There is a new powerhouse antioxidant that is creating a stir around the world and it is New Zealand Blackcurrant! Combining optimal climate and growing conditions with intense natural ultra-violet sunlight, New Zealand’s South Island produces the highest quality blackcurrants in the world. Scientists have found that this unique variety of blackcurrants is rich in Antioxidants and Anthocyanins, with it's antioxidant levels being twice that of blueberries!
Below are some great supporting articles about New Zealand Blackcurrrants.
Yours in good health, live healthy!
Secret cure revealed : Which fruit is giving people longer life?
By Angela Dowden
WHETHER you pop them in smoothies, make them into a compote or serve with roast duck, blackcurrants, which are in season throughout the summer months and available frozen the rest of the year, are bursting with goodness.
When it comes to eating healthily, purples really are the new greens.
This tiny purple berry has high levels of antioxidant polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins, which have been shown to help maintain cardiovascular, brain and urinary tract health, as well as healthy vision.
Here are five reason to include them in your diet.
Blackcurrants contain four times more vitamin C than oranges and a whopping 33 times more than blueberries.
The researchers found that after consuming blackcurrants, attention and mood were improved and mental fatigue cut
Making a tasty blackcurrant compote with a little sugar or stevia sweetener doesn’t undo the benefit either as a typical 140g serving of sweetened, stewed blackcurrants contains 182mg vitamin C, which is more than twice the recommended daily amount of this vitamin that is required for a healthy immune system.
Helps cardiovascular function
Anthocyanins are the components of blackcurrants that give them a deep purple colour and are also potent antioxidants that have been linked with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
One theory is they protect the insides of arteries from damage that is an early step in the furring of arteries.
Other components called procyanidins in blackcurrants help keep blood vessels more elastic, while the berries are also a great source of potassium which helps keep blood pressure healthy.
Boosts your brain
Super-healthy anthocyanins in blackcurrants may also help to protect nerve cells and potentially keep you more mentally agile.
Scientists at the New Zealand institute Plant & Food Research, working in collaboration with Northumbria University in the UK, designed a study in which 36 adults were given either 250ml of blackcurrant juice, 250ml of blackcurrant extract or a placebo drink, before participating in a series of challenging metal performance tests.
The researchers found that after consuming either blackcurrant drink, attention and mood were improved and mental fatigue cut.
Improves the workout
There’s some evidence that blackcurrants could help with athletic performance.
Researchers at the University of Chichester looked at the effect of blackcurrant powder capsules (each equivalent to 100 blackcurrants) on performance during high intensity interval sprints.
They found that taking the supplement increased the distance that sprinters (who were not elite athletes) could cover by nearly 11 per cent and enabled them to exercise for 10 per cent longer.
Get your blackcurrant fix however you can, whether it's in a smoothie, or part of a main meal
Experts surmise blackcurrants may reduce the oxidation-related stress on the body that leads to fatigue as well as having antiinflammatory properties and helping blood flow.
Footballers, rugby players and runners could benefit.
Age-proofs the skin
Blackcurrants also top the bill as a skin-friendly fruit as anthocyanins and vitamin C create cross-links that reinforce and strengthen the collagen to firm and tighten skin.
There’s no guarantee the super berries will get rid of wrinkles but as part of a healthy diet including at least five portions of fruit and veg daily, they’ll contribute to ageproofing your body inside and out.
Researchers find eating NZ blackcurrants can improve sports performanceSource - New Zealand Road Cyclist
There is growing evidence that New Zealand blackcurrants are beneficial for cyclists and other athletes wanting to improve their training and performance, according to UK Professor Mark Willems.
Professor Willems, who is visiting New Zealand to talk to the blackcurrant industry and local researchers, has been studying the impact of eating New Zealand blackcurrants on cyclists’ performance. In one of his most recent studies, he and his team found that competitive cyclists, who had consumed blackcurrants for a week, made a significant improvement on their times over 16 kilometres.
The high number of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanin, in New Zealand blackcurrants is at the heart of the research. Anthocyanin boosts the body’s defences against free radicals, which are produced during exercise and can interfere with the normal function of muscles and cause fatigue. New Zealand blackcurrants have about 1.5 times more of this antioxidant capacity than blackcurrants from other parts of the world.
Professor Willems, who works at the University of Chichester, describes his studies as part of increased global interest in the actual benefits of eating fruit and vegetables. “We have known for a long time that fruit and vegetables are good for us but if we can understand how they work we can tailor what we eat to provide very specific benefits.”
Professor Willems says that one of his team’s most startling findings was a significant drop in lactate in blackcurrant eating cyclists, exercising at different intensities. Increased lactate levels are associated with muscle fatigue. “We were really surprised, as you would normally only get lower lactate values like that after weeks or months of training,” he says.
Another result that he found even more exciting was that fat oxidation increased during exercise, amongst the cyclists who had been eating blackcurrants. “This has some really exciting implications, not only for athletes, but for clinical use as well, ” he says.
The team also explored the potential impact of eating blackcurrants on sportspeople such as rugby and tennis players who do short bursts of anaerobic exercise. Professor Willems says the results were promising, with athletes that had eaten blackcurrants for seven days being able to perform more sprints.
The UK research has built on work done by scientists at Plant and Food Research in Palmerston North, which showed that compounds in New Zealand blackcurrants were likely to improve sports performance and recovery. Their results indicated that consuming the blackcurrants reduced muscle damage and inflammation and boosted the immune system, to aid the repair of damaged tissue.
“There is still quite a journey to travel with this research,” Professor Willems says. “We don’t know what dose is most effective for various sports or how often it should be taken by athletes to be most beneficial. We also need to explore how blackcurrants interact with other foods to see if they may be even more effective when combined with something else.”
However, his prediction is that New Zealand blackcurrants have the potential to be an important nutritional supplement for sport and exercise. Exciting news for New Zealand sportspeople and our blackcurrant industry!