There is an easily grown fruit that is more productive and has far more anthocyanins than Blueberry ‘superfoods’… so why don’t more of us grow it?
Unlike many other plant based nutrients, anthocyanins are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and animal studies have shown them accumulating in the areas of the brain associated with intelligence The Annals of Neurology reported that a diet rich in berries delayed cognitive ageing in elderly patients by 2.5 years with higher fruit consumption appearing to slow the rate of mental decline.
Blueberries are rightly identified as having high levels of fruit based anthocyanins and a small scale trial of blueberry juice consumption in a group with cognitive impairment showed an improvement in learning and memory as well as easing of symptoms of depression. However, according to the United States Department of Agriculture there is a fruit that is very productive, easily grown in the UK which well and truly beats Blueberries in the phytonutrient stakes.
Please step into the limelight… the humble British blackcurrant!
What are anthocyanins?
Anthocyanins provide red, purple and blue colours to flowers and fruit but can also be found in leaves (particularly noticeable in the autumn when the green chlorophyll pigments are lost).
Plants produce anthocyanins for many reasons including attracting pollinators and seed dispersers but research increasingly suggests they may help to protect against a range of human ailments including heart disease and cancer.
Blackcurrants are an easy to grow British native that will delight you with fruit from mid-summer. Perfect for eating fresh off the plant or using to make jams and preserves.
Blackcurrant ‘Ben Connan’
With large, sweet blackcurrants! This variety has an Award of Garden Merit from the RHS, and produces high yields for 10 years or more.