6 Health Benefits of Black Currant (Ribes nigrum L)
The black currant is sometimes referred to as blackcurrant and known by its scientific name Ribes nigrum. This little shrub is indigenous to portions of northern and central Europe as well as Siberia, where it thrives in the frigid climate.
Black currants were known as “forbidden fruit” because they were prohibited from being grown and imported into various regions of the United States for more than 50 years. It was thought to be spreading a fungus that posed a hazard to the forestry sector.
Today, commercial expansion is permitted because the impacted trees have been bred to withstand these dangers.
The shrub is currently grown domestically and commercially for its nutrient-rich, sour berries.
Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum L.) are little, berry-like fruits that are indigenous to northern and central Asia and central Europe. They are now grown in climatically moderate regions of the world.
Along with other micro and macronutrients, fruits are particularly high in vitamin C, organic acids, and essential oils.
Thus, they have an acidic but sweet flavor. Additionally, they contain phenolic chemicals with antibacterial and antioxidant effects.
Blackcurrant leaves have special derivatives of quercetin. The anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antiseptic properties are also aided by these active compounds.
Its extracts are used by conventional medicine to treat a range of illnesses, including cancer. There are numerous clinical studies available now that demonstrate the beneficial effects of blackcurrants on heart, brain, and renal problems.
Medium-sized shrub Ribes nigrum can reach heights of 1.5 by 1.5 meters (5 by 5 feet). The leaves have five palmate lobes and are alternating, simple, and 3 to 5 centimeters long and wide.
The plant’s scent is powerful in every area. The blooms are produced in racemes called “strigs” that can grow up to 8 cm (3 in) long, have 10–20 flowers, and measure around 8 mm (3/8 in) in diameter each. Each flower has a five-lobed, hairy calyx with yellow glands that is longer than the unnoticeable petals.
The stigma, style, and two joined carpels are surrounded by five stamens. The strig’s base sprouts a sequence of flowers that are largely insect pollinated, while some pollen is dispersed by the wind.
When a pollen particle touches a stigma, it will germinate and travel down the style to the ovule in the form of a thin pollen tube.
This process typically takes 48 hours in warm weather, but it might take up to a week in cold weather, by which time the ovule may no longer be responsive. The fruit may not be able to develop and may fall before its time if less than 35 ovules are fertilized.
Midsummer sees the green fruit strigs turn into edible berries that are very dark purple, nearly black, with glossy skins and persistent calyxes at the tip, each of which has several seeds. Every year, a mature bush can yield roughly 4.5 kilos (10 pounds) of fruit.
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6 Health Benefits Of Black Currant (Ribes nigrum L)
Various academics are becoming interested in blackcurrants due to their many advantages. Antioxidants are abundant in these berries. Additionally, they have antispasmodic, anticancer, and anti-diabetic effects.
Additionally, according to research, these berries can improve memory and fight a variety of viral diseases. They provide a variety of advantages for the skin and eyes as well.
You may learn more about how blackcurrants can help with both acute and chronic diseases in the article that follows. Look at the research underlying the advantages as well. To learn more, scroll down.
1. Contains Anthocyanin’s
The high anthocyanin concentration of the black currant is what gives it its rich purple hue. Depending on their pH, anthocyanins, which are plant pigments, can give a red, purple, or blue tint.
Black currants have been found to contain up to 15 different types of anthocyanins, which is a good diversity.
Anthocyanins function as a plant pigment in addition to having several health-improving qualities. Anthocyanins have been linked to improvements in diabetes, obesity, and even heart health, according to research.
In order to avoid chronic disease and cell damage, they also function as antioxidants, which are substances that counteract dangerous free radicals.
Berries, eggplant, red cabbage, and grapes are some additional anthocyanin-rich foods in addition to black currants. Your health may benefit long-term if you consume a sufficient amount of these foods.
Read Also: 10 Health Benefits of Borage (Borago officinalis)
2. Reduces Cancer Growth
The possible anti-cancer properties of the black currant plant are among its most outstanding advantages. Black currant extract has been linked to some studies as having a high anthocyanin concentration, which may help inhibit the spread of cancer.
Black currant extract was successful in slowing the growth of liver cancer cells in a test-tube study carried out by Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy.
Black currant extract was demonstrated to stop the growth of breast and endometrial cancer cells in another Japanese investigation.
Following additional studies reported in the Journal of Medicinal Food, black currant extract may also be beneficial in eliminating stomach and esophageal cancer cells.
3. Boosts Immunity
Vitamin C is abundant in black currant. In fact, only one cup of raw black currants can give you treble the daily recommended amount.
The immune-strengthening and anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin C are widely documented. According to studies, vitamin C can reduce the length of time that respiratory tract illnesses last and protect against infections including malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea, among others.
In a review of 12 research conducted by the Department of Public Health at the University of Helsinki in Finland, it was discovered that vitamin C supplementation significantly reduced the incidence of pneumonia and the common cold, respectively, by up to 91 percent and 80 to 100 percent.
Additionally, vitamin C functions as an antioxidant that has been shown to protect tissues from oxidative stress brought on by dangerous free radicals. This antioxidant effect has even been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
To maintain a strong immune system, consume foods high in vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, along with black currants or black currant seed oil for optimal results.
Read Also: 4 Health Benefits of Boswellia Serrata
4. Protects Against Pathogens
Black currant has strong antioxidant effects in addition to having antibacterial qualities that may help defend against dangerous bacteria and viruses.
According to a Japanese study from 2012 that was published in Microbiology and Immunology, black currant extract at a concentration of less than 1% was able to stop the growth of many virus types, including those that cause adenovirus and influenza, by more than 50%. A 10% extract concentration was effective in preventing 95% of these viruses from adhering to cell surfaces.
Using a concentrated dose of black currant seed extract to treat influenza strains was shown to entirely suppress virus growth in a different study from the Department of Microbiology at Asahikawa Medical College in Japan.
5. Lowers High Level Cholesterol
The risk of metabolic illnesses such as liver and cardiovascular disease is increased by high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Anthocyanin-rich diets have been linked to lower levels of LDL and total cholesterol, according to research. Additionally, they raise serum levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
This is supported by research using blackcurrant extract on animals. When compared to untreated/control subjects, those who received this extract had considerably lower cholesterol levels.
6. Protects Your Brain
Black currant extract prevents lipid peroxidation in your body, much like vitamin C does. Due to its antioxidant capacity, experimental tests indicate a 65% inhibition rate. The best benefit of this activity is that it helps to safeguard your central nervous system.
Without this result, free radicals build up in your body. Free radicals have been linked to the development of neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s.
Read Also: 7 Health Benefits of Berberine (Berberine hydrochloride)
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