Rosie’s Diary: Part 4
Now my harvest is complete, I almost have time to start thinking about what I’ll be doing with this year’s blackcurrants aside from using them as a fantastic way to help stay fit and well!
Blackcurrants are one of the best immune-system boosting fruits out there, so when keeping healthy is key, there really is no better option for a snack. Many people are surprised to discover that weight for weight, blackcurrants contain four times more vitamin C than oranges and twice as many antioxidants than blueberries. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient – and as it cannot be made by the human body we must ensure we eat foods which contain it, preferably every day.
I like to get my daily dose of vitamin C in the morning, so you’ll mostly find a blackcurrant breakfast on the menu at Gorgate Farm! With the recent hot weather, I’ve been starting my day with a supercharged blackcurrant smoothie (extra ice of course) but I’m also quite partial to a delicious breakfast bowl brimming with nature’s bounty; the combination of fresh blackcurrants, extra fruit, grains, seeds and nuts are a perfect way to fuel up for the day ahead. In the winter, I enjoy blackcurrants from my freezer, I defrost them at night and come morning they’re great for swirling through warm porridge oats.
They may be small, but blackcurrants are one of the richest sources of not only Vitamin C and antioxidants, but also anthocyanins – known to help protect against ill-health, especially cancer and heart disease. And if you’re prone to finding yourself a victim of the afternoon slump, try swapping a caffeinated drink with fruity blackcurrant tea. Rich in antioxidants, research has shown that blackcurrant extract can boost energy, helping you stay more alert and reducing mental fatigue.
Although Bumper can’t join me in savoring these nutritious and delicious beauties, he certainly knows his crop! Here are his top 5 juicy healthy facts about blackcurrants:
- Blackcurrants contain high amounts of vitamin A, which helps with eye function.
- High calcium levels in blackcurrants help strengthen bones and teeth.
- Blackcurrants help to increase the levels of good bacteria, Bifidobacterium, in the gut.
- The Omega 3 found in blackcurrants has been shown to decrease bad cholesterol in the blood and increase good cholesterol.
- Studies show that blackcurrants lowered lactic acid accumulation in athletes without affecting their performance.
Blackcurrants really are an incredible health supplement and I feel extremely privileged to have grown my own supply. Amongst all the nutrient rich recipes, you can never beat a handful of fresh berries straight from the bush! And, never forget to keep plenty spare for gorgeous blackcurrant bakes, and of course, blackcurrant gin!
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