While many people only enjoy them around the holidays in the jellied form, cranberries are a great fruit that is available in grocery stores year round.
Cranberries are one of the few fruits native to North America.
- Recent research has shown that it’s not the acidity of the cranberries, but the unusual nature of their proanthocyanidins (PACs) that is related to prevention of urinary tract infections.
- Cranberry provides us with an astonishing array of phytonutrients. Among these phytonutrients are phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and triterpenoids.
- Many of these phytonutrients offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits.
- Three related phytonutrient compounds—resveratrol, piceatannol, and pterostilbene—may provide cranberry with some equally unique antioxidant properties, and a special ability to support our cardiovascular system.
- Cranberries are a very good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese, as well as a good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, copper and pantothenic acid.
Best Ways to Use
- Take advantage of cranberries’ tartness by using them to replace vinegar or lemon when dressing your green salads.
- To balance their extreme tartness, combine fresh cranberries with other fruits such as oranges, apples, pineapple or pears.
- Combine unsweetened cranberry in equal parts with your favorite fruit juice and sparkling mineral water for a lightly sweetened, refreshing spritzer.
- Add color and variety to your favorite recipes for hot cereals or baked goods by using dried cranberries instead of raisins.
- Mix dried cranberries with lightly roasted and salted nuts for a delicious snack.