Discover the Health Benefits of the Merry Berry – the Cranberry

October 17, 2023 | by DoctorSolve

Cranberries, often linked to Thanksgiving, deserve a year-round place on your plate. Yes, these vibrant red berries can extend to you a plethora of health benefits.

So, buckle up, because we’re about to take you on a journey through the incredible world of cranberries.

Get ready to know why you should make them a year-round dietary staple.
 

 

Cranberries And Thanksgiving Tradition 

Thanksgiving and cranberries are like an inseparable duo, and guess what? You’re about to find out why! Now imagine your Thanksgiving feast, complete with that all-American turkey and stuffing. But what’s the secret ingredient that brings that extra zing to your table? It’s those vibrant, tart cranberries! Whether on turkey or mashed potatoes, cranberries bring a burst of flavor. It symbolizes gratitude, harvest, and the true spirit of Thanksgiving.
 

Now, let’s begin with a nutritional value fact-check. It will help you better understand its health benefits. 

 

 

The Nutritional Power of Cranberries 

Native Americans used these vibrant red berries to treat various ailments. According to research, Cranberries have the potential to prevent and manage medical conditions. When you eat cranberries, you’re embracing vitamins C, A, and B. It has folic acid, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium too. These nutritional powerhouses offer you a host of health benefits.  That’s the reason why it’s a valuable addition to your diet. 

  

 

5 Cranberry Benefits for a Healthier You
 

Here are some surprising health benefits that you might not be aware of.  

 

Super Immunity Booster 

Cranberries have vitamin C, the ultimate defender against colds and flu. It means the vitamin C present in Cranberry can help make collagen in your body. With these little berries in your corner, you’ll boost your defense against seasonal sniffles.
 

Urinary Tract Champion
Cranberries prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Their natural compounds help prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls. So, it keeps you away from such infections. The compounds that inhibit the adhesion are proanthocyanins. It is usually specific to cranberries and blueberries. 

 

Antioxidant Powerhouse 

Cranberries are rich in antioxidants that protect your cells from oxidative damage. This defense mechanism can lower your risk of chronic diseases. Moreover, it helps you maintain good health. Studies also say that diets high in antioxidants may help reduce “age-related” conditions. It includes memory loss and loss of balance and coordination.
 

Bacterial Infection Fighter 

Beyond UTIs, cranberries also offer protection against other pesky bacterial infections. It could be digestive issues or gum disease.  And on top of that it can help keep away respiratory infections as well. Their natural antibacterial properties make them a valuable addition to your diet.
 

Heart Health Support
Cranberries reduce the risk of heart disease. It increases good cholesterol levels and improves blood pressure. It also reduces a compound homocysteine in your body.  Homocysteine saves the lining of the blood vessels. A healthy heart is a happy heart, and cranberries play a part in making that happen. 

 

 

Sip or Snack: Creative Ways to Enjoy Cranberries
Tired of the same old cranberry routine? Let’s shake things up! If you’re ready to break out of your cranberry rut, we’ve got some fun and tasty ideas for you. 

 

Cranberry Bliss Fusin Bowl 

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup cranberry compote 
  • Your choice of yogurt or oatmeal
     

Directions 

  • Prepare your favorite yogurt or oatmeal. 
  • Top it with 1/2 cup of cranberry compote. 
  • Stir it in to add a sweet-tart burst of flavor. 
  • Enjoy your cranberry-infused breakfast bliss! 

  

Healthy Cranberry Salad 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries 
  • 1 cup diced apple 
  • 1 cup diced celery 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans 
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion 
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • Lettuce leaves (for serving) 

 

Directions

  • Wash and halve the cranberries. 
  • In a food processor, pulse the cranberries until chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. 
  • Add apple, celery, pecans, and red onion to the bowl. 
  • In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt, honey, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. 
  • Pour the yogurt dressing over the cranberry mixture and toss to coat. 
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
  • When serving, line a platter or plates with lettuce leaves. 
  • Spoon the cranberry salad onto the lettuce and add extra pecans if desired. 

 

Cranberry Smoothie
 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz chilled cranberry juice 
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries 
  • 1/2 banana 
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
     

Directions

  • Put all the ingredients in a mixing jar.  
  • Blend it to make a smoothie.  

 

Conclusion
Did you know that on average, over 400 million Americans enjoy cranberries each year? That’s a lot of cranberry love!

With their unique tangy-sweet flavor, cranberries can brighten up your plate.

So, next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to toss a bag of cranberries into your basket.

Here’s to a cranberry-filled, healthier you, all year long!   

 

References 

  • 2018. American Cranberries and Health Benefits – an Evolving Story of 25 years. Research Gate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322366922_American_Cranberries_and_Health_Benefits_-_an_Evolving_Story_of_25_years#:~:text=Nowadays%2C%20growing%20evidence%20suggests%20other,and%20protect%20against%20intestinal%20inflammation 
  • 2023. Top 5 health benefits of cranberries. BBC Good Food. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-cranberries 
  • 2022. Cranberries 101: Nutrition, Benefits, Side Effects, and More. Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/cranberries-nutrition-benefits-uses-side-effects-and-more/  

 

 

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