Plant Magazine of Botanical-online September 2017

Natural remedies

PROPERTIES OF RED CURRANT

(Ribes rubrum)

The best pill of vitamin C

Red and white currants

Photo of red and white currants

The most prominent in the composition of currants is its huge amount of vitamin C, especially blackcurrants, which contain much more vitamin C than oranges. Its content is so high that it is needed just eating 35 or 40 currants to cover the amount that an adult needs each day.

The content of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) of this berry is what gives it its characteristic sour taster. This is what determin

es that many people reject this because they consider it a too acid fruit. Unfortunately, they are rejecting all the virtues that the intake of this vitamin has.

Eating currants usually helps us strengthen our defenses preventing infection and helping us recover from our illnesses. It well recognized the antioxidant properties of vitamin C. Because of these properties, when eating currants, we are giving our bodies a natural mechanism to eliminate the free radicals that are the cause of many diseases that cause degeneration and aging of our body.

In Wales, an experiment was conducted in 1982 with mice genetically selected to be very long-lived that seems to show the properties of this fruit against aging.. These mice were given a diet of concentrated black currant juice, while other mice in the same group were given a diet without this food. Mice that ate concentrated blackcurrant juice lived longer.

More recently, it has been shown that the intake of antioxidant foods can help prolong life. Eating these foods will keep us younger and stronger for longer. Our skin is kept fresher, our eyes healthier, the ability to heal our wounds will be increased, we will have a greater resistance to certain circulatory diseases such as hypertension, or respiratory diseases, such as asthma. Among the best antioxidants, we have vitamin C, vitamin A or certain flavonoids, such as anthocyanins. Currants contain quite a lot of all of these components.

Vitamin C is also necessary for the absorption of iron, so it is essential for people who wish to make a vegetarian diet. It has been found that the blackcurrant syrup maintained vitamin C longer, reason why its consumption is recommended.

It is highly desirable to include this natural food in a healthy diet. Those people who find this fruit too acidic always have the possibility of mixing it with other less acidic fruit to reduce its acidity. You can also eat in the form of jams or jellies although in this case, it must be remembered that they contain many more added sugars, something that must take into account by people with diabetes or those who are doing weight loss diets.

A berry with lot of vitamin A

A drawing of the plant. A detail of the flowers and the fruits

In addition to a high content of vitamin C, currants are very rich in vitamin A, in the form of carotene. Blackcurrants contain a much higher proportion than red or white ones. Carotenoids are found in the bright colors of these fruits. Once ingested, our body transforms them into vitamin A.

This vitamin is, along with vitamin C, another of the best antioxidants so its action reinforces our sight health. It has been found that deficiency of this vitamin causes general fatigue and a greater ease to get infections. Eating redcurrants is an effective way to strengthen the immune system so it is very suitable to prevent the onset of many diseases, especially respiratory diseases such as: tonsillitis, flu, cold, sore throat, etc..

It exerts its antibacterial properties that can help fight skin infections in wounds, to prevent the spread of warts or vaginal infections.

Currants revitalize our body to act on cells favoring the cellular metabolism, so that, after eating this fruit, we feel more active and strong.

People who most need a supply of vitamin C should not forget the importance of eating this fruit. For example, pregnant women, infants, smokers, people who have few defenses (cancer or AIDS patients, those whose wounds are easily infected, etc.).

A berry with vitamin B

Redcurrants contain considerable amounts of vitamin B, especially vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and vitamin B3 (Niacin). Pantothenic acid is involved in the metabolism of foods, in the formation of iron and the maintenance of nervous and immune system. It has been found that eating foods rich in this vitamin helps fight stress, lowers cholesterol, improves rheumatic diseases and helps to reduce the occurrence of migraines.

Niacin helps maintain the health of the skin, also helps maintain healthy nerves and improve circulation. Small deficiencies of niacin can manifest as nervous system disorders, such as nervousness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, and in severe cases of dementia.

Redcurrants are rich in minerals

They contain considerable amounts of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and manganese.

