Cranberry – Is It a Healthy Food?

Cranberry

We all know the cranberry as a very tart red fruit that is mostly used in juices or in conjunction with other sweeter tasting fruits. But are cranberries really healthy for us, or is it just marketing hype?

Interesting trivia – the name cranberry actually refers to two things:  it is the name of a dwarf evergreen shrub that primarily grows in the northern hemisphere, and it is also the name of the red fruit from the cranberry shrub.

Yes, cranberries really are truly healthy for us.

Here are 6 benefits that recent research has found:

  1. The phyto-nutrient and anti-oxidant content of cranberries help to reduce the risk of inflammation
  2. Preliminary research shows that drinking cranberry juice daily may influence cholesterol levels, by increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and decreasing LDL  (bad cholesterol).
  3. When tested using a test tube – extracts of chemicals in cranberries prevented breast cancer cells from multiplying.  Scientists are uncertain as to whether they would work in humans.
  4. Current research about the effects of cranberry on heart disease, yeast infections and other conditions is being funded by The National Institutes of Health. Other research is being done to investigate its potential against cancer, stroke and viral infections.
  5. According to other research funded by the National Institutes of Health, cranberries may help avoid urinary tract infections
  6. Cranberries could also block plaque build up on teeth.

Cranberries have a high nutritional value.

In fact, some experts have are calling raw cranberries a “superfruit”.  Here is a list of nutrients they contain:

  • A large spectrum of phytonutrients – which give cranberries antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities
  • Vitamin C: one cup of raw cranberries provides 24% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C
  • Fiber:  one cup of raw cranberries contains 20% of the recommended amount of daily fiber.
  • Vitamin E and vitamin K
  • Micronutrients: potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese.

Cranberries are available in the fall, and can be used in many ways, including the traditional cranberry sauce served with a turkey dinner.  Try putting cranberries in healthy muffins, along with some blueberries or baking them into a loaf.  Here is a recipe for Cranberry Relish.

Interested in learning more about whole foods that can benefit your health?  Want to know what other foods are high in antioxidants and will boost your immune system?  Contact me – I’d love to help you find the foods that are right for YOU, and will help you to build a healthy lifestyle that lasts!.  Cranberry is a  great food to start with!

 

Informational Resources:

Nutritionandyou.com 

World’s Healthiest Foods

The Cranberry Institute

 

Copyright © 2013 Cathy Ormon – All Rights Reserved