Raw cranberries are tart, bitter, and a bit of a kick to the jaw. In modern cuisines, they are usually prepared cooked, dried, or candied, or enjoyed as a diluted juice with added sweeteners to calm the pungent bitter and sour flavor overload. However, these bright red berries are an antioxidant-rich superfood that is power-packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for your heart, brain, teeth, and more. Read on to find out what cranberries can do for you.
According to research conducted by Tufts University, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of this jewel-colored fruit can protect the brain from loss of coordination and memory as you age. Try replacing your regular snack food with dried cranberries and almonds—they go great together.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
The high levels of proanthocyanidins found in cranberries help to eliminate bacteria from urinary tract walls while attacking infections. You may assume that the best way to clear out your urinary tract is by drinking cranberry juice, but according to studies conducted by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, taking cranberries in capsule form, as a supplement, is much better for UTIs than drinking the juice.
Foods that are red in color tend to be good for the ticker. This is most certainly the case when it comes to cranberries. The anti-inflammatory polyphenols present in cranberry have been shown to help eliminate platelet buildup and lower blood pressure. To prevent cardiovascular disease, add more cranberries to your diet today.
The proanthocyanidins and ursolic acid found in cranberries actually attack tumorous cancer cells, decreasing their growth and causing them to self-destruct. Meanwhile, the antioxidants and vitamin C within the fruit fight free radical damage to your DNA.
Kidney Stone Prevention
The quinic acid in cranberry juice goes to work in your urine stream, making it more acidic, which targets calcium and breaks it down, therefore preventing painful kidney stones. Try adding a healthy dose of pure cranberry juice to sparkling water for a refreshingly tart cranberry soda.
Cranberries are one of the only fruits that are high in quercetin, which is recommended for reducing the risk of gout, a condition caused by a buildup of uric acid in your body. Cranberry juice has been shown to reduce the levels of uric acid in the urine and the blood, thereby reducing the chances of gout. Also, the salicylic acid in cranberries can reduce swelling caused by gout.
Promotes Dental Health
Proanthocyanidins are not just good for the urinary tract. They can prevent bacteria from attaching itself to your teeth as well. Cranberry in supplement form is also good for your gum health and can help prevent gum disease.
400 million pounds of cranberries are consumed each year in dishes around the world, but the biggest spike in cranberry consumption is on Thanksgiving every year. Health-conscious people might want to start making it a staple in a year-round diet.
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