NZ blackcurrant's 'superfood' reputation boosted by new research

Researchers said  the findings were significant.
Researchers said the findings were significant. Photo credit: Getty

There's more good news for New Zealand blackcurrant growers, with further research confirming the health benefits of the fruit.

Scientists at Plant & Food Research have found that juice from New Zealand blackcurrants consumed prior to exercising could increase motivation to adhere to exercise.

The study backs up findings of earlier research, and looked at the effects of consuming polyphenolic-rich New Zealand blackcurrant juice one hour prior to exercising.

It found that participants who consumed the New Zealand blackcurrant juice had a significantly lower perception of exercise exertion at time-points over the first 60 minutes than the control group.

Published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the study tested 40 sedentary adults, who walked for up to two hours at a moderate pace designed not to induce physical fatigue.

Blackcurrants have a growing reputation as a superfood.
Blackcurrants have a growing reputation as a superfood. Photo credit: Getty

Researchers said given the association between exercise and the prevention of chronic health issues and maintenance of cognitive function, the findings were significant. 

"The current recommendation for adults is for thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day. However, 50 percent of adults fail to achieve these guidelines," they said.

They said foods or dietary supplements that specifically support the desire to exercise could benefit people wanting to adhere to an exercise program and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

The latest study follows research last year by scientists at Plant & Food Research New Zealand, in collaboration with Northumbria University (UK), It showed that consumption of a juice made from the blackcurrants could produce a short-term effect on physiological processes associated with a positive mood. 

Blackcurrants have been grown commercially in New Zealand for over 40 years, predominantly in Nelson and Canterbury.