Today is National Eat a Cranberry Day and five reasons why you should

Health benefits and great cranberry recipes Photo: Cjboffoli/ Wikimedia

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2013—Today is national Eat a Cranberry Day, promoting the health benefits of cranberries. To celebrate this day, following is a list of reasons to eat cranberries.

1. Protection against urinary tract infection (UTI): it is unknown exactly why cranberries are helpful in fighting UTIs. Scientist used to think that cranberry made urine more acidic and therefore uninviting to bacteria that cause UTIs. However, more recently researchers have come to believe that certain substances in cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to urinary tract walls. For more information see WebMD.

2. Immune Support: Cranberries are high in vitamin C. Several studies have concluded that cranberries help boost the human immune system. A recent study by Susan Percival, professor of Food Science & Human Nutrition at the University of Florida, Gainesville found that cranberries may boost the immune system by priming it for action.

3. Anti-inflammatory properties: A 2012 study by scientists at the University of Helsinki found that berry juices, including cranberry juice, were associated with a reduction in concentrations of compounds that cause inflammation.

4. Cardiovascular benefits:  Rich in phytochemicals, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, several studies—including a 2007 study by Jean Meyer at USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging—suggest that cranberries may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing blood pressure, increasing LDL resistance to oxidation, and other anti-inflammatory mechanisms. 

5. Antioxidant protection: Cranberries are among the fruits higher in antioxidants. Antioxidants clean free radicals out of the bloodstream, inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Found in fresh fruits and vegetables, antioxidants have been studied in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as aging, acne, and a whole range of other diseases.

Try the following cranberry recipes:

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Relish

Mistletoe Margarita, garnished with cranberries

Rustic Apple Cranberry Tart

 


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Laura Sesana

Laura Sesana is a writer and DC, Maryland attorney, joining the Communities in 2012.  She is the author of Colombia: Natural Parks, and has also written several articles on literary criticism.  She writes about food, health, nutrition, women’s legal issues, and the environment.  

In addition to writing for the Communities, Laura also works as an attorney and legal content writer.

 

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