These are very rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps to strengthen the immune system, prevent heart disease and aid the body’s struggle against infections, cancer and arthritis.

Blackcurrants retain their vitamin C content better than many other sources, even when cooked or preserved. The professor under whom I studied in Moscow used to boil dried blackcurrants in water for patients on prolonged fasts. He found the traditional lime and honey water too harsh for the fasting stomach, but blackcurrants provided vital vitamin C while keeping hunger pangs at bay.