On a quest for Winter Wellness?
Nutritionist Sheena Hendon talks blackcurrants:When it comes to fighting off an attack of the winter baddies such as colds and flus, you can call upon blackcurrants – a Superhero of Superfoods, to come to the rescue. These juicy little fruits really do wear the cape, mask and tights – not only are they packed with flavour but research tells us that they may also have amazing nutritional and therapeutic benefits to support a healthy immune system and to beat the winter blues.
There is lots of recent scientific research that indicate positive effects of blackcurrants on both the mind and body – from inhibiting the flu virus and reducing inflammation to enhancing gut health, lifting moods and improving cognitive function. All crucial for winter wellness for the whole family.
So what are some of the health benefits of Super blackcurrants?Firstly, blackcurrants are packed with a range of healthy compounds, including massive doses of the antioxidant, vitamin C – about four times more vitamin C than oranges and 16 times more than blueberries. They also contain high levels of polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins – compounds that give the berries their intense deep purple colour and may underpin many of their beneficial health properties.
A healthy gut is important for strong immunity, and whilst disease causing organisms in the gut can play havoc with your health, the addition of probiotic beneficial bacteria can inhibit the growth of these baddies and restore favourable microbial balance. The great news is that evidence suggests that blackcurrants enhance the growth of the ‘useful’ bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium, and slow the activity of toxic ones.
Lab studies also indicate that blackcurrants have properties that restrict the infection rate of common cold and flu viruses. The polyphenols in blackcurrants act by reducing the viruses’ ability to bind to the cells it is trying to infect. Watch this space, we may even see blackcurrants in household antibacterial cleaning fluids!
Getting your daily dose of goodnessAs we all know prevention is better than cure. Ensuring you and your family are as healthy and well as possible before the cold weather hits is key. That’s where a daily dose of vitamin C – which is understood to contribute to fatigue reduction, normal immune, psychological and neurological function, and to protect from free radical damage, comes in.
Barker’s Lite Squeezed NZ Blackcurrant fruit syrup contains 50% less sugar and has over 750 blackcurrants squeezed in to each 710 ml bottle, and at least 100% of the daily requirements of vitamin C per 200 ml serve.
Super powered wellness in a glassSo, what better way to beat those pesky winter bugs by trying one of these nourishing super-powered beverages. How about combining Barker’s Lite Squeezed NZ Blackcurrant fruit syrup with some of nature’s other winter wellness goodies such as oregano, thyme, garlic or turmeric. Alternatively, try the Lemon, Honey & Ginger or the Squeezed NZ Blackcurrant fruit syrup for a soothing hot winter drink. Just divine!
Article by Sheena Hendon
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