7 Healthy Cranberry Benefits

This little red berry is loaded with nutrition and healing properties.

Dec 24, 2020

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Cranberries are a superfood that are loaded with nutrients and health benefits. And they are super easy to use. You can add these small red berries to salads, stuffing, casserole dishes, to top your breakfast cereal, and even to dress up desserts.

These small tangy red berries are available fresh in the Fall, frozen or dried. You can also purchase cranberry sauce in a can and buy cranberry juice. Native to North America, they grow on 58,000 acres of farmland across the US and Canada according to The Cranberry Institute.

The healing properties of cranberries are long known according to Medical News Today. Native Americans used them as a treatment for bladder and kidney diseases and in the American colonies, early settlers used them for stomach issues and to treat scurvy.

While most people know that cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections – but probably not why – there’s a host of other benefits too. 

Full of Nutrients

here’s a reason why people call cranberries a superfood. Cranberries are made of carbs, fiber, plus they are chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals according to WebMD. In a serving of 1 cup of raw berries, or one quarter cup of dried, you get 25 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C,  plus high amounts of vitamins A, K, and B-complex as well as the essential minerals manganese and copper. Fresh or frozen berries contain less carbs and sugar.

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Helps to Prevent UTIs

While cranberries cannot cure urinary tract infections, they can help to prevent them from reoccurring according to Medical News Today. That’s because these berries have a high level of the antioxidant  proanthocyanidins (PACs) that can help prevent some bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls. A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that cranberry supplements helped prevent UTIs but that just drinking cranberry juice was not enough. Cranberry supplements are available in pharmacies and health food stores.

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Promotes Gut Health

Cranberries may help keep your gut healthy. That’s because they can improve the gut bacteria in people who eat meat according to Web MD. So, if you eat meat, dairy, or sugar, you can turn to cranberries to help put good bacteria back into your gut. These red berries also reduce bile acids which can cause colon and gastrointestinal cancers. Cranberries can also help prevent ulcers. A cup or handful of berries can help keep the doctor away.

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May Help Control Blood Sugar

Cranberries are low in sugar and contain only four grams per cup of whole berries. If you combine that with the high fiber content, you have a fruit that will not cause your blood sugar to spike according to Women’s Health Magazine. Since cranberry juice and dried fruits usually contain a lot of sugar, stay clear of them and eat fresh or frozen.

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Benefits Heart Health 

Eating cranberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease according to a 2019 systematic review that found that adding cranberries to your diet can help manage several risk factors including systolic blood pressure as well as improve the levels of HDL, the good cholesterol.

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Enhances Oral Health

Those little red berries may also help your oral health. That’s because the PACs prevent bacteria from binding to teeth according to a study from the Center for Oral Biology and Eastman Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and that prevents cavities. According to Medical News Today, cranberries may also help to prevent gum disease.

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Can Help You Get Over a Cold

Since cranberries are loaded with 25 percent of the Vitamin C you need every day, they can help boost your immune system by encouraging the production of white blood cells to help you fight infections and decrease healing time. So, if you are tired of just drinking orange juice, make the switch to cranberry instead.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.