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6 Amazing Health Benefits of Black Currant

health benefits of black currant

The blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) or black currant is a woody shrub grown for its berries. It is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia. In the United States, blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) have long been called the forbidden fruit. Farmers claimed the tart berries, from Europe and Asia, helped spread a fungus that destroyed pine trees. Here are 6 amazing health benefits of black currant.

Blackcurrants have a high concentration of:

  • vitamin C
  • gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
  • antioxidants
  • anthocyanins
  • 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 blackcurrant seed oil, but you can also make fresh or dried infusions and teas from the leaves of the plant.

However, people take blackcurrant to help their blood flow, immune system, eye health, gut health, and kidney health. The extracts of blackcurrant have shown to reduce the risk factors for metabolic disorders such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Can Boost Immune System

Blackcurrants 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.

Blackcurrant leaves also have a variety of qualities, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antitoxic, antiseptic, and anticancer properties. One study showed that blackcurrant 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 blackcurrant seed oil boosted their immune system (2).

Contains Vitamins

Blackcurrants contain many vitamins, such as

  • A
  • B-5
  • B-6
  • B-1
  • C
  • E

The most notable is vitamin C. In fact, blackcurrant vitamin C amount is 4 times higher than oranges, and the antioxidants in blackcurrant 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

Blackcurrants have a direct effect on the inflammatory response in your body. Blackcurrant 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 blackcurrant seed oil and its efficacy for skin conditions. However, the National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that the oil help ease symptoms of psoriasis. Blackcurrant 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 (4).

Can Improve Heart Health

We understand it that grape-based beverages such as wine and juice help to decrease plaque accumulation, but blackcurrant juice and pomegranate juice are even more potent. Blackcurrant 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 blackcurrant powder increased heart blood flow and decreased the peripheral resistance (5).

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 blackcurrant may improve these eye functions such as visual field deterioration, visual fatigue, ability to adapt to the dark, and blood flow to the eyes (6).

People who do computer work every day will enjoy supplements made with blackcurrant. One research showed that two hours later, 1 tablespoon of blackcurrant berries decreased visual exhaustion.

How to Eat Black Currant

It is easy to integrate blackcurrants 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.

Dosage Recommendations

  • 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 blackcurrant berries in your yogurt or salad.

Side Effects

Blackcurrant 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 blackcurrant supplements.

The Bottom Line

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 blackcurrant, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should talk with their doctor.

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Naeem Durrani BSc
Naeem Durrani is a freelance journalist who specializes in health and wellness innovation. His interests include medical research, nutrition, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices that empower people to positively transform their lives.
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