When it comes to the world’s healthiest foods, cranberries are on the top of the list. They are high in nutrients and antioxidants while low in calories, thus being referred to as a “super food”. One cup of cranberries contains only 46 calories.
Regular consumption of various fruits and vegetables is related to a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions. Here are some of the crucial benefits provided by cranberries:
1) Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Cranberries are best known for their huge role in preventing UTIs due to the high level of proanthocyanidins in them, which helps reduce the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract walls, thus fighting off infections. However, the cranberry juice, especially the one you find in grocery stores, won’t treat any UTI or bladder infection because it takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to prevent UTIs, which cannot be found in the juices we drink.
2) Cancer: Research has shown that cranberries slow tumor progression and have positive effects on breast, liver, prostate, ovarian, and colon cancers.
3) Cardiovascular disease: Cranberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure via anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
4) Dental: Cranberries are also beneficial for oral health. The high level of proanthocyanidins in cranberries that prevents UTIs, also prevents gum disease and bacteria from binding to teeth.
5) Immune support: Recent research has shown that cranberries can improve the function of our immune system and can lower the symptoms of cold and flu, thanks again to the proanthocyanidins they contain.
On account of all these health benefits, it’s high time for you to incorporate more cranberries in your diet. You can add them in your smoothie or to your oatmeal, you can make cranberry muffins or cookies, or you can add an extra kick of flavor to dessert pies. Cranberry sauce is also a nice accompaniment to Thanksgiving meals, but you can also consume it on ordinary days. :)
However, people with a history of kidney stones should ask for a doctor’s advice before adding any form of cranberries in their diet, due to the fact that cranberry products have the potential to increase urine oxalate excretion, which can lead to formation of kidney stones.