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  • 6/12/2013

Health Benefits of Black Currants

black currants

Incredibly rich in numerous health benefiting phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, black currants are indeed one of the very popular summer season berries. Currants are native to central and northern Europe and Siberia.

Currant is a small shrub belonging to the family of Grossulariaceae, of the genus; Ribes and has the scientific name: Ribes nigrum. In general, currants grow best in regions where summer is humid but winter is severe and chilling. It is a fast growing, deciduous, small shrub reaching about 5-6 ft tall.

During each season, the shrub bears pendulous chain of small berries. The fruit has size of about 1 cm in diameter, very dark purple, almost black, with a glossy skin and a persistent calyx at the apex, and containing 3-10 tiny seeds.

Berries of red, white and pink currants are translucent, sweeter in taste, but less nutritional than black varieties.

Nutritional Information and Properties

With regards to the nutritional information and properties, black currants are known to be high in antioxidants such as polyphenolics and flavonoids as well as anthocyanins. Black currants are also known to be rich in various vitamins especially vitamin C and several nutrients such as GLA and MAOI which are known to be very rare and effective against medical conditions such as depression.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

· The Health Benefits and therapeutic uses of black currants include it being used for the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases on account of the presence of vitamin C. Similarly black currants are also used to prevent cardiac insufficiency as they tend to improve the resistance of the sanguine capillaries that are known to be fragile and also minimize arterial hypertension.

· Black currants are also beneficial for those suffering from menopause as they tend to intensify the weak peripheral circulation and also eliminate the cholesterol, waste and toxins from the blood. Black currants also help women suffering from menopause by improving their blood circulation.

· Some of the other medicinal uses of black currants include it being very beneficial in the natural treatment of gout, rheumatism and arthritis.

· Many dieticians are also known to advise those suffering from dysentery and diarrhea to consume black currants on account of the astringent properties of this fruit.

· The herbal remedy prepared using the buds of the black currant plant are used in the treatment of urticaris and the fruits of the black currant are used as a natural remedy for treating skin conditions such as insect stings, dermatosis, abcess and eczemas.

· Health benefits and therapeutic uses of the black currant also make it an excellent natural cure for kidney related problems in an individual as the dried leaves of the black currant plant are known to promote flow of urine, work against the formation of bladder stones and also disinfect the urine especially when consumed on a regular basis as a cleansing tea.

· Fresh blackcurrants are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for metabolism.

· They also contain good amounts of mineral iron. 100 g currant berries provide about 20% of daily recommended levels. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome oxidase guided cellular metabolism. It is also required for red blood cell (RBC) production in the bone marrow.

· Additionally, the berries are also a very good source of other important minerals like copper, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism.

· Black currants are also known to have anti-cancer properties as they have a high proportion of vitamin C and hence are known to be effective in fighting against breast cancer and colon cancer cells.




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