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NZ Blackcurrants the new Superfood

New research found in the leading Journal of Functional Foods has revealed that New Zealand blackcurrants are good for the brain!

This new research conducted by the scientists at Plant & Food Research (New Zealand) in collaboration with Northumbria University (UK) suggests that this rich in antioxidant fruit has the ability to keep us mentally young and agile; a finding that could have potential impact on managing our aging population.

The humble New Zealand Blackcurrant has now been elevated to ‘Superfood’ status with compounds within the fruit proven to increase mental performance indicators, such as accuracy, attention and mood. The study also showed that juice from a specific New Zealand blackcurrant cultivar, ‘Blackadder’, also reduced the activity of a family of enzymes called monoamine oxidases, which regulate serotonin and dopamine concentrations in the brain. These chemicals are known to affect mood and cognition, and are the focus for treatments of both neurodegenerative symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and mood disorders, including stress and anxiety.

“This study is the first of its kind to look at the effects of berry consumption on the cognitive performance of healthy young adults. Our previous research has suggested that compounds found in certain berry-fruit may act like monoamine oxidase inhibitors, similar to a class of pharmaceuticals commonly used in the treatment of both mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. This research has shown that New Zealand-grown blackcurrants not only increase mental performance, but also reduce the activity of monoamine oxidases.” says Dr Arjan Scheepens (Lead scientist on the research).

Celebrating the findings is New Zealand based company Barker’s of Geraldine who has long been championing the health benefits of the New Zealand Blackcurrant! Barker’s offers a delicious and easy daily dose of blackcurrants which is a great way to keep up with your recommended dietary intake of Vitamin C.

Michael Barker takes a very pragmatic approach….”The health & wellness properties of Blackcurrants have been well understood by our grandparents and their grandparents, and they have been written up in the well known “herbals” as a cure for many ailments. Our forebears didn’t know precisely why they were so effective, but early research pointed to the proven high Vitamin C content. And then there is the proven high antioxidant activity, but recent research is suggesting there is much more to it than Vitamin C and antioxidants. We will just have to wait and see, and meanwhile I will keep drinking a glass of Blackcurrant every day!”

More Interesting Health Facts about Blackcurrants:

There is a growing body of research showing that Blackcurrants support your whole body!

– Brain Function: Enhanced cognitive performance
– Eye Function: Reducing visual fatigue and enhancing visiual performance.
– Cardiovascular Function: Improving blood circulation to peripheral muscles, reducing muscle fatigue and soreness during and post exercise.
– Within cells; Inhimbitors of oxidative stress and DNA damage, which might otherwise lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegerative diseases such as Parkinshons and Alzheimers.
– Gut Health: Promote the growth of beneficial gut microflora.
– Asthma: Reduce airway inflammation.
– Diabetes: Modify glucose response after eating.

For a delicious and easy daily dose of locally grown New Zealand Blackcurrants try Barker’s Squeezed New Zealand Blackcurrants which contains over 750 locally grown Canterbury blackcurrants or the lighter version Barker’s Lite Squeezed Blackcurrant syrup which contains natural sweetener stevia and is low calorie.

About Barker’s Blackcurrant Range:

FINALISTS in the 2015 Food Magazine Awards, the Lite Squeezed New Zealand Blackcurrant Fruit Syrup has been nominated for the Health and Wellness and Beverage Award. Barker’s only uses the juice from squeezed New Zealand blackcurrants… not concentrate. And you can taste the difference! The fruit is pressed locally and is bottled on the farm in Geraldine. New Zealand is regarded as growing the best blackcurrants in the world!

Barker’s Blackcurrant Recipe Suggestions:

– Drink it hot, when it’s cold with a Blackcurrant Hot Toddy.

– When you’re busy and on the run; try the Blackcurrant & Coconut Smoothie; two of nature’s superfoods.

– Or dress up your dinner with this Marinated Red Cabbage Salad which partners our Blackcurrant & Balsamic Glazed Pork Belly for a mid-winter family feast.

Barker’s of Geraldine Blackcurrant fruit syrups are available in the cordial aisle from COLES nationwide or shop online and discover grower stories and recipes straight from the farm.

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