Blackcurrant is the fruit berries that grow on blackcurrant wood shrubs. It belongs to the Grossulariaceae family and is native to temperate parts of Central and Northern Europe and Northern Asia. They provide many health and beauty benefits as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, dietary fibers, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Health Benefits of Blackcurrant
Following are the major health benefits of black currants.
(1) Manages Cholesterol Level
Blackcurrant is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is good for our heart health as it reduces LDL cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol, and helps in cholesterol management.
By lowering LDL cholesterol, it reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that hardens and narrows our arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls.
It is a leading cause of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids also help with fighting depression and anxiety, maintaining ocular health, providing cognitive benefits, reducing symptoms of metabolic syndrome, fighting inflammation and autoimmune disease, and so on.
(2) Regulates High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health condition that affects millions around the world and is a leading cause of cardiovascular and other health problems.
The vasodilating properties of potassium in blackcurrant relax our blood vessels, improve blood circulation, and provide relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
As per a French study, GLA present in the blackcurrant slows down the platelets clumping in the blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart stroke.
However, eat blackcurrants in moderation as otherwise they may drop blood pressure below the healthy range and cause dizziness, fainting, nausea, trouble breathing, irregular heartbeat, dehydration, poor concentration, blurred vision, and pale skin.
If you take blood pressure medication, have a word with your doctor before including blackcurrants in your routine and ensure there’s no food-drug interference.
(3) Keeps Our Cardiovascular System Healthy
Blackcurrants are good for the heart and improve our cardiovascular health.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds in blackcurrant protect our cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
Dietary fibers in blackcurrant reduce LDL cholesterol and minimize the risk of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular problems.
Blackcurrant contains potassium, a natural vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and relieves hypertension, a prime cause of cardiovascular and other health problems.
Omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients like magnesium, iron, and B vitamins, etc, in blackcurrant also play a significant role in improving cardiovascular health.
(4) Provides Anticarcinogenic Benefits
Because of their anti-carcinogenic properties, blackcurrant reduces the risk of various cancers.
They contain vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds such as beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin, etc.
These compounds protect our cells from free radical damage and reduce the risk of many cancers such as colon cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.
Free radicals are unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from the neighboring molecules and causing oxidative damage to them.
(5) Strengthen Immune System
Blackcurrant strengthens our immune system, the defense mechanism of the body that prevents and treats infections, injuries, diseases, and wounds.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in blackcurrant protect our immune cells or white blood cells from free radical damage.
This strengthens our immune system and reduces the risk of cough, cold, fever, and flu, etc.
Vitamin C enhances the production of white blood cells and further strengthens immunity.
Because of their antimicrobial properties, blackcurrant reduces the risk of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, etc in blackcurrant also help in boosting immunity.
(6) Reduces Risk of Urinary tract Infections
Antibacterial compounds such as tannin and anthocyanin in blackcurrant hinder bacterial growth within the urinary tract and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.
The diuretic properties of blackcurrant also help in maintaining our renal health as they increase urination and encourage the efficient removal of toxins, impurities, and unwanted salts from the body.
(7) Good For Our Brain
Blackcurrants are good for the brain and improve our neurological health.
Vitamin C and other relevant antioxidant compounds in blackcurrant protect our brain cells or neurons from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, and dementia, etc.
Iron in blackcurrant enhances oxygen supply to the nerve cells and enhances their performance.
Other nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins, etc in blackcurrant improve our neurological health by providing cognitive benefits such as sharper memory, better focus, improved concentration, reduced confusion, etc.
(8) Reduces The Risk of Anemia
Blackcurrant reduces the risk of iron-induced anemia, a blood disorder caused by the deficiency of iron in the body. It causes symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pain, etc.
Iron present in the blackcurrant enhances the production of red blood cells in our body. Red blood cells carry oxygenated blood to cells and tissues of the body and nourish them.
This reduces the risk of anemia and improves general well-being. Copper in blackcurrant increases iron absorption from the gut and reduces the risk of iron deficiency.
