Most people appreciate the tart, tangy taste of cranberry sauce with their holiday dinners, especially when serving turkey or other poultry. Cranberry sauce, whether in jelly or whole berry form, is one of the top sellers in the grocery stores from November through December.
Cranberries should be used year ’round, though, not only in sauce, but as juice, a dried snack, in bread or other baked goods. Dried cranberries are excellent in granola and can take the place of raisins in almost anything.
Why should you use cranberries? They’re healthy! Very healthy, it turns out.
Probably the most well known health benefit of cranberries is their ability to cure urinary tract infections by stopping E. coli from attaching to the bladder wall. Some studies have suggested that eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice can stop urinary tract infections before they start.
Cranberries are high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, something we’re told we need more and more of. Antioxidants protect us from cancer and other effects of the toxic environment most of us live in. Polluted air, water and food are not healthy so we must take extra measures to allow our bodies to cope. Cranberries are a good choice because it’s been discovered that cranberries contain bioflavenoids that guard us against several types of cancer, including colon, lung, breast and prostrate cancer.
You’ve heard about resveratrol, the anti-inflammatory compound found in grapes and wine that helps in repairing DNA and protecting us from cancer, as well as being very heart healthy. Cranberries carry a healthy dose of resveratol, almost as much as grapes.
If that isn’t enough, this little red berry will help increase your HDL (the good kind of) cholesterol – and it kills bacteria that causes dental plaque as well as Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that is a major cause of gum disease, gastric ulcers and even some heart problems.
Want more? Cranberries will dilate bronchial tubes, which is something to remember in case of an asthma attack or bronchitis. And if you have trouble with kidney stones, cranberry juice is your drink.
It makes sense to make cranberries a part of your healthy living plan.