Cranberries are packed with vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting compounds. Rich in antioxidants, cranberries can protect your heart, reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, protect against cancer, help control blood sugar, and more.
The anthocyanins in cranberries not only give the berries their vibrant color; these compounds also have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. The vitamin C in cranberries helps boost your immune system and helps neutralize free radicals in your body. And your body can’t store vitamin C, so you need to be sure to get your daily requirement. Cranberries pack a lot of nutritious punch into just a few calories.
Here are some of the other ways cranberries contribute to good health.
Cranberries can help ease the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), plus reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. It can also be helpful in treating morning sickness in pregnant women.
You may have heard that cranberries can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Well, it’s more than just an urban myth. The high level of antioxidants in cranberries can help prevent the onset of such infections. Just don’t overdo it with commercially made cranberry juice “cocktail.” That beverage tends to have added sugar, which could cancel out the benefits of the cranberries. Look for a low-sugar variety.
Cranberries are not only delicious; they’re good for your oral health, too. The compounds in cranberries help prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Less bacteria on your teeth can mean less plaque buildup. Do yourself and your dentist a favor—have a little cranberry juice!
Cranberries are packed with fiber. That fiber can feed friendly bacteria in your gut and also aid in an overall healthy digestive system. Fiber has also been linked to a reduction in the risk of chronic diseases, including colon cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The compounds in cranberries can contribute to your overall heart health by helping to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and helping to lower your blood pressure.
Before you start stocking up on cranberries, you should check in with your doctor, especially if you have certain health conditions. If you take a blood thinner like the drug warfarin, you should limit your consumption of cranberries. That’s because the vitamin K in cranberries can interfere with the way the drug works.
If you’re prone to kidney stones, cranberries may pose a hazard. Cranberries contain oxalates—a main component of kidney stones.
Did you know that cranberries are so healthful? Please tell us your biggest reason for growing and eating cranberries by commenting below.