Now is the time to add fresh cranberries to your favorite recipes! The majority of cranberries are harvested between September and October in the U.S. and Canada making it convenient to find fresh fruit in your local markets. This fruit, native to North America, is packed with naturally occurring compounds that provide many important health benefits. Current scientific research has
Cranberries contain phytonutrients and flavonoids (naturally derived plant compounds) that have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties thus providing benefits in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, urinary tract and mouth.
Research has affirmed that cranberries have a role in urinary tract health, due to a specific type of flavonoid, proanthocyanidins (PAC) that prevents E. coli from adhering to the walls of the bladder and multiplying. Instead, the bacteria get flushed out in the urine and the risk of an infection is reduced.
Cranberries may help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers by reducing H. pylori levels. According to the American Cancer Society, H. pylori is also a major risk factor for stomach cancer.
Cranberries may also provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering low-density lipoprotein
(LDL)-oxidation or improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels; and therefore,
improve vascular function.
Enjoy fresh cranberries boiled with spices for a delicious sauce over pork or adddried cranberries to your salads or trail mix. A nice collection of cranberry recipes can be found at: http://allrecipes.com/recipes/fruits-and-vegetables/fruits/berries/cranberries/
Val Schonberg is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian who specializes in weight management, sports nutrition, disease