Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Cranberries
The editors at Inmammaskitchen.com have compiled a comprehensive and interesting read on the health benefits, history, and frequently asked questions regarding cranberries. The complete article can be found here, a excerpt of the information is below.
- Proanthocyanidins, also called tannins, prevent bacteria (including Escherichia coli) from adhering to the urinary tract. We have long used cranberries as a cure for urinary tract infections. This also protects the cranberry itself and my have evolved to prevent it in the damp climate in which it lives.
- The major flavonoids in freshly squeezed cranberry juice are quercetin and myricetin.
- Quercetin is found to be the most active of the flavonoids in studies. Quercetin has anti-inflammatory activity because it inhibits some of the process of inflammation at the onset. It is used as a preservative in prepared foods today and has iron-binding properties.
- Myricetin is a flavonoid (pigment) and is considered an antioxidant. Fighting free radicals, it is thought to have anti-cancer properties, including the ability to lower the chances of prostate cancer. Myricetin may also lower cholesterol levels.
- Oxalates. Cranberries' are high in oxalates, which can rob the body of calcium and can be a cause of kidney stones. Research suggests that the oxalates are not highly bioavailable which means that they are not readily absorbed. This topic is under debate and one should err on the side of caution.
- Terpenes create the spicy scent and combined with other phenolic compounds give it its tart, astringent taste.
- Pectin - Cranberries are rich in pectins, also found in apples, and is the reason why it can quickly become a sauce.
- Fresh cranberries are a seasonal treat that should be enjoyed--both for their taste and health benefits. To reap the health benefits of cranberries year around, and to avoid the nasty implications of urinary tract infections, consider supplementing with cranberry extract. Cranberry extract is a more economical, less sugary approach to consuming cranberries than drinking drinking the juice or eating the fresh berries--plus it is available year around.
Interested in reaping the numerous health benefits discussed above, but do not know where to start. The URL below has plenty of hearty and delicious recipes where cranberries take center stage.
Cranberry Nutrition Facts
(1 cup whole)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet