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What About Black Currants ?

Posted by Healthy Life Style Thursday, June 16, 2011

Black currant was used for centuries in Chinese folk medicine and as an ingredient in nutraceuticals, wines, juices, and jams in China and Europe.

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. Looks like they have twice the potassium of bananas, four times the vitamin C, of oranges and twice the antioxidants of blueberries. Looks good so far...

Lets see, black currant looks like a  woody, spineless, shrub with toothed-edged, maple-like leaves, that grows to what looks like 6'.  Looks like it's native to the midwestern United States, and the fruits are some of the hardiest in their resistance to cold or changing temperatures. Looks like they do not do well in hot or dry climates though.( so much for growen some here) The fall harvest brings, clusters of 4 to 6 black-red fruits ripening from the main branch.

An in vitro study found black currant extract to inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells and, to a lesser extent, colon cancer cells. An inverse relationship between vitamin C content and cancer cell proliferation was noted, so that berry extracts with high vitamin C content inhibited cancer cells to a greater extent. An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of dropsy, rheumatic pain, whooping cough, sore throats, and mouth ulcers.

Black currants contain anthocyanins, anthocyanins inhibit some enzymes and reduce inflammation say from working out or even potentially arthritis.. The effect is similar to aspirin or ibuprofen. So many middle-aged and old people would do well to choose the healthier blackcurrant juice over these drugs.

The taste of black currants is very sweet and sharp, I'm eating a bag right now (really!) texture like raisins, less plump though. The currants I am eating came from New Zealand. Their packaging states the currants are grown without the use of agricultural chemicals or pesticides. Like that!  These berries are used to make blackcurrant jellies and jams, and are added to desserts or as a part of berry desert sauces. Blackcurrants are commonly used to make, ice-cream and they can also be found in many juice combination's. Black currant is used in "Absolute" black currant Vodka, black currant brandies, cream de casis, and black currant liqueurs.   


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