Red currants are a type of berry and are available frozen year-round and fresh during the summer months and near Christmas. They are tart, and most people don't eat them plain, but use them to prepare jelly, wine, sauces or garnishes. Whatever you decide to do with red currants, eating them as part of a well-balanced diet offers health benefits.
Low in Fat and Calories
If you take care to keep your daily fat and calorie intake within the recommended amount, you are better able to control your weight, and your risk of many health problems decreases. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this means getting 78 g of fat or less per day. A cup of red currants contains only 63 calories and less than 1 g of fat.
With nearly 5 g of fiber per cup, red currants are a healthy food that helps you reach your daily totals, which is 21 g to 25 g for women and 30 g to 38 g for men. Fiber is a nutrient that helps to regulate your digestion and bowel function as well as treating constipation and other digestive problems. Getting enough fiber in your daily diet is also associated with keeping cholesterol levels healthy, reducing your risk of heart disease. Another perk to fulfilling the fiber requirements is appetite control. Fiber contains no calories and is digested slowly, which means that adding some red currants to your meal plan could help you feel full longer.
Potassium is needed to regulate blood pressure, which is an important way to keep your heart healthy. It is also necessary for muscle and bone contraction and aids in digestion. A cup of red currants contains 308 mg of the recommended 2,000 mg of potassium you should get each day. A deficiency could result in muscle cramps, weakness and an irregular heartbeat.
A cup of red currants contains about 46 mg of vitamin C. The daily intake recommendations for vitamin C are 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. Adequate vitamin C intake protects your immunity and produces collagen, which keeps your skin healthy and aids in wound healing. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, or a plant compound that fights free radical damage. Exposure to free radicals occurs due to toxins in the environment, such as cigarette smoke or industrial pollution, and could result in the development of cancer and heart disease.
Magnesium is important for your body because it protects the health of your bones, plays a role in heart function and is involved with your nerves and muscles. It also helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure as well as protecting your immunity. A cup of red currants contains 15 mg of magnesium. Aim to get 310 to 420 mg of this nutrient each day.