Blackcurrants are small (less than ½ inch), dark purple edible berries that were found to possess antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. They contain high concentrations of anthocyanins, polyphenolic substances, vitamin C, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). These essential components contribute to blackcurrants’ powerful health effects.
Packed With Vitamins
Blackcurrants are known to be a vitamin superstar. They contain four times the amount of vitamin C as oranges and double the amount of antioxidants as blueberries. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin needed by our body to boost our immunity, lower our risk of chronic diseases, metabolize protein, and form collagen, which is essential for skincare and anti-aging.
In addition to vitamin C, blackcurrants also contain many vitamins such as vitamin A, B-5, B-6, B-1, and E (1).
The leaves and the fruit of blackcurrant contain a type of polyphenol known as anthocyanins. These anthocyanins act as natural antioxidants. Studies revealed that because of the antioxidants which had powerful anti-inflammatory properties, blackcurrant extract may possibly help reduce inflammation from smoking and exposure to toxins (2).
Easy On The Eyes
Study revealed that blackcurrants are packed with GLA and linoleic acid which may be helpful in treating dry eye (3).
Aside from this, the anthocyanins in blackcurrant have been shown to protect plant cells from photo-damage by absorbing blue-green light, thereby protecting the cells from high light stress. When we eat this fruit containing anthocyanin, we can benefit similarly. Black currants have been shown to possess up to 15 anthocyanins (4).
Clinical trials with blackcurrants found that these berries improve eye function, including:
- blood flow to the eyes
- the eyes’ ability to adapt to the dark
- symptoms of visual fatigue
- slowed progression of visual field deterioration in people with glaucoma
- Some other major benefits of blackcurrants are as follows (5):
- Inducing sleep and preventing insomnia
- Boosting mood
- Regulating hormones
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Optimizing digestive function
- Antiviral and antibacterial properties.
- Anticancer potential
- Treating cold and flu and infections
- Improving memory
- Preventing urinary tract infections (UTI)
Blackcurrant Tea Recipe
Consuming blackcurrant tea is one simple way of reaping these benefits. Here’s how to make it:
- 2 tsp blackcurrant leaves or chopped
- 1 tsp dried blackcurrant
- 2 cups water filtered
- Put 2 teaspoons of chopped blackcurrant leaves or a teaspoon of the dried fruits in a teapot.
- Add hot water to the teapot and allow it to steep for 3-4 minutes.
- Strain the tea leaves and enjoy, adding honey as necessary, for flavor.