11 Health Benefits of Cranberries PLUS a Recipe! – your SV Ayurveda Newsletter Nov 25, 2021 – #46, Vol 11

We often forget how good cranberries are! This powerhouse of Nature gets overshadowed by other berries, except for that one-day-a-year on Thanksgiving day! There are many so many reasons you should regularly include cranberries into your daily diet. Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy their countless health benefits. There are countless recipes online for drinks, sauces, preserves. But there is also Vaidya Mishra’s Organic Cranberry Preserve – ready to eat balancing ayurvedic and delicious (see below).
So what’s so great about cranberries? Well here is a quick look at what they do: they are a power fruit – great for the eyes, cardiovascular health, and the urinary tract. This apparently disease-fighting fruit is also one of the highest ranked regularly consumed foods for antioxidant content per serving. Antioxidants protect cells from damage by oxidative stress and free radicals, damage that can lead to serious conditions like cancer and heart disease. Some of the antioxidants found in cranberries include anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, resveratrol, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E. 

Top 11 Benefits of Cranberries
1) Antioxidant powerhouse
This disease-fighting fruit is one of the highest ranking, regularly consumed foods for antioxidant content per serving, according to the Cranberry Marketing Committee. Antioxidants protect cells from the damage that oxidative stress and free radicals can have on them. That damage can lead to serious conditions like cancer and heart disease.
Some of the antioxidants found in cranberries include anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, resveratrol, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E.
2) Rich Source of Phtyonutrients
We are still discovering the great health benefits of Phytonutrients. Phytochemicals are chemical compounds produced by plants, generally to help them resist fungi, bacteria and plant virus infections, and also consumption by insects and other animals. Phytonutrients also strengthen a plant’s immune system. They protect the plant from threats in their natural environment such as disease and excessive sun. When humans eat plant foods, phytonutrients protect us from chronic diseases. Phytonutrients have potent anti-cancer and anti-heart disease effects. Red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruit (such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, peaches, mangos, melons, citrus fruits, and berries). Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, bok choy, broccoli, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce).
3) Low-calorie flavor booster
One cup of fresh cranberries contains 46 calories, according to the USDA. If you like them raw, they’re a great low-calorie snack — but their tart flavor makes them an acquired taste. Use them in cooking and baking to add a pop of flavor while not adding a lot of calories, as in these recipes:
4) Urinary tract infection preventer
Cranberries and cranberry juice have long been associated with preventing UTIs. There’s a substance in cranberries that prevents “infection-causing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls,” according to WebMD.
Study results, however, are very inconsistent. Some studies suggest that cranberries can lower the chance of repeated infections in young women. However, an October 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that female patients in nursing homes who took cranberry capsules for a year didn’t have fewer episodes of UTIs than those who took placebos.
5) High in fiber
One cup of cranberries contains 4.6 grams of dietary fiber. The Mayo Clinic says fiber maintains bowel health, lowers cholesterol, and helps control blood sugar. Foods high in fiber can also help control weight because they make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.

6) Full of Vitamins and Minerals
One cup of cranberries contains 24 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 7 percent of the recommended daily values of vitamins K and E, according to Self-Nutrition Data. It’s also a good source of the mineral manganese, containing 20 percent of the recommended daily value.
7) Cardiovascular Disease
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.
8) Research on Cancer
Research has shown that cranberries are beneficial in slowing tumor progression and have shown positive effects against prostate, liver, breast, ovarian, and colon cancers.
9) Supports Dental Health
The same proanthocyanidins in cranberries that help prevent UTIs may also benefit oral health by preventing bacteria from binding to teeth, according to Researchers at the Center for Oral Biology and Eastman Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Cranberries may also be beneficial in preventing gum disease.
10) Ant-inflammatory Benefits
For the cardiovascular system and for many parts of the digestive tract (including the mouth and gums, stomach, and colon) cranberry has been shown to provide important anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s the phytonutrients in cranberry that are especially effective in lowering our risk of unwanted inflammation, and virtually all of the phytonutrient categories represented in cranberry are now known to play a role. These phytonutrient categories include proanthocyanidins (PACs), anthocyanins (the flavonoid pigments that give cranberries their amazing shades of red), flavonols like quercetin, and phenolic acid (like hydroxycinnamic acids).
11) Immune Support
While research in this area is somewhat limited, recent studies on the immune support benefits of cranberry are exciting. In studies on very small numbers of human participants, intake of cranberry extracts has shown the ability to improve multiple aspects of immune function, and to lower the frequency of cold and flu symptoms in the subjects. In several of these studies, the cranberry extracts were standardized to contain a known, higher-end amount of proanthocyanidins (PACs)—somewhat comparable to a double-strength cranberry juice.

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