Black currants, also known as ribes nigrum (Grossulariaceae), are a powerful super food. The fruit bearing shrub is native to the temperate regions of Europe, western and central Asia and the Himalayas. As I was growing up we always had a row of black currant bushes in our south western Ontario garden. My mother made black currant jelly from the berries. It was our job as children to pick them. There wasn’t a concern about us eating too many as we picked; they are pretty tart. The leaves are used to make teas.
Health benefits of black currants:
- High in anti-oxidants; required daily to replenish stores.
- High in the photochemical anthocyanins; beneficial against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases (dementia, Alzheimer’s)
- High in Vitamin C; an important free radical scavenger and infectious disease fighter.
- Good source of Vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants important for healthy eye sight, skin and mucous membranes.
- Rich in Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and Vitamin B-1 (thiamine); vitamins the body needs daily for proper function.
- Good source of iron; needed for red blood cell production.
- Good source of copper, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and potassium; minerals required daily for healthy body function.
- Used therapeutically to prevent cardiac insufficiency and for improved circulation.
- A natural diuretic.
How to get the health benefits of black currants:
- Fresh and frozen whole berries.
- Black currant tea.
- Black currant jelly or jam. (my favourite is St. Dalfour Black Currant 100% Fruit Spread from France which is sweetened with grape juice concentrate)
- Black currant wine.
- Black currant salad dressing. ( I use a small amount of the St. Dalfour black currant spread with organic olive oil and balsamic vinegar)
I consider black currants a MUST HAVE super food to keep stocked in the refrigerator. Black current tea is a MUST HAVE pantry staple.
I include many health promoting strategies and a complete list of super foods to stock your pantry and refrigerator in my book THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION. For more of my ‘how to become well’ books visit my book page at www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/books.htm.
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Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca
Source: The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants: A Practical Reference Guide to over 550 Key Herbs and Their Medicinal Uses by Andrew Chevallier
Copyright © 2013, Elisabeth Hines
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