My favorite part of Thanksgiving has always been the cranberry sauce. Traditional cultures have long relied on the cranberry as a time-tested remedy for urinary tract infections (UTI’s). But that’s not all: this little berry packs a powerful punch that just might make that cranberry sauce a mainstay in your diet this winter! Here are 8 benefits of cranberries sure to make you feel good about having a second helping:
1 – Urinary Tract Support.
How do cranberries protect against UTI’s? The most common cause of UTI’s is a virulent bacterium called e-coli. Studies show that cranberries may protect against e-coli adhering to the urinary tract wall and thus decreasing the risk and virulence of the infection(1).
2 – Gastrointestinal Protection.
It turns out cranberries may protect your gut, too. They have the same anti-adhering effect on another dangerous bacterium that is linked to gastric cancer and ulcers: H Pylori. H Pylori may also be a major cause of heartburn and indigestion in America. It thrives in the stomach, particularly when the digestive acids are low. Due to their acidic nature and high concentration of proanthocyanidins (PACs), cranberries both boost the digestive fire and inhibit the adherence of H Pylori to the stomach wall, thus protecting against H Pylori-related peptic ulcers, gastric cancer, and acid indigestion(2).
3 – Heart Health.
Numerous studies suggest that cranberries may contribute to the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as lowering blood pressure (3).
4 – Cholesterol.
Evidence also suggests that the polyphenols, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid in cranberries may reduce LDL oxidation, cholesterol, platelet clumping, and inflammation.
5 – Immunity.
According to Ayurveda, cranberries are the lymph-movers of the winter. The lymphatic system drains every cell and transports the immune system. Not surprising that cranberries have such a global effect on the body’s wellbeing: better lymph drainage equals better health!
Did I mention cranberries also:
6 – strengthen the gums,
7 – protect the prostate, and…
8 – help to curb the common cold!
Most of us don’t think of the holiday season as promoting our health very much. So this Thanksgiving, and throughout the winter, don’t skimp on the cranberries!
P.S. Here is a delicious recipe from my wife, who is the best cook in the world:
Delicious Cranberry Orange Sauce
1 pound fresh organic cranberries
1 cup fresh organic orange juice (about 3 oranges)
1 tbsp ground orange peel
½ cup organic cane sugar or natural substitute
Preparation: In a medium saucepan combine the cranberries, orange juice, orange peel, and sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens, at least 15 minutes. Let cool and serve at room temperature.