6 Health benefits of cranberries

CranberriesMy mouth is salivating at the delicious dishes that I'll get to dig into this holiday season. And right along with thoughts of pernil, turkey legs, pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes and gravy is the yummy taste of cranberry sauce at the dinner table. These delicious tart fruits are super tasty and also super good for you so no need to feel guilty if you decide to cheat on your diet a little. Below, all the reasons why you should dollop a generous helping of cranberries onto your plate this season.

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  1. Cranberries are chockfull of antioxidants that fight against free radicals in your body and help protect your cells. In fact, they pack more of a punch than almost any other fruit and vegetable, earning it the title of "superfood." Only blueberries contain more antioxidants than its red cousin.
  2. You've probably heard that cranberries help prevent a urinary tract infection (and let's face it, who isn't trying to avoid that like the plague?). The fruit has properties that make it hard for bacteria to accumulate and attach onto your urinary tract lining and has been found to also help with gum disease and stomach ulcers for the same reason.
  3. Because cranberries are often farmed and water-harvested in bogs, the berries that float to the top of the water are exposed to more sunlight. More sunlight means more of the phytonutrient anthocyanin in each fruit, which increases the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the cranberry.
  4. Cranberries could help prevent cancers like those of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate.
  5. They're a low-calorie snack. Half a cup of cranberries contains 25 calories and will provide your body with vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, manganese, and fiber.
  6. Due to their fiber content, cranberries are an excellent way to lower your risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Cranberries also lower your LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels as well as your blood pressure and formation of blood clots, which only mean good things for heart health.

Image via Corbis

Topics: eating healthy  food  fruits  healthy  healthy food