We know the importance of calcium in the development and maintenance of the skeletal system. Currants help young people to have a strong and well-developed skeleton and the elderly to prevent osteoporosis or bone softening. We must not forget the importance of this mineral is in the diet of pregnant or lactating. The content of this mineral in blackcurrants is higher than in redcurrants.

Potassium is required to maintain fluid balance. Sodium counteracts and prevents fluid retention or increased blood pressure. It helps relax the muscles, including the heart muscle relaxation. Involved in the body's metabolism. The lack of this mineral is manifested as tachycardia, leg cramps, diarrhea, muscle weakness, etc.

Iron is an important mineral for our body. Iron deficiency results in the absence of red blood cells which determines the occurrence of a condition known as anemia. Magnesium is involved in bone formation, it is necessary for the health of the nerves and muscles and proper heart rhythm. A lack of this mineral is mainly manifested as muscle contractions accompanied by pain, cardiac arrhythmias, body fatigue, etc..

Manganese is also involved in the formation of bones and blood, in the metabolism of fats and proteins, as well as in the development of certain enzymes.

A good preventive for intestinal tract diseases

The ability of this fruit in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, is very useful to prevent infections of the urinary tract and intestinal infections. Eating them will help prevent diseases such as cystitis, urethritis, nephritis, etc..

Blackcurrants are best suited to prevent intestinal infections.

The bacteriostatic property seems to be due to the acidic berries, such as currants, raspberries or blueberries. All of them contain substances that keep bacteria from snagging on the walls of the intestine or urinary tract. This explanation, according to the latest research, seems to be more convincing than the previous one, which suggests that it was the acidic character of these fruits is not allowed to develop these microorganisms.

Currants contain a high amount of tannins, especially when they are very ripe, which makes them suitable for the treatment of diarrhea. As they mature, tannin content and pectin content decreases . So, eating this fruit ripe can help prevent constipation.

Precautions when eating currants

In general, most people tolerate very well these berries. However, given its high content of vitamin C, which provides a great acidity, this fruit is not recommended for people with sensitive stomachs, especially those who have problems of acidity, gastritis or gastric reflux.

Currant preparations, including beverages, should be diluted not to produce tooth decay.

Some people are allergic to these fruits, so they should avoid them.

What are the best currants

There are many varieties of currants. If you want to eat sweet currants, it is better to choose the white variety than the red. Blackcurrants have a spicy aroma, though his skin is rougher. They are typically used to make jams and juices. The vitamin and mineral content of blackcurrants is superior in most cases to white or red currants.

Currants are not usually eaten alone as they are generally too acidic for most people. Ideally, they can be combined with other sweeter fruits like peaches, grapes, etc. well in salads or for making jams or compotes. It can also be eaten fresh in salads with other vegetables and fruits.

You need to buy seasonal currants. Buy the fresh ones in the market, since they can not be stored for long because they spoil. The best thing is, once purchased, to thresh and prepare them instantly.

Composition of fresh currants per 100g

Component

Red currants and whitecurrants

Blackcurrants

Water

83,95 g

81,96 g

Calories

56 Kcal

63 Kcal

Fat

0,2 g

0,41 g

Proteins

1,40 g

1,40 g

Carbohydrates

13,8 g

15,38 g

Fiber

4,3 g

---

Potassium

275 mg

322 mg

Sodium

1 mg

2 mg

phosphorus

44 mg

59 mg

Calcium

33 mg

55 mg

Magnesium

13 mg

24 mg

Iron

1,00 mg

1,54 mg

Zinc

0,23 mg

0,27 mg

Copper

0,107 mg

0,13 mg

Manganese

0,186 mg

0,256 mg

Vitamin C

41 mg

181 mg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

0,040 mg

0,050 mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

0,050 mg

0,50 mg

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

0,070 mg

0,066 mg

Vitamin A

120 IU

230 IU

Vitamin E

0,100 mg

1,00 mg

Folacin

8 mcg

....

Niacin

0, 100 mg

0,300 mg

More information about redcurrants in the listing above.

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