Dec 18 2016

Cranberries…the Merriest Berry of them all.

Published by at 1:48 pm under Antioxidants

Cranberries…the merriest berry of them all.
Bring on the health benefits of the holiday’s most popular berry.

 

It’s red, it’s rosy and its plump. I’m not talking about Santa Claus, but instead the tart and delightful cranberry. With a harvest season going from October to December, cranberries take center stage this time of year, in breads, sauces, salads, desserts and more. While you may think of cranberries as just a colorful sauce at the Thanksgiving or Christmas table, it has surprising health benefits. And, these extend far beyond treating UTIs, as they are commonly known for helping.

Cranberries, with a mere 46 calories per cup, have high levels of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called pro-anthocyanidins (PACs). PACs are extremely beneficial in reducing certain bacteria’s ability to adhere to the urinary tract walls. This helps to fight urinary tract infections and prevent infections from reoccurring.(1,2)*

But there is more to this power packed fruit than just helping with UTIs. Studies show that eating cranberries has potential health benefits for anti-aging, inflammation, bacterial infections, neurological diseases and cancer. On the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC (measurement of antioxidant strength of food items,) cranberries receive one of the highest scores among edible berries.1*

Additionally, studies have found the following:

  • “…Antioxidant compounds such as oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s), anthocyanidin flavonoids, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin in cranberries may offer protection against cardiovascular disease by counteracting against cholesterol plaque formation in the heart and blood vessels. Further, these compounds help the human body lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL-good cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Research studies suggest that drinking cranberry juice can protect against gram-negative bacterial infections such as E.coli in the urinary system by inhibiting bacterial-attachment to the bladder and urethral mucosa.
  • Consumption of cranberries turns urine acidic. Together with inhibition of bacterial adhesion actions (proteusbacterial-infections), cranberry juice can help prevent the formation of alkaline (calcium-ammonium- phosphate) stones inside the urinary tract.
  • Cranberries prevent plaque formation on the tooth enamel by interfering with the ability of another gram-negative bacterium, Streptococcus mutans to stick to tooth surface. It thus, helps prevent development of cavities…”2*
According to the National Nutrient Data Base, 100 grams of cranberries provide the following:  

 

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 46 Kcal 2.3%
Carbohydrates 12.2 g 9%
Protein 0.4 g 1%
Total Fat 0.13 g <1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g 12%
Vitamins    
Folates 1 µg <1%
Niacin 0.101 mg 1%
Pantothenic acid 0.295 mg 6%
Pyridoxine 0.057 mg 4%
Riboflavin 0.020 mg 2%
Thiamin 0.012 mg 1%
Vitamin A 60 IU 2%
Vitamin C 13.3 mg 22%
Vitamin E 1.20 mg 8%
Vitamin K 5.1 µg 4%
Electrolytes    
Sodium 2 mg 0%
Potassium 85 mg 2%
Minerals    
Calcium 8 mg 1%
Copper 0.061 mg 7%
Iron 0.25 mg 3%
Magnesium 6 mg 1.5%
Manganese 0.360 mg 16%
Phosphorus 13 mg 2%
Selenium 0.1 µg 0%
Zinc 0.10 mg 1%
Phyto-nutrients    
Carotene-ß 36 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 91 µg

3*

So eat up and enjoy those cranberries. Try to avoid recipes that call for too much sugar to balance their tartness. Try eating them raw…they are really quite delicious! An additional benefit is that the fiber found in cranberries is a healthy prebiotic for the good bacteria in the gut. Remember, we are what we eat…and our microbiota are what they eat. If you are loading up on sugars and processed foods, that is only going to benefit the unfriendly bacteria. But when you eat healthy vegetables and fruits such as cranberries that feed the good bacteria, your microflora will flourish. And, despite the busy days and nights this time of year, don’t forget to take your Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ daily to stay at the top of your holiday game!  Enjoy the season!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cranberries.html
  2. https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=nutritional+value+of+cranberries
  3. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2191?manu=&fgcd=&ds=Standard%20Reference


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