Blackcurrants contain the highest level of health boosting antioxidants which could protect from a range of illnesses -- from heart disease to cancer -- shows latest research.
Blackcurrant is a type of berry native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia. Scientists have found that the common or garden blackcurrant is more nutritious than other fruits like apples, strawberries, mangoes or bananas.
Scientists compared the properties of 20 popular fruits and analysed the findings of dozens of research papers, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.
The tests, carried out at the Scottish Crop Research Institute near Dundee in Scotland, showed that blackcurrants are the most nutritious, followed by blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and pomegranates.
The study also showed that blackcurrants are particularly rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins. Responsible for the fruit's dark colour, the compounds are said to help ward off a range of ailments including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.
"The combined beneficial composition and impact in health-related studies mean that blackcurrants can claim to be the number one super fruit," said researcher Derek Stewart.
The blackcurrant's health benefits have been apparent for some time, with herbalists using them since the Middle Ages to treat bladder stones, liver disorders and coughs.
The berry's high vitamin C content led to them being made into a cordial, which was given free to children during the Second World War.
Blackcurrants have a very sweet and sharp taste. They are made into jelly, jam, juice, ice cream, cordial and liquor.