Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) are lesser known berries that are native to parts of Europe and Asia. Though they were once considered “the forbidden fruit” in the United States, the health benefits of blackcurrants have helped them to make a strong comeback.
The taste of blackcurrants is often described as tart, earthy, and mildly sweet much like blackberries. Popular and tasty ways to use blackcurrants include fruit juices, jams, and jellies. They can also be used to make various desserts, beverages, and baked goods.
The main health benefits of blackcurrants can be attributed to their impressive nutrition profile and ability to increase various bodily functions.
1. Contains Vitamin C and Antioxidants
One of the most popular benefits of blackcurrants is that they are a potent source of antioxidants. In fact, blackcurrants contain a significant amount of vitamin C. One cup of raw blackcurrants packs 338% of your daily vitamin C needs, which is higher than oranges.
Vitamin C is just one of the antioxidants in blackcurrants. They also contain anthocyanins, which are known to fight against free radical damage and prevent diseases, including improved vision. When the antioxidants in blackcurrants are consumed, they protect the body and boost its defense system.
2. Encourages Heart Health
Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, the heart healthy benefits of blackcurrants make them desired by many. Blackcurrants are rich in flavonoids, which improve the function of blood vessels and reduce the risk of blood clots forming. They are also good for cholesterol since they lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol.
3. Boosts Immune System
Having a healthy immune system is important to protect against cold, flu, and viruses. One way to boost immunity is by consuming blackcurrants. Studies have shown that blackcurrants have a range of antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that enhance the immune system. During cold and flu season, drinking blackcurrant juice may be extra beneficial for immunity.
4. Promotes Healthy Digestion
Since the immune and digestive systems are linked via the microbiota-immune axis, it’s no surprise that blackcurrants are great for gut health. Preliminary research suggests that blackcurrants can be used to treat various gastrointestinal disorders. This is partly due to the anthocyanin content, which promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. Blackcurrants are also rich in fiber.
5. Increases Cognitive Performance
Several studies have confirmed the brain health benefits of blackcurrants. One study even found that drinking blackcurrant juice has favorable effects on cognitive function. Another study found that blackcurrant juice increased mental alertness, attention, and reaction time while lowering fatigue. The importance of brain health can’t be understated, and consuming blackcurrants is an easy way to boost cognition.
As you can see, there are many reasons to try blackcurrants. To reap the health benefits of blackcurrants, try getting creative in the kitchen. They add a tart flavor to many recipes.
Another way to experience the benefits of blackcurrants, which is the method used in many scientific studies, is by drinking blackcurrant fruit juices. Here at Pejrina, we make a variety of fruit drinks that make it easy to consume blackcurrants for their health benefits. We recommend the Variety Pack to new blackcurrant fans. Your body — and your tastebuds — will thank you!