Cranberries are more than just the lumpy, coagulated red side dish on your Thanksgiving dinner table, and certainly more than the name of a 90s rock band. These acidic red berries do more for your health, and perhaps more for your taste buds, than you think. Read on to find out why it’s worth it to take a second look at cranberries.
1. Cranberries are nutrition powerhouses
While strawberries, cherries, and blackberries might be associated with antioxidants, cranberries contain more of these cancer-fighting compounds than any other fruit or vegetable. Additionally, cranberries have abundant amounts of immune-protecting vitamin C. More reasons to pass the cranberry sauce.
2. Cranberries help prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
It was once believed that cranberries could help reduce UTIs due to their acidity. More recent research suggests that it’s actually the phytochemical proanthocyanidin that helps to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. Raw cranberries, fresh, no-sugar cranberry juice and cranberry extract all appear to help women both suffering from and trying to avoid UTIs, so choose the option that works best for you.
3. Cranberries keep your dentist happy
Before you head to your next dentist appointment, consider adding cranberries into your diet. Similar to how cranberries can prevent UTIs, these red berries can also keep gums healthy and teeth clean by preventing harmful bacteria from sticking and turning into plaque.
If you don’t plan on taking cranberry extract, here are some helpful ways to incorporate cranberries into your diet.
Recipe: Cranberry Juice with a Twist
You’ve likely tried cranberry cocktail–the sugary-sweet drink that tastes more like lemonade than it does cranberry–but what about actual cranberry juice? Here’s how to serve up a yummy glass:
- Concentrated or fresh pressed cranberry juice
- Lemon juice
- Filtered or spring water
- Make a large pitcher of cranberry juice by adding 1/2 cup cranberry juice to 10 cups filtered water. You can add more or less cranberry juice, depending on your preference.
- Add 2 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste.
- Mix, keep refrigerated, and enjoy.