as well as online. Blackcurrant berries have an intense acidic taste and can be enjoyed raw or used to cook sweet and savory dishes. Because of their sour taste, many prefer to sweeten them a little if they are eaten raw with a natural sweetener. They can also be made in blackcurrant tea or can be used to add a unique flavor to juices, jams, sauces, smoothies and baked goods.
Here are Some Easy Blackcurrant Recipes That You Can Try:
- Blackcurrant and lavender cake
- Pork chops with blackcurrant sauce
- Black Currant Chia nourishes the shake
- Blackcurrant Jam
To squeeze a quick and concentrated dose of all the beneficial nutrients found in blackcurrants, you can also try blackcurrant oil. Frequently found in capsule form, blackcurrant oil is a good source of gamma-linolenic acid, a type of omega-6 essential fatty acid, and is taken to promote healthy skin and hair. Look for a capsule that contains at least 45 milligrams of GLA with minimal added ingredients, and take 500 milligrams twice a day.
Possible Side Effects / Caution:
Although rare, blackcurrant can cause an allergic reaction in some people, especially those who have a sensitivity to salicylate, a compound that occurs naturally in some plants. If you experience symptoms such as rashes, hives or swelling after eating blackcurrant, you should discontinue use immediately. Blackcurrant seed oil can also cause side effects for some people, including gas, headaches and diarrhea. Those who take phenothiazines, a type of antipsychotic medication, should not take black currants, as they may increase the risk of seizures. In addition, blackcurrant can delay blood clotting. If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking a blood clotting medication, such as warfarin, you should consult your doctor before taking blackcurrant. You should also not take black currants before surgery, as they may increase the risk of bleeding.
Final Thoughts on Blackcurrant:
- Black currants are low in calories but high in many nutrients, especially vitamin C.
- They have strong antioxidant; antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help prevent infections and diseases and promote many aspects of health.
- It has also been shown to prevent eye disease, reduce cancer growth and even block outbreaks of herpes.
- You can enjoy these sweet and sour berries on your own, use them in the kitchen or try blackcurrant oil to get an easy way to take advantage of the nutritional benefits of blackcurrant.