THE BLACK POWER BERRY
This popular berry, with a deep purplish black colour, plump appearance and strong tart taste and is often made into sauces or jams to even out the sour taste. This article is about the black currant berry, which comes with a wealth of nutrients in a small, beautifully coloured package.
Where and how it grows
The ribes nigrum aka blackcurrant is a woody shrub grown for its zesty berries. The shrub grows in mild parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia and is widely cultivated. It produces bunches of small, glossy black fruit along the stems in the summer, which can then be harvested by hand or machine. (We don't use any pestices etc. in growing them!)
Medicinal uses now and then
Blackcurrants have been used to care for and cure many ailments, including infections, inflammation from arthritis, problems with night vision as well as other conditions. In Europe, the leaves were traditionally used for arthritis, diarrhoea, as a diuretic, to treat a sore throat and even for healing wounds and insect bites.
What's in them
These little berries are a powerhouse of infection fighting vitamin C. They contain more than 5 times the daily-recommended value (40mg/day) in a 100-gram serving. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that stop free radicals from damaging cells. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is required to ensure proper bodily function. As far as the oxygen radical absorbance capacity is concerned, blackcurrants offer one of the highest values among fruits except for the elderberries and cranberries. Compounds in the blackcurrants called anthocyanins are extremely powerful antioxidants. Flavonoids like beta-carotene in the berries help lower the risk of illness, slow the aging process and fight inflammation.
The currants also contain respectable amounts of iron, providing a good 1.3mg of iron (in 100g of berries), which is required for transporting oxygen to cells, the immune system and for fighting fatigue. The berries are also an amazing source of fibre with a whopping 7.8 grams in 100g of blackcurrants.
Also present in these wonder berries are minerals copper, calcium, magnesium and potassium, together they contribute to optimal cell, tissue and organ function in the body. What they also contain are the hugely important B vitamins; B5, vitamin B6 and vitamin B1. These are needed to break down and release energy from food, among other things.
How to use them
Due to their tart and sometimes even sour taste, they have traditionally been made into jams, purees and jellies, which set easily because of the fruit’s high pectin and acid content. They can also be eaten raw or frozen and used in savoury cooking.
A novel and convenient way to use the berries is to sprinkle them as powder onto your dishes. The powder contains a handful of berries in one teaspoon, so is an easy way to add the taste and health benefits of blackcurrants into your daily diet. The powder is 100% pure blackcurrants and nothing else added.
The berries are air dried below 40 degrees celcius which preserves the berries' nutritional values the best possible way, while it classifieds the powder as vital raw food.
WITH A CODE BLACKCURRANT AT THE CHECKOUT YOU WILL GET 15% OFF YOUR ORDER (Only valid for purchasin Blackcurrant on our online store at www.arcticpowerberries.com valid until 6/11/2016)
Please feel free to contact our nutritionist Taru Merikoski if you have any questions regarding the health benefits of the Arctic Power Berries powders or any other nutrition related matters.