Let’s celebrate cranberries! Yes, it is cranberry season once again and whether or not you like to eat this tart and tangy fruit, they are a healthy food to eat and offer many health benefits. I hope to convince those who are not crazy in love with cranberries to at least give them a try in at least one form or another this holiday season.
The cranberry belongs to the same family as the blueberry, also known as Ericaceae. Cranberries have also been called “bounce berries,” because ripe ones bounce! Fresh cranberries are readily available from October through December. During this time, they are at their most beneficial nutritionally. This is the time we need to take advantage of the health benefits this beautiful red berry.
Cranberries have been best known in the past for their ability to prevent and/or relieve UTI’s or Urinary Tract Infections and indeed they still do. However, recent studies suggest that cranberries promote gastrointestinal,oral health, lower LDL and raiseHDL or “good” cholesterol, aid in recovery from stroke and even help to prevent cancer.
What are some of the other benefits of cranberries? Researchers are now writing about how cranberries can help keep plaque from forming on the teeth and gums, thus helping prevent periodontal disease. Consumption of cranberries also has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief from inflammation found in many chronic diseases such as ulcerative colitis, most cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Most experts are agreeing that there is not a single compound in cranberries that gives them their healthy properties, but a group or conglomeration of groups found in the fruit.
Did you know cranberries are just as good for vision as carrots? My mama always told me to eat carrots for good eyesight, but I hadn’t heard that cranberries are good for your eyes as well until I did a little research on them and researchers agree that cranberries provide many nutrients vital to maintaining good vision.
So by now, I have no doubt you are realizing how great fresh cranberries can be as an addition to your diet especially during their growing season. When not in season, drink cranberry juice or eat dried cranberries, although additives and preservatives to these reduce some of the benefits that raw fresh cranberries provide.
So, instead of using cranberries just for decorating this season (although they are beautiful for this purpose), make a conscious effort to give your body the benefit of this fruit. Cranberries provide too many benefits for us to omit them from our diet!
Whfoods.com The World’s Healthiest Foods
Cranberry – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Research shows benefits of cranberries – Health – Diet and nutrition – msnbc.com