Health Benefits of Cranberries
1. They are Great for Oral Care
They decrease cavity and plaque producing bacteria in your mouth say Dental Researchers.
2. Helpful for the Eyes
It can significantly improve the symptoms of cataracts and macular degeneration.
3. Beneficial for the Heart
Preliminary studies show that drinking cranberry juice is good for the health of the heart.
4. Helps to Reduces Bacteria
The bacteria associated with peptic stomach ulcers is reduced with cranberries.
5. Keeps the Urinary Tract Healthy
We have heard about cranberry juice fighting urinary tract infections for a long time. It does do that and research backs it up. – Science Daily
6. Protection for Cancers including breast, oral, stomach, and prostate cancers.
They are a rich source of the flavonoid quercetin which can inhibit the development of these cancers.
Did you know?
- There are only three fruits, the blueberry, the Concord grape and the cranberry (all superfoods) that can trace their roots to North American soil.
- They are commonly consumed during Thanksgiving and Christmas but can, and should, be used every day.
- Sex and the City made the red juice of cranberries popular in the 90’s with their favorite cocktail, the Cosmopolitan.
- The estimated value of cranberries grown in the United States is several hundred million dollars.
- Native Americans treated a variety of illnesses, including bladder infections, with cranberry preparations.
- Cranberries are also called “bounce berries” because they bounce when ripe.
- The cranberry has been enjoyed by many native peoples for 12,000 years in North America.
- The farming of cranberries started in Massachusetts in 1810.
- General Ulysses S. Grant served cranberry sauce to the troops during the siege of Petersburg in 1864. It was first canned in 1912 by the Cape Cod Cranberry Company.
How to Select and Store
- They are harvested in the fall between mid-September and mid-November which is the best time to get fresh berries.
- Choose plump ones that are firm to the touch and a rich red.
- They can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks. Always discard any soft, discolored, or shriveled fruits before storing.
- When frozen, they will keep for 6–12 months. It is easy to freeze them; spread the cranberries out on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. When they are frozen (about 2 hours) put them in a freezer bag.
But…The health benefits of cranberries are almost totally depleted when generous amounts of sugar are added. Thus it cannot provide you with its full phytonutrient benefits when there has been lots of sugar added.
Skip the Sugar
Most cranberry products on the market are full of sugar. Many of the health benefits are negated when generous amounts of sugar are added.
- 1 cup of fresh cranberries = about 50 calories.
- 1 cup of cranberry sauce contains = 400 calories.
That is why I make my own cranberry sauce, see recipe below.
Also, check out my 7 Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings.
Healthy Cranberry Recipes Without All That Sugar
Cranberry Sauce -Enjoy all the goodness and health benefits with this sauce.
Cranberry Ginger Bars – This is a tasty treat that is easy to make and filled with healthy ingredients.
Cranberry Celery Onion Gluten-Free Stuffing– This delicious gluten-free stuffing makes a holiday meal special and memorable.
Also, add cranberries to your fruit punch for even more ‘punch’.
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.