Blackcurrant – The Healthiest Fruit You’ll Ever Find

It may not be as fashionable as its more exotic relatives but the humble blackcurrant is the healthiest fruit of all. Research shows that the common or garden blackcurrant is more nutritious than other fruits, from home-grown apples and strawberries to tropical mangoes and bananas. Blackcurrants also contain the highest levels of health-boosting antioxidants natural compounds credited with the ability to stave off a range of illnesses from heart disease to cancer. Researcher Dr. Derek Stewart said that his findings, which come amid a growing appetite for exotic berries, colorful juices and other superfoods, prove the blackcurrant is the healthiest fruit of all. Dr. Stewart, who came to his conclusion after comparing the properties of 20 popular fruits, said: “The motivation for the research came from the huge publicity surrounding superfoods, coupled with lack of consumer knowledge.” “We wanted to find out which fruit came out on top.” “The combined beneficial composition and impact in health related studies mean that blackcurrants can claim to be the number one superfruit.” Fruits studied ranged from old favourites such as apples and oranges, to blueberries, pomegranates and others that have recently been feted as being especially good for health. Blackcurrants were found to be the most nutritious, followed by blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and pomegranates. The blackcurrant also comes out on top in terms of antioxidants. The next highest levels were found in raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Pomegranates took fifth place once more. The tests, carried out at the Scottish Crop Research Institute near Dundee, showed that blackcurrants are particularly rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins.

Responsible for the fruit’s dark colour, the compounds are believed to ward off a range of ailments including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Jo Hilditch, of the Blackcurrant Foundation, said the research showed that superfruits were readily available. “The current celebrity trends for exotic fruits havecatapulted the word ‘superfruit’ into the limelight, but this research shows that we don’t need to go to the ends of earth to find healthboosting fruits.” The blackcurrant’s health benefits have been apparent for some time, with herbalists using them since the Middle Ages to treat bladder stones, liver disorders and coughs. The currants’ high vitamin C content led to them being made into a cordial which was given free to children when other fruits high in the vitamin were less available during the Second World War. Blackcurrants are grown on a large scale for processing in the southeast of Ireland. These crops are used in the manufacturing of juice and jams and many are exported to the UK.

The practice of adding a dash of blackcurrant cordial to Guinness is a long-established tradition among drinkers who find the stout a little too bitter.