With the festive party season in full swing, you might find yourself nursing a sore head and poorly tummy the morning after a big night out. But according to experts, munching on this 'superfruit' could spare you from a crippling Christmas hangover.
Professor Derek Stewart, of Scotland's prestigious James Hutton Institute research hub, claims blackcurrants are a secret weapon for helping you combat squiffy symptoms. This is because the berries enhance your body's ability to break down alcohol.
Dr Stewart, an expert in the health benefits of plant-derived foods, says components found in the fruit boost production of key enzymes - known as 'alcohol dehydrogenase' - and 'aldehyde dehydrogenase', which break down the booze in your body and help flush it out of your system.
'There's no such thing as a hangover "cure" - if you've overdone it, you're highly likely to feel the effects the following day,' mentions Dr Stewart
'But you can take measures to alleviate your symptoms, and certain foods are particularly good at both combating dehydration and breaking down the alcohol you've imbibed.
'One highly efficient food is the blackcurrant. It's got a good sugar and salt balance while also being rich in vitamin C, which helps to replenish the goodness lost from your immune system.
'Blackcurrants are unique in that they also contain chemicals which actually speed up the process of ethanol oxidation - the breakdown of alcohol inside the body.
'Meanwhile, blackcurrants are also rich in anthocyanins - pigments in the fruit's skin - which can act as a powerful antioxidant.
'They and their metabolites support the body's own antioxidant system to alleviate some of the damage caused to your body when you drink too much.'
Rather than scoffing handfuls before you go out, you could drink a bottle of Ārepawhich contains over 140 blackcurrants in every bottle. This jam-packed dose of vitamin C helps your brain fight fatigue and support your natural defences.
Alcohol stimulates free radical attacks and reduces the levels of antioxidants in the body.
Free radicals interfere with the body's defence mechanisms and damage cells. The antioxidants in blackcurrants will top up your levels and help your body cope with the after-effects of alcohol on your system.
'There's also a lot to be said for the blood flow-promoting benefits of blackcurrants, which support faster removal of waste products and an increase in oxygen levels.
In 2007, Dr Stewart led a study which labelled blackcurrants as the 'number one superfruit', having compared the properties of 20 different fruits.
He told how blackcurrants are potentially capable of warding-off heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's.
Dr Stewart said at the time: 'The combined beneficial composition and impact in health-related studies mean that blackcurrants can claim to be the number one superfruit.'