(9) reduce Inflammation
Anti-inflammatory compounds such as vitamin C and dietary fibers in blackcurrants provide anti-inflammatory benefits. It reduces the risk of pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma, and bronchial asthma.
Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GMA) in blackcurrant ease inflammation, reduce joint pain, stiffness, and soreness of joints, etc.
It also prevents gastrointestinal and cardiovascular inflammation.
(10) Good For Eyes
Blackcurrants are good for the eyes and help in maintaining our ocular health.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds in blackcurrant protect our eyes from free radical damage and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma, etc.
Beta-carotene in blackcurrant converts to vitamin A, an essential nutrient for the eyes as it improves vision, prevents eye dryness, and reduces the risk of night blindness.
(11) Assist Energy Production
Manganese in blackcurrant assist enzymes responsible for energy production in the body.
Manganese also provides other benefits such as provide antioxidant benefits, reducing inflammation, regulating blood sugar, improving metabolism, reducing PMS symptoms, improving brain function, and so on.
(12) Provides Herbal Benefits
Blackcurrant is widely used as an herbal medicine for easing PMS and menopause symptoms. They are also used in traditional medicines for treating colds, flu, and fevers. Almost every part, be it leaves, seed oil, fruits, etc of blackcurrant is used for medicinal purposes.
(13) Excellent Source of Vitamin C
Blackcurrant has an abundance of vitamin C (200 mg per 100 grams).
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects our cells from free radical damage and reduces the risk of various cancers.
It has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain and inflammation.
Vitamin C provides many other benefits such as improving cardiovascular health, strengthening the immune system, improving neurological health, maintaining ocular health, and so on.
Vitamin C enhances the production of collagen, an amino acid that maintains skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles and other signs of premature aging.
(14) Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Blackcurrant help in managing diabetes as it has a low glycemic index of 22, and reduces the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream. This prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
Dietary fibers in blackcurrant slow down sugar absorption by the bloodstream and regulate blood sugar levels.
Despite the advantage, consume blackcurrants moderately as otherwise they may drop blood sugar below the healthy range and cause excessive hunger, excessive sweating, shakiness, dizziness, fast heartbeat, confusion, irritability or moodiness, etc.
(15) Provides Relief From Insomnia
Getting adequate sleep is important for our well-being as not getting enough sleep can cause health problems.
Blackcurrants contain magnesium, a trace mineral that relaxes our brain, calms our nervous system, and encourages quality sleep. It reduces the risk of sleep disorders such as insomnia.
(16) Good For Digestion
Blackcurrants benefit our digestive system.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds such as phytonutrients, etc in blackcurrant protect our digestive system from free radical damage and reduce the risk of stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, and intestinal cancer, etc.
Dietary fibers in blackcurrant are natural laxatives that improve bowel movement, relieve constipation and other gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
Other nutrients like magnesium, manganese and Omega-3 fatty acids, etc in blackcurrant also help in maintaining healthy digestion.
(17) Provides Anti-viral Benefits
As per a study published in the 2013 edition of “Frontiers of Microbiology”, black currant leaves extract prevents propagation of the flu virus during initial stages and reduces the risk of infection caused by influenza A virus.
(18) Beneficial For Individuals Suffering From PAD
Drinking blackcurrant juice mixed with orange juice may reduce swelling in patients suffering from Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).
(19) Provides Relief From Circulatory problems
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, moderate intake of blackcurrant juice lowers pain and inflammation in women suffering from circulatory problems linked with birth control pills.
(20) Strengthens Our Bones And Teeth
Blackcurrants make our bones and teeth stronger as they contain minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Calcium is an essential mineral for bone health as it promotes the growth and development of bones, and reduces the risk of bone disorders such as osteoporosis.
Potassium in blackcurrant improves bone density by neutralizing acid load and reducing loss of calcium from bones.
Magnesium and manganese in blackcurrant also strengthen our bones.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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