Phytochemicals, oxidation stress, antioxidants and more — these are important health-related terms. We should all study and increase our understanding of them. If you do, you’ll undoubtedly also understand why we’re giving a big shout out to cranberries here at The Hot Mess Press .
Cranberries are a step above most other fruits when it comes to super-charging your health. In fact, they run a close second in healthful properties to blueberries, which are the immune system icons of the fruit world.
What makes cranberries so great?
Cranberries rank near the top of most superfood lists because they’re nutritionally dense and high in antioxidant content. Check out the following list, which shows why these lovely crimson berries pack such a healthful punch:
- The abundant nutrients in cranberries are believed to substantially lower the risk of developing urinary tract infections.
- Incorporating them into your diet on a regular basis can help lower blood pressure.
- These tart, crunchy little berries will help strengthen your immune system.
- Cranberries contain polyphenols, which are believed to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, likely because they help control systolic blood pressure, which regulates the contraction of the heart muscle.
- If you’ve been trying to reduce your body mass index (BMI) you’ll definitely want to eat more cranberries.
- They also increase “good” cholesterol.
- Cranberries help regulate blood sugar.
- There’s also ample evidence to suggest that regularly eating them triggers a slowing of the growth of cancer cells, as well as dying off of existing cancer cells.
- Cranberries are good for your teeth and gums.
- They help reduce bloating.
- Studies show they also curb the appetite.
This is, in fact, a short list of the many health benefits connected with regular incorporation of cranberries into the diet.
The mother load of vitamins and minerals
A measly one half cup of chopped cranberries is teeming with these vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamins C, E and K
- Multiple B vitamins
- Natural sugar
It’s always best to eat a food in its raw form rather than juice it or cook it to oblivion. If asking whether juice is healthy, the answer is that it’s not as healthy as eating the fruit in its natural form, but it’s healthier than drinking a soda or energy drink, etc., as long as you’re not drinking juice with a ton of added sugars in it.
Ways to incorporate cranberries into your diet
Many people (author of this article included) like the tart taste of cranberries and have no problem munching on them raw. If that’s not your thing, however, you can try some of these creative ideas for getting more of them into your diet:
- Pour them over salads.
- Add them to oats or other hot or cold cereals.
- Combine them with blueberries or other berries in muffins.
- Make homemade trail mix.
- Use them frozen in smoothies.
- Serve over chicken, turkey, pork or other main dishes.
- Dice them and use in relishes and salsas.
Cranberries stay fresh a long time in the refrigerator, but you can also freeze them or dehydrate them. These tiny fruits are superheroes when it comes to improving the function and strength of your immune system and overall health.
A word of warning for those to whom it applies
Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Yes, sometimes, there is. In this case, if your tummy were to get upset after incorporating more cranberries into your diet, it suggests that you are eating too many.
Also, if you are someone who struggles with kidney stones, this article explains why you’ll want to avoid excessive consumption of cranberries. Otherwise, it’s always a good idea to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and as far as fruits go, cranberries rock!