Cranberries are a staple at most Thanksgiving dinner tables. Once you find out how beneficial the fruit is, you’ll want to add it to more than just one meal. Cranberries are antioxidant powerhouses.
Below are just some of the reasons why:
Urinary tract health
One of the most common known benefits of cranberries is that it helps with UTIs or urinary tract infections. How? Cranberries are high in proanthocyanidins, chemical compounds that give foods like red cabbage and blueberries their color. More importantly, it’s a natural antioxidant that keeps bacteria, that causes UTIs, from sticking to the walls of the bladder. That means that bad bacteria gets flushed away, reducing the chances of an infection.
But once you’ve got the UTI, the cranberry loses its super powers. Scientists say it helps in prevention but not really in the treatment.
Also keep in mind, drinking a cranberry cocktail will not give you the same benefits as eating raw cranberries. If you’re using it for your health, skip the sugar and have it as close to its natural state as possible.
The proanthocyanidins also help get rid of the harmful microbes in your colon. If you eat a lot of meat, sugar, and dairy, cranberries can help by putting good bacteria back in your body. That will help your digestive track stay on a healthy track.
Those same antioxidants help fight infections in your mouth.
They’re like a repellent for bacteria on your teeth meaning it keeps the bad bacteria from sticking to your gums and teeth.
This can help prevent cavities, bad breath, and even help lessen the risk of oral cancer.
Again, we’re not talking about cranberry cocktails as the sugar in those drinks may do more harm than good. Often much of the active ingredient in the juice is long gone before it reaches your fridge.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF CRANBERRIES
Eat them whole. If you do not like them raw, put them in a smoothie or a salad. Having the whole fruit will give you all of the benefits.
Cranberry juice, not cranberry cocktail, is a great way to enjoy the fruit but you lose the fiber, iron, and calcium that come with eating the whole fruit. If you prefer juice, look for those more natural, without the added sugars.
Dried cranberries are a yummy snack,you don’t have to worry about it spoiling and you’re getting some nutrients. Still fresh is best. Once dried, cranberries do lose some of their vitamins and have a higher calorie content.
Another way to enjoy it… Jelly! Cranberry sauce isn’t just for Thanksgiving… have it year-round on your toast or sandwiches.