Cranberries: Powerful Health Ally

Cranberries, those small, round red berries that you see wrapped around the tree during the holidays are more than just decorative. It is no secret that cranberries pack a powerful punch when it comes to your health. Not only are cranberries easy to find in products ranging from juices to pills, they are delicious and nutritious and can be added in many recipes.

Fresh cranberries are most plentiful in the fall and winter. They are a major crop in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, Minnesota, Oregon, Massachusetts and Minnesota. These berries grow on shrubs. When they are ripe, the fields are flooded because the berries float. The plants are shaken and the berries are skimmed off of the top of the water. Many people do not like eating fresh cranberries alone because they are very tart. They are most often used in recipes for juices, muffins, and other baked goods. Dried and sweetened cranberries are also very popular.

There have been many studies on the health benefits of the cranberry. The good news for women is that cranberries can be successfully used in preventing and treating urinary tract infections, kidney infections and bladder infections. Even if you do not enjoy eating cranberries, you can easily find high potency cranberry extract in an easy to take pill.

In addition to these types of infections, research also shows that cranberries contain a high amount of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Because of this, cranberries can help prevent bacteria such as E. Coli. The regular consumption of cranberries can also help reduce gum disease and stomach ulcers, heart disease, and cancer.

If that is not enough to make you a believer in cranberries, consider this. Researchers also believe that phenol compounds called flavonoids help reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Cranberries are high in these flavonoids and can help inhibit blood clotting, increase interior blood vessel diameter and helping cholesterol. When looking at the levels of flavonoids in certain fruits and vegetables, cranberries rank higher in content than bananas, blueberries, watermelon, strawberries, cherries, apples, red grapes and pears per half cup.

Now that you know the health benefit of these little berries, it is time you add them to your diet. If you want to try juice, make sure you purchase pure cranberry juice. Cranberry juice with added flavors and sugar will not give you the health benefit as pure cranberry juice. Add cranberry juice to your smoothies or with orange juice for a delicious and nutritious treat.

You can also add fresh or dried cranberries to your baked good recipes to replace blueberries and strawberries. Try making cranberry orange muffins using dried and sweetened cranberries. Also, if you enjoy cranberry sauce during the holidays, no one said you have to eat it only with your Thanksgiving turkey! You can purchase canned cranberry sauce all year long.

If you prefer taking cranberry supplement, look for one that has at least 1, 040 mg of cranberry blend and 200 mg of vitamin C. This will offer you a mix of powerful antioxidant and immune support. You can also buy pills with just cranberry extract if you are not interested in adding to your intake of vitamin C.

Add cranberries or cranberry extract to your diet can really benefit your health. They are good for you and good to eat! What better way to keep your body healthy?

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