Did you know that the cranberry is one of only three commercially cultivated fruits native to North America? Cranberries are versatile ingredients and deserve much more attention than being placed in a little bowl on your Thanksgiving table. They have been used as natural dyes and many Native Americans used cranberries to draw out toxins from arrow wounds.
Believe it or not, you can make a lot of different dishes with cranberries. Since they are in season right now, you should be using fresh cranberries instead of that canned stuff. Also, just for your information, most commercial cranberry juice contains obscene amounts of sugar. If you want to get creative with your fresh cranberries, you can make a cranberry jalapeno salsa, cranberry mint chutney, cranberry oatmeal, cranberry carrot juice, cranberry tea, cranberry vinegar, or a cranberry chipotle slaw.
In case you didn’t know how awesome cranberries are, take a look at some of their benefits below.
Packed With Antioxidants:
Cranberries have more phenols (based on fresh weight) than produce items like strawberries, red grapes, or spinach. These awesome phytochemicals help to protect you from cardiovascular diseases like blood clotting, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis. Consuming cranberries can be very beneficial for your cognitive health as well. Boost your brainpower!
A recent study in Taiwan found that regularly consuming cranberries helps to fight the herpes simplex-2 virus (HSV-2), which can cause genital warts and ulcers. This virus can also cause inflammation in the brain. Additional studies found that cranberries helped to inhibit the growth of intestinal viruses.
They Are Super PACs:
When people think of cranberries and health, they typically think of a urinary tract infection (UTI). PACs are why you think of this. What are PACs? Proanthocyanidins, which prevent adhesion of bacteria to the urinary wall, are compounds that work to alter the makeup of disease-causing bacteria, preventing them from binding to human cells and developing into an infection. Only cranberries and blueberries contain PACs that have this anti-adhesion effect. They also work to inhibit bacteria in stomach ulcers, acid reflux, and kidney or bladder infections.
They Contain NDM:
NDM is a compound that has been shown to prevent, and sometimes reverse, oral bacteria associated with plaque and periodontal disease. Additionally, cranberries may help to prevent cavities!