Cranberries are grown in both the United States and Canada with Wisconsin, Massachusetts and British Columbia being the main producers of this fruit. They are a very popular addition to the traditional meals of Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, it is best to eat cranberries on a regular basis as they are loaded with many health benefits. Considered to be one of the world’s healthiest fruits, this super fruit should be included in your daily diet.
Cranberries are an excellent source of dietary fiber. With almost five grams of fiber in a cup of cranberries, you are promoting excellent intestinal health when you include these in your daily diet. If you suffer from constipation or want to prevent it, eating cranberries helps keep you regular.
Cranberries boost the immune system because they contain Vitamin C. If you have a cold or the flu, eating these berries can help fight the symptoms. You can prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including cranberries in your daily diet.
Cranberries are rich in Vitamin A. We need this for optimal health, good vision, strong bones, strong teeth and youthful looking skin.
Cranberries are a major source of calcium and Vitamin K. If you want to have and maintain healthy bones and teeth, eating cranberries is the way to go. By including these in your daily diet, you are lowering the risk of getting osteoporosis as you age. Not only is calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth, we also need it to lower the levels of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as the bad cholesterol.
Vitamin K also provides a strong anti-oxidant called beta-carotene, which plays a key role of destroying the bad cells before they cause any further damage. While this antioxidant helps repair damaged cells because of free radicals, they also bring about anti-aging properties. Including apricots in your daily diet will help you maintain that youthful look. Not only will you look young on the outside, you also will be young on the inside since these anti-aging properties are effective in fighting against degenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. By eating cranberries, you are promoting good vision because the beta-carotene and the lutein found in these berries play a role in preventing macular degeration, where there is a”loss of vision in the center of the visual field (t) because of damage to the retina“ (Wikipedia).
Cranberries are an excellent source of potassium, manganese and magnesium which are all needed to keep our blood pressure numbers at a safe level. When we do not have enough of these in our daily diets, we run the risk of getting high blood pressure. When you keep your blood pressure lower you run a less risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association states that food that contains all these play a key role in reducing blood pressure.
Cranberries are a natural antiseptic because of their anti-bacterial properties, in which they prevent cuts and bruises from getting infected. They can even effective in treating stomach ulcers.
Cranberries contain diuretic properties. They are very effective in treating and preventing urinary tract infections, kidney infections and stones. The next time you suspect you have a urinary tract infection, rather than running to the doctor, go to your local grocery store and get some cranberry juice.
Introducing Cranberries Into Your Diet
Most people introduce cranberries into their diet by drinking cranberry juice. Some people do not like the taste of this juice because it can be bitter. However, many companies such as Ocean Spray make juice blends such as Cran/Raspberry and Cran/Apple. Drinking cranberry juice is the easiest way to introduce cranberries in your daily diet. Just a glass of this juice with your breakfast goes a long way to health.
Another popular way to introduce cranberries into your diet is to include cranberry sauce to your meals. It goes well with meals that include chicken, turkey and Cornish hen. While this sauce is very popular during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, it can be found year round at your local grocery.
If you like eating raisins for a healthy snack, think about getting dried cranberries. They are called craisins and are made by companies such as Sun Maid. Since the are sweetened with sugar, if you are watching your sugar intake, you may need to go to a health food store to find ones that are unsweetened.
Fresh cranberries can be found in the produce aisle in more grocery stores when they are in season. You can eat them straight from the bag. However, since they are bitter most people prefer to use the fresh berries as an ingredient for many recipes. You can find recipes in your cookbook selection or by going a Google search.
Whether you drink juice, have sauce during a meal or eat it fresh or dried, cranberries are very beneficial to your health. It is an excellent idea to introduce cranberries into your daily diet.
You can also purchase cranberry supplements such at tablets and capsules at your local pharmacy and health food store.