Food
JM | Dec 4, 2020

Enjoy blackcurrant goodness for the holidays

/ Our Today

administrator
Reading Time: 3 minutes
The berries of the blackcurrant plant. (Photo: Contributed)

Cool refreshing blackcurrant drinks! Their tangy, delicious blackcurrant flavour quenches your thirst on a hot summer’s day.

Many individuals love the drinks they call Ribena (after arguably the most famous brand of blackcurrant drink) because it they are filled with vitamins and minerals necessary to boost the immune system.

In addition to vitamin C, blackcurrants have plenty of antioxidants and anthocyanins. These can help strengthen your immune system, soothe sore throats, and ease flu symptoms.

‘Ribena’ drink combined with sorrel at Christmas is a great combination and mixed with any fruit wine makes a great accompaniment. Blackcurrant is very tart, or sour as we say in Jamaica, therefore, it blends well with the sorrel.

Maybe the best thing about it all is that the berries are grown right here in Jamaica. The blackcurrant plant can be found in many rural districts across the island, and many country folk drink this delicious beverage on a daily basis.

“People use the whole blackcurrant plant, from the leaves to the seeds, for many conditions. The most common form is blackcurrant seed oil, but you can also make infusions and teas out of the plant’s leaves, fresh or dried.”

Neville Austin, farmer of Waterford District in Guys Hill, St. Catherine

Neville Austin, farmer of Waterford District in Guys Hill, St. Catherine, where the berries are in abundance on his farm, was quick to share the nutritional benefits of blackcurrant drinks.

“People use the whole blackcurrant plant, from the leaves to the seeds, for many conditions. The most common form is blackcurrant seed oil, but you can also make infusions and teas out of the plant’s leaves, fresh or dried,” Austin said.

In addition, people take blackcurrant to help their blood flow, immune system, eye health, gut health, kidney health and blackcurrant extracts are shown to reduce risk factors for metabolic conditions such as type-1 and type-2 diabetes.

Grape-based drinks like wine and juice are known to help decrease plaque build-up, but blackcurrant juice, as well as pomegranate juice, is far more potent. Blackcurrant is high in potassium and GLA, which can help lower your blood pressure too. The GLA also helps cells in your heart resist damage and slows down platelet clumping in your blood vessels.

Blackcurrant drink brand Ribena can be found at your nearest supermarket in boxed or bottled form.

In addition, one study found that blackcurrant powder increased heart blood flow and decreased overall peripheral resistance. This suggests that blackcurrant may help you recover after exercise.

It’s not hard to incorporate more blackcurrants into your diet. You can find blackcurrant in the form of dried fruit, oils, pills and capsules and powder.

Ribena is also a popular drink you may be able to find in the import section of the grocery store.

The berries themselves can be tossed into any recipe that calls for a bit of tangy sweetness.

Comments

What To Read Next