The black currant is a berry that is actually closer to the gooseberry than the red currant. They can be eaten raw, but due to the tartness they are cooked in a number of sweet and savoury dishes.
- Black currants are full of nutrition. They are good source of vitamin C. This can be proved by the fact that at a point of time there was shortage of oranges in Britain. Since black currants were high in vitamin C, small children were distributed black currant syrup free of charge.
- Vitamin C helps the body to form collagen and metabolise protein. It gives relief from cold and flu symptoms. More importantly vitamin C has anti-oxidant properties that stop free radicals from damaging the cells.
- Black currants contain good amount of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese and potassium.
- When dried, currants are valuable in combating anaemia, since they contain iron, copper and manganese. They have an alkaline reaction and work as a laxative in the body. Currants are beneficial in the elimination of certain impurities.
- Insufficient manganese foods in the diet make us suffer from weakness, infertility or problems. Manganese is essential for the health of the nervous system and as a factor in the production of hormones and bone tissue. Being chronically deficient in manganese can increase the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis.
- A diet with regular intake of potassium rich dried currants may decrease the risk of osteoporosis, kidney disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
- Black currents are also rich in iron which increases the production of red blood cells. Due to its rich vitamin C black currants increase body capacity to absorb iron.
- These berries contain good amount of Omega 3 fatty acids which are beneficial to health. They have proved to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels in the blood. This improves the blood flow towards the heart and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.
- Black currant juice contains most potent anti-oxidants. It is possible due to the anthocyanin and tannins which gives black currents anti-bacterial properties.
- Early aging can be prevented by taking these anti-oxidant rich berries. Growth of bacteria leads in increase in urinary tract infections. Eating black currants cleanse the bacteria and inhibit the growth of bacteria due to its anti-bacterial properties.
- Black currants were used in the past for treating scurvy. Seed oil is anti inflammatory which prevents inflammation related fevers and help immune system work better. Black currant seed oil helps relieve from a number of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis etc.
- Potassium in black currants help lower high blood pressure and thereby help cells in your heart resist the damage.
- Black currants have significant amount of vitamin A which is required to maintain healthy skin and healthy vision.
The red currant is more flavourful than the black currant.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna