Health Benefits – Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients cranberries are a super food. 1/2 cup contains only 25 calories. Possible health benefits include:
- Preventing urinary tract infections (UTI’s) – The high level of proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries helps reduce the adhesion of certain bacteria to the urinary tract walls. This helps in fighting off infections.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
- Cardiovascular disease – Evidence suggests that the polyphenols in cranberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). By preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure via anti-inflammatory mechanisms, CVD may be prevented.
- Dental – proanthocyanidins in cranberries may also benefit oral health by preventing bacteria from binding to teeth. This may be beneficial in preventing gum disease.
- Digestive – consuming cranberries has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation of the stomach and large intestine, including stomach ulcers.
- Cancer – Research has shown that cranberries are beneficial in slowing tumor progression. Research is also showing positive effects against prostate, liver, breast, ovarian, and colon cancers.
Nutritional breakdown – a powerhouse fruit
- Vitamin C – a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C also boosts the body’s resistance against infectious agents. Sailors once carried cranberries aboard their ships to avoid scurvy because of their high vitamin C content.
- Fiber – 1/2 cup of cranberries contains 2.5 grams of fiber.
- Vitamin E – a fat-soluble antioxidant involved in immune function that may help prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals.
- Cranberries also contain vitamin K, manganese and a large array of phytonutrients. These naturally occurring plant chemicals help to protect the body from harmful free radicals.
Serving ideas – easy ideas for display and simple recipes
Cranberry Jelly – For the best variety of homemade, local Cranberry jelly check out Cape Cod Cranberry Harvest.