Scientists have found that drinking a glass of blackcurrant juice daily could make you happier, more mentally agile and even help alleviate symptoms of brain disorders such as Parkinson's.
Researchers at New Zealand science company Plant & Food Research, working in collaboration with Northumbria University in the UK tested this to impressive results.
For the study, 36 adults were given either 250ml of blackcurrant juice, 250ml of blackcurrant extract or a placebo drink, before participating in a series of challenging metal performance tests.
It was found that by consuming either of the blackcurrant drinks, “attention and mood were improved while mental fatigue was reduced”.
The juice, which came from a variety of New Zealand blackcurrant called ‘Blackadder', appeared to reduce the activity of a group of enzymes called monoamine oxidases, which regulate the brain’s levels of serotonin and dopamine – two chemicals which can affect mood and brain function.
Based on this, the scientists believe that blackcurrants could be used to help treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Crystal Haskell-Ramsay of Northumbria University described the study as exciting as it demonstrated benefits to mental performance following blackcurrant consumption, and also showed benefits to mental performance following any berry in healthy young adults.