Cranberries – Festive and SUPER Healthy! – by Leslee Sholomskas
Get Your Berry on!
It is official, I am proclaiming the months of November and December as national cranberry months! I would also like to announce that from now on, all work weeks will be 3 days or less! And no more taxes! Okay fine, I have no control over those last two things (a girl can dream) but the cranberry thing should really start to catch on Cranberry cookies, cranberry sauce, and garlands of cranberries are in our near future. Today I want to share with you some of the health benefits to these beautiful berries.
1 – Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACS) which help maintain bladder health. These PACS have a mild antibiotic affect and help prevent bacteria from attaching to the lining of the urinary tract, thus preventing UTIs.
2 – High in antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals which cause DNA damage.
3 – Contain many phytonutrients like quercetin and phenolic acid. These phytonutrients have been shown to help reduce inflammation of the cardiovascular and digestive system. In conjunction with the digestive system, cranberries can decrease gum inflammation, thus lowering risk of periodontal disease.
4 – May help with immune function. Some studies have linked cranberries to a decrease in cold and flu-like symptoms.
5 – May have anti-cancer properties. Cranberries have been linked to apoptosis (cell death by rupture) of tumor cells.
Most of the health benefits of the cranberry can only be attained from eating the whole berry. Pressed juices (besides being loaded up with additional sugars) do not contain the cranberry “pulp” or left over berry where the nutrients reside. Try using the whole berry whenever possible. One way of accomplishing this is by creating a cranberry and orange chutney/relish. You can serve it as a side to a meal, as a sauce for a sandwich, or as a dip for pita chips.
You can find the above relish and similar pins on my Autumn Pinterest board.
Are you a cranberry eater? I’ve always LOVED cranberry juice, but now I’m getting onto eating them in other forms as well.
Any amazing cranberry sauce recipes in your family?
Ever tried cranberries in a smoothie? I foresee holiday-themed smoothies in my future!
Leslee Sholomskas is the writer behind the healthy living and lifestyle blog, Her Happy Balance. She is a twenty-something, enjoying post-grad life in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Leslee works as a scientist in the field of cancer research and is currently exploring furthering her education in nutrition. She is a newbie runner, lover of yoga and weight training, frequent beach-goer, food enthusiast, and a believer in the power of positive thinking. You can find Leslee on these additional medias: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Learn more about Leslee at www.herhappybalance.com.