Red Currant Health Benefits: A Tart Berry for Health

Updated on July 7, 2017

Red currants may be small, but they are actually tiny powerhouses of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are key to looking youthful, feeling great and keeping healthy and nourished.

Red currants are sweet yet immensily tart berries, with similar flavour to blackberries. Compared to other berries, red currants are not that popular as they are too tart to eat by themselves. However, they are not to be tossed aside, the do contain several health benefits and are rich in antioxidants, as most berries are. Their beautiful appearance and striking colour make them popular decorative pieces and garnishing items in different cuisines.

Red currants are often made into jams, as well as being used in various desserts, drinks and also in alternative medicine.

Red currants look absolutely gorgeous with their tiny round fruit handing in a bunch like grapes, and a rich red colour.
Red currants look absolutely gorgeous with their tiny round fruit handing in a bunch like grapes, and a rich red colour. | Source

Next time you buy red currants, add them to your smoothies, juices or sauces, to make the most of this beautiful red fruit.

The table below shows the various nutrients in red currants, per 100 g serving:

Red Currant Nutrition Facts

Nutrient
Health Benefits
% Daily Value
Potassium
Stabilizes blood pressure, promotes cardiovascular health
7%
Fiber
Prevents constipation
17%
Protein
Building blocks of life, important in the growth and maintenance of every cell in the body.
2%
Vitamin C
Strengthens the immune system, prevents free radical damage in body cells
68%
Vitamin B6
Necessary for new skin cell formation.
5%
Magnesium
Needed for transmission of nerve impulses, detoxification and energy production.
3%
Iron
Essential for the formation of red blood cells.
5%
Calcium
Important in the formation of strong bones and teeth
3%
Table showing nutrition per 100g of red currant berries. Data sourced from USDA.
Red currants are gorgeous and are popularly used as garnishes in food.
Red currants are gorgeous and are popularly used as garnishes in food. | Source

Quick Red Currant Facts

  • A mature red currant bush can produce up to 4 kilograms of fruit each summer.
  • Red currants are native to parts of Western Europe and Asia.
  • White currants, which come from the same red currant plant, are often sold as different fruits but they are simply albino versions of red currants!
  • 100 g of red currant contains 56 calories.
  • Red currants are fat-free and cholesterol-free.

Red Currant Health Benefits

1. Red Currants for Beautiful Skin. All berries including red currants, are packed with nutrients that are particularly beneficial for skin. Red currants in particular are rich in B vitamins and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights and even reverses free radical damage in skin cells. These vitamins also help with skin cell regeneration and promote healing from harmful UV ray damage. This makes red currants a great food to add to your skin care diet.

2. Red Currants to Boost your Blood. Red currants are rich in iron, which is popularly known to be essential for the formation of red blood cells. Red blood cells constitute 40 - 45% of the total composition of blood. Red blood cells are highly important as they carry out the work of transporting blood and other nutrients to various cells and organs in the body. Lack of iron can have many consequences, which can be avoided by taking iron rich foods, including fruits like red currants.

3. Red Currants for a Strong Immune System. Red currants are rich in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system, nourishing it to prevent the body from succumbing to viral and bacterial attacks. It prevents not only common colds, but also gives the body the ability to fight against the formation of certain kinds of cancers. Vitamin C also plays an antioxidant role in the respiratory tract, thus proving to be a source of relief for asthmatics. The vitamin C contained in red currants also contains anti-histamine properties, which prevent and reduce the effect of allergies.

Cranberries look a lot like red currants.
Cranberries look a lot like red currants.

Buying & Storage

  • Select red currants that are firm and vibrant in colour. Soft and soggy currants are probably too ripe or spoiled.
  • Once bought keep refrigerated. They will keep fresh for up to a week.
  • Red currants can also be frozen to be used when not in season. If you fear your red currants will get spoiled before usage, simply pop them in the freezer.
  • I never knew red currants would be so tart, and I simply bought them for their gorgeous red colour and cute tiny berries. I ended up using them as garnish, sneaking some into a fruit smoothie and sprinkling some with my morning greek yogurt and granola.


4. Red Currants and Constipation. Packed into these little red berries is a fairly large dose of fiber content. Fiber is an essential part of a balanced diet that promotes regular bowel movements by soaking up water in the lower digestive tract and physically cleaning and pushing out waste. It bulks up the colon and triggers bowel movements. Fiber prevents constipation, which is rampant in today's society because of junk food that is refined and virtually fiber free.

5. Red Currants are Heart-Healthy. The potassium level in red currants is a heart-healthy mineral that plays an important role in cardiovascular health. It also helps prevent hypertension and lowers blood pressure. Potassium is also great for other body organs including the kidney and is known to reduce the risk of strokes as well.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Mohammed N Siddiqui 15 months ago

        For Heart Pump Vitamin "K" is very harmfull. Is red Berry have this vitamin K and how much?

      • profile image

        Ri Chi 21 months ago

        Why is there no mention of vitamin K, nor manganese?

        These are very important nutrients in red currants.

      • TurtleDog profile image

        TurtleDog 4 years ago

        I'll have to keep an eye for these at the market. Sounds like something different, healthy and not a fruit I would have thought of buying. Voted up

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