After the much larger United States, Canada is the world’s second-largest exporter of cranberries.
That’s right, Canada. So, there’s no excuse not to have them featured regularly in your weekly meals, as their both an abundance resource, and abundant in health benefits. Whether you eat dry ones in your salad or are saucing up your Thanksgiving turkey, cranberries in any form should be a staple in your diet:
A source of antioxidants
Cranberries’ antioxidants come in the form of proanthocyanidins, which also gives them their signature colour. Proanthocyanidins neutralize free radicals, which cuts the risk of chronic disease development – including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Better bladder health
Studies have shown that drinking cranberry juice regularly can decrease the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs), sometimes called cystitis, in women who are prone to them. Cranberries block E.coli bacteria from sticking to bladder walls.
A study from Harvard Medical School showed that consuming a 1.5-ounce (45-g) serving of sweetened dried cranberries can inhibit bacterial adherence in the bladder, potentially preventing UTIs. This prevents the bacteria from forming colonies; instead, they are washed out of the body in the urine.
As such, this is why cranberry juice has long been used – and continues to this day – as a home remedy to prevent kidney stone and bladder stone formation.
The right stuff
A lot of cranberry drinks are so diluted with other juices and additives that you won’t get the full benefit of pure cranberry juice. So, be sure you’re reading product labels diligently; consider making your own juice at home if nothing is pure enough.
One fair warning, however: Pure juice is so tart you may want to add a little bit of sweetener or cut it with some apple juice.
Photo Credit: Gita Kulinitch Studio/Shutterstock.com; AlexussK/Shutterstock.com