Black Currant Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Black Currants

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Black currants are a berry derived from gooseberries that are native to South America and Great Britain, among other European countries. They are believed to have first been harvested and consumed sometime before 1600 in the Baltic Sea region of Europe, in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark.

These berries are primarily used in jams and jellies, as well as in fillings for pies and tarts. They are also sometimes used for flavoring items such as cough lozenges.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one cup (112g) of black currants.

  • Calories: 71
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 2mg
  • Carbohydrates: 17.2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 15g
  • Protein: 1.6g

Carbs in Black Currants

Black currants have a decent amount of carbohydrates, at about 17 grams per serving. This amounts to about 6 percent of your daily carb needs. They contain no fiber and are a source of natural sugar.

Fats in Black Currants

As a berry, black currants are unsurprisingly nearly fat-free, with less than 1 gram of fat per serving.

Protein in Black Currants

Black currants are also very low in protein, with less than 2 grams per serving. This isn’t surprising or alarming, however, as this fruit is typically enjoyed in a condiment such as jam for your toast, so it would likely be a small accompaniment to a meal with the main protein source.

Micronutrients in Black Currants

Black currants are known to be very high in vitamin C, which is known to boost immunity, as well as iron, which prevents anemia, which can make you feel weak, lethargic, and tired. The berries are also a good source of calcium, which supports strong and healthy bones, and phosphorus, which aids in muscle contraction. Finally, they provide a bit of potassium, which supports healthy kidney function.

Health Benefits

Research has shown that black currant seed oil could help to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. In fact, a Phytotherapy Research study showed that regularly consuming black currant seed oil regularly may help to improve total cholesterol levels and reduce levels of triglycerides, which is a type of harmful blood fat.

Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that black currant seed oil can be more effective than fish oil in decreasing levels of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol.

Finally, black currant extract is also believed to benefit eye health, specifically aiding in the treatment of glaucoma, a group of diseases that can cause damage to the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain.

Common Questions

Can black currants be eaten raw?

Since black currants are very similar in appearance to blueberries, many people wonder if they can be eaten raw. While it’s not harmful to eat these berries raw, most people will likely find them to be very tart to the taste. Adding a bit of brown sugar or cooking the berries into jams and jellies can help with this predicament.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

Black currants can be used in jams, pie and tart fillings, juices, and smoothies. They also freeze well and can be eaten dried, raw (although they're tart!), or defrosted with a bit of sugar to help bring down their tart flavor.

Allergies and Interactions

Black currants, along with numerous other foods, plants, and supplements, have been reported to potentially interfere with the prescription drug warfarin (or Coumadin). Talk to your doctor about this risk if you are taking this medication.

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Article Sources

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  • Currants, European black, raw. USDA National Nutrient Database.

  • Gopalan A, Reuben SC, Ahmed S, Darvesh AS, Hohmann J, Bishayee A. The health benefits of blackcurrants. Food Funct. 2012;3(8):795-809. DOI: 10.1039/c2fo30058c

  • Wu D, Meydani M, Leka LS, et al. Effect of dietary supplementation with black currant seed oil on the immune response of healthy elderly subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70(4):536-43. DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/70.4.536