A Christmas staple but they’re great all year round! What’s the sweet gem got going for it?
A tonne of health benefits that’s what! Cranberries are no longer a drink to soothe irritational and inflammation, it’s actually a pretty great health food too. So I’m promoting it to a grocery item must-have. As far as healthy foods go, cranberries should definitely be up at the top of the list. Due to their high nutrient, antioxidant content and low calorie nature they’re should definitely be thought of as a “super food.” After all half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories! That’s always super in my books.
Well known- Health benefits
The possible health benefits of consuming cranberries include lowered risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, decreased blood pressure and a few more you may not know, but here are the more popular reasons for including cranberries in your diet.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Cranberries are well known for helping prevent UTIs. The high level of proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries helps reduce the attraction of certain bacteria to the urinary tract walls, in turn fighting off infections and improving your health.
*It is noted that whilst cranberries are brilliant at fighting infections cranberry capsules have been shown to be far more effective then a juice drink. The concentration being higher in a capsule, thus leading to more bacteria-fighting goodness getting into your diet! However, cranberry drinks can help flush out any unwanted bacteria by increasing your water intake and increasing bathroom frequency (If you know what I mean).
Some evidence suggests that the polyphenols in cranberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure via anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Not to mention the more natural sugars we eat the less we crave sythetic sugars and improve our overall health.
Research has shown that cranberries are beneficial in slowing tumour progression and have shown positive effects against prostate, liver, breast, ovarian, and colon cancers. Whilst they may not be the cure, they’re certainly fighting the battle!
Nutritional goodness from Authority nutrition.
Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber and vitamin E.1 something that is found in much larger quantities in cranberries. This little nugget of ruby is a lot more then just good looking, it’s super good for you too. Ditch the vitamin supplements, here’s what they have in them…
Vitamin E, K and others
A fat-soluble antioxidant involved in immune function. It may help prevent or delay the chronic diseases. Cranberries also contain vitamin K, manganese and a large array of naturally occurring plant chemicals that help to protect the body and offer anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties.
A powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body’s resistance to infectious agents. Sailors once carried cranberries aboard their ships to avoid scurvy because of their high vitamin C content.
High fibre intakes are associated with significantly lower risks for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increased fibre intake has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance weight loss for obese individuals.
A fat-soluble antioxidant involved in immune function that may help prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals.2
Cranberries also contain vitamin K, manganese and a large array of phytonutrients, naturally occurring plant chemicals that help to protect the body from harmful free radicals and offer anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties.
Best ways to eat them?
Raw is always best, It keeps the nutrients in and means they are all absorbed rather than losing some in the cooking process. If you want to keep them raw you can add them to your cereals, museli, porridge, Chia pudding, yoghurt… The list really does go on. If my ideas don’t tickle your fancy why not try some of these ideas out for size.
Dark Chocolate and Cranberry cakes – From PurelyAmy. More for the kids but they’re still tasty!
Cranberry shortbreads – From Scampinchips. A perfect addition to the Christmas dinner.
Cranberry sauce – From Makes Bakes and Decor. An apple and cranberry sauce is so traditional..and tasty!
Cranberry biscuits – From Garden Teacakes and Me. A frosted buiscuit you can hang from your tree.
Cranberry triffle – From The Crazy Kitchen. A twist on the classic!
I am so glad to be back, properly talking about health and food. The past few months have been great, baking and creating alternative recipes for you all but it’s really about the overall health. With my new routine I will definitely be able to give you the best advice I can give so, If you’re looking for better advice, stick around! I’ll still be including recipes but less frequently.
Hope you all have a great week!
*Nutritional data was collected from https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/cranberries/ all other words are my own.