In the United States, black currant (Ribes nigrum) has long been called the forbidden fruit. Farmers claimed the tart berries from Europe and Asia helped spread a fungus that destroyed pine trees.
Black currant has a high concentration of:
- vitamin C
- gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
- polyphenolic substances
They use these berries in many healthy foods and beverages in the UK. Their tartness also lends itself to mixing with other fruits, especially in juices and jams.
In addition, people use all the plant from the leaves to the seeds for several purposes. The most popular form is its seed oil, but you can also make fresh or dried infusions and teas from the leaves of the plant.
However, people take black currant to help their blood flow, immune system, eye health, gut health, and kidney health. The extracts have shown to reduce the risk factors for metabolic disorders such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Can Boost Immune System
Black currants have plenty of antioxidants and anthocyanins, besides vitamin C. These can help enhance your immune system, soothe the sore throats, and ease the symptoms of flu.
Black currant leaves also have a variety of qualities, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antitoxic, and antiseptic, properties. One study showed that black currant supplements enhanced immune response in people who were exercising regularly.
The supplements also helped them to train longer and harder. Another study in healthy older adults showed that the black currant seed oil boosted their immune system.
Black currants contain many vitamins, such as
The most notable is vitamin C. In fact, black currant vitamin C amount is 4 times higher than oranges, and the antioxidants in black currant is twice as in blueberries. The body uses vitamin C to metabolize protein and form collagen, which is vital for skin care and anti-aging.
Can Decrease Inflammation
Black currants have a direct effect on the inflammatory response in your body. Its seed oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid said to help relieve body inflammation.
The high content of GLA and anthocyanin may help to lower joint or muscle pain, stiffness, soreness, and damage. GLA supplements have been so effective in some studies that participants with rheumatoid arthritis might reduce their usual pain medication.
Can Improve Skin Health
Although there is not much scientific research on its seed oil and its efficacy for skin conditions. However, the National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that the oil help ease symptoms of psoriasis. Black currant seed oil, taken orally, can help slow the growth and development of patches of psoriasis. You can directly apply it to dry, itchy or stingy skin.
Can Improve Heart Health
We understand it that grape-based beverages such as wine and juice help to decrease plaque accumulation, but its juice and pomegranate juice are even more potent. Black currant is high in potassium and GLA, which can also help to lower blood pressure.
The GLA also helps the cells in your heart withstand damage and slows the clumping of platelets in your blood vessels. Furthermore, one study found that black currant powder increased heart blood flow and decreased the peripheral resistance.
Can Improve Eye Health
Study shows that gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid (LA) may be promising for dry eye treatment. Thankfully, blackcurrant contain both. Studies have found that black currant may improve these eye functions such as visual field deterioration, visual fatigue, ability to adapt to the dark, and blood flow to the eyes.
People who do computer work every day will enjoy supplements made from black currant. One research showed that two hours later, 1 tablespoon of black currant berries decreased visual exhaustion.
How to Eat Black Currant?
It is easy to integrate black currants into your diet. You can find the blackcurrant in the form of dried fruit, oils, pills, capsules, and powder. In addition, you can throw the berries themselves into any recipe requiring a little of tangy sweetness.
- four 250 milligram capsules per day
- 10 milliliters of fruit syrup per day
- one glass of fruit juice per day
- 1-2 teaspoons of leaves, three to four times a day
You should also try adding the berries in your yogurt or salad.
Black currant berries and seed oil at recommended dosages are healthy. However, it has been reported that the supplements cause certain side effects, such as soft stools, moderate diarrhea and intestinal gas.
Since it can delay blood clotting, people with bleeding problems or those about to have surgery should not use its supplements.
While it may provide certain nutritional benefits, but there is a lack of medical evidence to support the use of black currant extract as a regular treatment for any health problem. If you are considering using it, make sure first that you speak to your doctor. Before taking any supplements, including black currant, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should talk with their doctor.
Nutritional supplements for dry eye syndrome. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2011.