Some consider cranberries to be a sexy fruit. Why? Their round shape and glossy scarlet exterior just exudes romance. They taste tart, and sometimes bitter, but they are filled with so many antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that they are incredibly healthy for you too. If you want to learn more, give this article a read!
What is a Cranberry?
Cranberries, which grow in small shrubs or trailing vines, are a member of the Vaccinium genus.
The Vaccinium oxycoccos variety is grown in northern Europe, while the Vaccinium macrocarpon variety is grown throughout Chile, Canada and the United States. They may also be available in acidic bogs throughout some of the cooler regions of the North Hemisphere.
The cranberry shrub grows to about 2 meters long and 5-20 centimeters in height. Its stems are wiry and slender, with small evergreen leaves. Its flowers, which are dark pink, have very distinct petals which leave the stamens and style pointing forward and fully exposed. The berries are often larger than the leaves, and the turn from green to red as they ripen. Their acidic taste usually overpowers their sweetness. Cranberries are a major commercial crop in America and Canada. Most are processed into food products such as jams, sauce, juice and more. However, they are also sold fresh in some markets.
Nutritional Value of Cranberries
|PRINCIPLE||Amount||% DAILY VALUE|
|Total Fat||0.13 grams||<1%|
|Dietary Fiber||4.6 grams||12%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.295 milligrams||6%|
|Vitamin A||60 IU||2%|
|Vitamin C||13.3 milligrams||22%|
|Vitamin E||1.20 milligrams||8%|
|Vitamin K||5.1 µg||4%|
Health Benefits of Cranberries
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of cranberries:
- Helps prevent scurvy: a vitamin C deficiency may result in scurvy, but cranberries provide great levels of vitamin C, which helps the body create collagen. It is the main component responsible for the tissues’ healthy functioning.
- Aids in weight loss: the rich organic acids in cranberry juice help emulsify the fat deposits in the body, making it good for those who want to lose weight.
- Helps strengthen bones and teeth: even though cranberry juice is a natural source of calcium, some manufacturers add extra calcium to their cranberry juice products.
- Helps prevent cancer: cranberries contain proanthocyanidins and anti-carcinogenic properties, which interfere with the growth of some cancerous cells, specifically those connected with the prostate and colon. This is one of the best health benefits of cranberries.
- Helps improve cardiovascular health: thanks to its flavonoids, cranberry juice is beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular illnesses and sustaining cardiovascular health.
- Helps prevent UTIs: research shows that drinking cranberry juice can reduce the risk of urinary tract infections or treat existing ones.
Cranberries are not just a snack, they are a tool for optimal health!