Cranberries are a Potent Antioxidant Food–
Cranberries have a unique flavor making them a favorite for many meals or even just to snack on. Packed with dense antioxidants and fiber, cranberries are one of Nature’s medicinal foods. In fact cranberries have a higher content of antioxidants than many other fruits and berries. And with a low sugar ratio (only four grams of natural sugar per cup) cranberries are an ideal antioxidant.
Cranberries Have Many Health Benefits
While cranberry juice is well known to support women’s health, there are many other benefits of cranberries that make them an ideal food. Do you know the major health benefit reasons to include cranberries in your diet?
Prevents UTI Infections
The first benefit of cranberries, or rather cranberry juice, is preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberries are loaded with an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins, or PACs for short. These PACs help reduce the chances of developing a UTI by keeping bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Because women are more prone to UTIs the cranberry is a friend to women’s health.
The fiber content found in cranberries is great for overall digestive health. One cup of cranberries has about 4.6 grams of fiber which is 16% of the recommended daily amount of fiber. Not only does the fiber help you stay fuller for longer, but it also keeps you regular and prevents big swings in your blood sugar. This may reduce the risk of stomach ulcers and some cancers.
Reduces Bad Cholesterol
Cranberries are rich in anthocyanins (an antioxidant), which have protective cardiovascular effects that can lower high levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol and raises the HDL or “good” cholesterol which is beneficial to heart health. Studies have shown that dried cranberries contain more phenol antioxidants than any of the other commonly consumed fruits like raisins, plums, or apricots.
The high levels of antioxidants in cranberries help flush out the endocrine system of free radicals that contribute to the aging process. With these free radicals removed your skin can look younger with prolonged improvement of the internal organ functions.
Eat Cranberries All Year Long, Not Just During the Holidays!
Cranberries have been part of my family’s traditional holiday celebrations all my life. But over the years I’ve started incorporating cranberries in foods I eat all year long. Whether in sauces, salads, casseroles, desserts, drinks, snack mix, or toppings, eat more cranberries to live well with zest. Let me know your favorite ways to enjoy cranberries.
Enjoy and Live Well with Zest
Written by Bev Hope
Reviewed by Board Certified MD