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Black currants are very rich in many phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals
In particular, black currants are renowned for their high content in Vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), GLA (Gamma-Linoleic Acid, a very rare Omega-6 essential fatty acid) and potassium. They have been shown to have twice the potassium of bananas, four times the vitamin C of oranges, and twice the antioxidants of blueberries.
Black currants contain anthocyanins, which are compounds naturally found in berries. They are very potent antioxidants and are responsible for the color of blackcurrants. Around 300 different types of anthocyanins have been discovered.
Anthocyanins inhibit the enzymes Cyclo-oxygenase 1 and 2, and reduce inflammation and the effects of arthritis in the body. The effect is similar to aspirin or ibuprofen, so many middle-aged and old people are choosing the healthier blackcurrant juice over these drugs.
Anthocyanins have been found to be heat and light sensitive, so the processing of blackcurrants is controlled very carefully to ensure they keep their nutritional properties
The fruit juice of black currant contains proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and a polysaccharide-rich substance, cassis polysaccharide (CAPS), and has macrophage-stimulating activity. Its interleukin (IL)-1beta-inducing activity is very high, compared with other fruit juices. CAPS was found to consist of mannose, galactose, xylose, rhamnose, xylose, arabinose, and glucose. This substance has been proven to be very toxic against tumor cells, so studies are being performed to determine the anti-cancer properties of black currants
In addition, black currant seed oil contains 47% linoleic (18:2n6),14% alpha-linolenic (18:3n3), 12% gamma-linolenic (18:3n6), and 2.7% stearidonic (18:4n3) acids. Of these, gamma-linoleic is rarely found in any other natural resource, and both alpha and gamma-linoleic are essential fatty acids, which means our body cannot produce them on its own.
Overall, black currants have been proven to have health benefits including:
- Anti-Inflammatory Action
- Powerful Anti-oxidant Action
- Maybe help prevent cancer
- Reduces the effects of arthritis