Cranberries are quite popular on occasions such as Thanksgiving celebrations and one tends to prepare such items as cranberry sauce, cranberry drinks as well as and dried cranberries which are added to stuffing, casseroles or dessert.
Cranberries are native to North America and are farmed across the northern United States as well as Canada.
Cranberries are acknowledged as healthful food on account of their high nutrient as well as antioxidant content. They are quite often known as a “superfood.” Half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories.
The nutrients in cranberries have been associated with lower risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, and also improved immune function, and decreased blood pressure.
What there is to know about cranberries?
• Cranberries are very popular healthful food, associated with Thanksgiving ceremony in the US.
• They are low in calories and contain a lot of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
• They also contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), an antioxidant that may help prevent a range of diseases.
• They are a good source of vitamin K.
Benefits of Cranberries
- Cranberries are native to the U.S. They are tasty and contain useful nutrients.
- Cranberries offer a range of possible health benefits.
- A diet with a high proportion of fruits and vegetables has been shown to offer health benefits.
- In addition, cranberries are a good source of various vitamins and antioxidants.
- They are accepted as useful in treating bladder and kidney diseases.
- They were used to treat poor appetite, stomach complaints, blood disorders as well as scurvy.
Here are some ways that cranberries can enhance health:
1) Urinary tract infections
The cranberry is perhaps best known for its role in preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs), especially for those with recurrent infections. The high level of antioxidant proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries helps to stop certain bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls. In this way, the PACs in cranberries help prevent infection.
Cranberry can prevent bacterial adhesion. The juices we drink do not contain such high amounts of PACs.
Cranberry juice available to the local grocery store cannot treat a UTI or a bladder infection. It can offer more hydration and possibly wash bacteria from one’s body more effectively.
2) Cardiovascular Disease
Some evidence suggests that the polyphenols in cranberries may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It does this by preventing platelet build-up and also reduces blood pressure, through anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Research does show nutrients in cranberries that aid in slowing tumor progression and can have a positive impact on one’s prostate, liver, breast, ovarian as well as colon cancers.
The proanthocyanidins in cranberries also benefit oral health. They do prevent bacteria from binding to teeth. Cranberries can also be useful in preventing gum disease.
One-half cup or 55 grams of chopped cranberries contains:
Cranberries do contain nutrients that can help control a UTI, but the amounts in cranberry juice are probably not enough to make a difference.
• 25 calories
• 0.25 grams (g) of protein
• 0.07 g of fat
• 6.6 g of carbohydrate, including 2.35 g of sugar
• 2 g of fiber
• 5 milligrams (mg) of calcium
• 0.12 mg of iron
• 3.5 mg of magnesium
• 6 mg of phosphorus
• 44 mg of potassium
• 1 mg of sodium
• 0.05 mg of zinc
• 7.7 mg of vitamin C
• 0.5 micrograms (mcg) of folate DFE
• 35 IU of Vitamin A
• 0.72 mg of vitamin E
• 2.75 mcg of vitamin K
Cranberries also contain the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6.
They are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin E.
Vitamin C is known to be a powerful, natural antioxidant. Vitamin C block some of the damage caused by free radicals, but it also does improve iron absorption from plant sources, thus boosting up the immune system, and also aiding in making collagen which does help wound healing.
High fiber intakes are mean lower risks for developing several health conditions, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases.
Increased fiber intake lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improves insulin sensitivity, and also enhances weight loss for obese individuals.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is involved in immune function. It may also help prevent or delay the chronic diseases that are associated with free radicals, like heart disease, cancer, cataracts, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.
Cranberries also contain vitamin K, manganese, and a large array of phytonutrients. These are naturally occurring plant chemicals that do help to protect the body from harmful free radicals. They have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties.
Fresh cranberries are harvested in September and October, during Fall which happens to be the best time during the season. They can be rather refrigerated for up to 2 months, and can also be frozen for later use.
Cranberries also available dried or in a can, but some do contain added sugars. It is advisable to check the ingredient label to ensure that the product does contain only cranberries.
Cranberry juice is quite often mixed with other fruits and added sweeteners.
Cranberry sauce forms a major part of Thanksgiving meal.
Tips to enjoy Cranberry juice otherwise:
Make a homemade trail mix with unsalted nuts, seeds, and dried cranberries.
• Include a small handful of frozen cranberries in a fruit smoothie.
• Add dried cranberries to one’s oatmeal or whole grain cereal.
• Toss dried or fresh cranberries into one’s favorite muffins or cookie recipe.
• Include fresh cranberries in an apple dessert like pie or cobbler for extra flavor.