About Cranberries – The All-Star Nutritional Berry
Who can resist the temptation of indulging in a bowl brimming with lush, stunningly scarlet cranberries? And the cherry, or rather the cranberry, on top of the cake is that you can consume them without restraint. Guiltless indulgence at its very best!
The health savvy know that snacking on juicy cranberries will translate into unparalleled and guaranteed health benefits. After all, it’s not for nothing that scientists encourage the consumption of 1.5 to 2.5 cups of cranberries at least 3 to 4 times a week!
Out shopping for the perfect bunch of cranberries? Here’s a fun test to ascertain whether the cranberries are ripe or not: check to see if they bounce! Due to this quirky characteristic, cranberries are also referred to as ‘bounce berries’!
Cranberry Nutritional Facts
So what does this tiny fruit have to offer? Prepare to be wowed by the nutritional gems crammed into this lip smacking bite-sized wonder.
Half a cup of cranberries (about 50 grams) contains a whopping 11% of Vitamin C, 3.1% of Vitamin K and 3% of Vitamin E. These super vitamins are individual forces in their own right, and undertake a number of protective and restorative functions in your body. Additionally, for that all-important dose of essential manganese (9%) and dietary fiber (9.2%), incorporate cranberries into your daily diet.
Looking for the best anti-cancer food available? Look no further! Cranberries are jam-packed with cancer inhibiting and cancer preventing substances such as phytonutrients and other antioxidants.
Consume them as fresh cranberries or as cranberry juice, whatever suits your fancy, but do not miss out on the splendid nutritional value that cranberries have on offer!
Cranberry Health Benefits
Out of all the popular berries, the cranberry stands out as one of the shining stars. Let’s find out why!
Cranberries contain a whole array of phytonutrients that health researchers have been promoting heavily for their supreme anti-cancer characteristics. The five phytonutrient categories present in this berry include flavonoids, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins and triterpenoids. Chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are two key players in the development and propagation of cancer. By eliminating the harmful agents that cause oxidative stress, and be being natural anti-inflammatory substances, phytonutrients reduce the risk of cancer cell development. Research has indicated that cranberries protect the body from breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.
Unparalleled Cardiovascular Benefits!
The phytonutrients do more than just keep your system free from cancer causing agents. They, along with three other phytonutrient substances, resveratrol,piceatannol and pterostilbene, work tirelessly to ensure that your heart performs at its optimal level. These compounds effectively reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, inflammation, high blood pressure, arterial constriction and also prevent a buildup of LDL cholesterol!
For a Glitch-free Digestive System!
Equipped with 9.2% dietary fiber per cup, it comes as no surprise that cranberries are touted as a brilliant fruit for overall digestive health. The roughage does not only prevent chronic cases of constipation, but also has excellent functions which have been extensively researched upon, including the prevention of colon cancer, maintenance of the perfect balance of bacteria in the digestive tract, prevention of periodontal disease and stomach ulcers.
Say Goodbye to UTI!
Cranberry extract and cranberry juice have been used to prevent and treat recurring urinary tract infections long before researchers determined that the proanthocyanidin content was responsible for this curative function. This amazing phytonutrient weeds out harmful bacteria and thwarts its attempts to adhere to the urinary tract, which prevents the onset of urinary tract infection!
Boosts Your Immune System!
The rich Vitamin C and antioxidant content in cranberries supplements the functions of your immune system, fortifying it and strengthening its response to harmful bacterial and viral agents. The effects can range from preventing the common cold and fever, to reducing the risk of heart diseases and alleviating arthritis pain!
Possible Ways to Enjoy Cranberries
Before we give you quick and easy tips for incorporating cranberries into your diet, here are a few things that you should take note of: if the cranberries appear to be bruised, discolored or sticky, they are not fit for consumption. Cranberries can be refrigerated and frozen without losing their nutrient content, however, cooking or baking the cranberries results in a loss of nutrients since the cranberry compounds are temperature sensitive.
If you’re looking for a delicious, no-fuss cranberry recipe, why not try the wholesome, nutrient-infused cranberry salad? Add two cups of fresh, luscious cranberries to a bowl of chunky pineapple cubes, sweet slices of orange and a generous helping of chopped apples, for a juicy, refreshing fruit salad!
You can also add dried cranberries, which are readily available at superstores, to your cold breakfast cereal to add that twist of fresh tartness. Or dig up those old recipes for homemade bread and muffins, and throw in a few ripe cranberries for a wholly unique flavor!
Possible Health Concerns
Cranberries contain oxalates, substances that can cause kidney and gall bladder stone formation in those who are vulnerable to the effects of oxalates. Such individuals should refrain from consuming cranberries.