Cranberries Health Benefits - Nutrition Facts for Fresh Cranberry

Recent research has highlighted the health benefits of fresh cranberries, mostly due to the biologically active components of the fruit such as the phytochemicals that act as precursors for vitamins and have antioxidant properties. Various studies on human health have shown key benefits in:

► decreasing the recurrence of urinary tract infections

► providing benefits for the heart and circulation via antioxidant properties

► providing a rich source of phenolic active compounds that improve human health and support the immune system.

► providing benefits for oral health, by helping to control bacteria in the mouth.

► improving digestion and supporting gut health.

Native Americans used cranberries to reduce fevers, as a poultice for wounds, to relieve stomach problems and as a diuretic.

This article reviews the health benefits of fresh cranberries and compares nutrition data for cranberries with other similar berries: blackberries, blueberries, cherries, mulberries (see table below).

Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and are very goof for you
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and are very goof for you | Source
Canberries can be made into delicious relishes and salsas that go well with grilled and baked meats
Canberries can be made into delicious relishes and salsas that go well with grilled and baked meats | Source
Cranberry sauce is a wonderful addition to sandwiches and rolls
Cranberry sauce is a wonderful addition to sandwiches and rolls | Source
Cranberries are easuily cooked and are used in a variety of savory and sweet dishes
Cranberries are easuily cooked and are used in a variety of savory and sweet dishes | Source

Health Benefits of Cranberries

The cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a dwarf, evergreen, creeping shrub (trailing vine) that belongs to the family Ericaceae, genus Vaccinium. The cranberry is native to peat wetlands and acidic bogs in southern Canada and northeastern US. Cranberries were cherished by native Americans, and fruit were collected by the English settlers in the 1600′s. Cranberries are related to blueberries, but they have their own genus.

► Cranberries, like other similar berries have relatively low calories with only 45 Calories in 100g of fresh fruit (see table below). This less than the calories in 100g of apple (52), pear (57), plums (46), mango (60), cherries (50), grapes (67).

► Cranberries are richer in Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin E, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, and Manganese than the other berries shown.

► Cranberries are relatively poor in Protein, Calcium, Iron, Niacin and Folate

► Cranberries have lower levels of fat than other berries

► Cranberries are a good source of Vitamin C and most other vitamins and have a wide range of minerals.

► Cranberries are a rich source of pro-anthocyanidins (PAC’s), which belong to the active phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals. These substances have properties for fighting infections, inflammation and cancer, and they have anti-bacterial properties.

► Cranberries are a rich source of many antioxidants that help reduce the damaging effects of free-radicals on the body. Cranberries have one of the highest values for overall Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity for any berry.

Serving Tips for Fresh Cranberries

  • Fresh, or dried cranberries can be eaten as snacks, or mixed with nuts or other fruits.
  • Add fresh cranberries to green salads and fruit salads.
  • Use in preparing sorbets, smoothies and fruit cocktails.
  • Use fresh and dried cranberries in a wide range of baked goods and deserts.
  • Cranberries can be used to make a wide variety of jams, sauces, and jellies.
  • Cranberry sauce is popular with turkey and other poultry dishes.

Nutrients in 100g of fresh Cranberries compared with similar fruits

Nutrients in 100g fresh fruit
cranberries
blackberries
blueberries
cherries
mulberries
Calories (kcal)
46
43
57
63
43
Protein (g)
0.4
1.39
0.74
1.06
1.43
Total Fat (g)
0.14
0.49
0.32
0.2
0.4
Total Carbs (g)
12.2
9.61
14.49
16.01
9.8
Dietary Fiber (g)
4.6
5.28
2.43
2.09
1.67
Sugar (g)
4.04
4.88
9.96
12.82
8.1
Vitamins
 
 
 
 
 
Vitamin C (mg)
13.4
20.97
9.73
6.97
36.33
Thiamin (mg)
0.02
0.01
0.04
0.03
0.03
Riboflavin (mg)
0.02
0.03
0.04
0.03
0.1
Niacin (mg)
0.1
0.65
0.42
0.16
0.63
Pantot. Acid (mg)
0.3
0.28
0.12
0.2
 
Vitamin B6 (mg)
0.06
0.03
0.05
0.05
0.07
Folate (mcg)
0
25
5.41
4.36
6.67
Vitamin A (IU)
60
214
54
64
27
Vitamin E (mg)
1.2
1.17
0.57
0.07
0.87
Vitamin K (mcg)
5
19.86
19.32
2.09
7.67
Minerals
 
 
 
 
 
Calcium (mg)
8
29.17
5.41
13.07
40
Iron (mg)
0.24
0.63
0.28
0.36
1.87
Magnesium (mg)
6
19.44
5.41
11.32
16.67
Phosphorus (mg)
12
22.22
12.16
20.91
36.67
Potassium (mg)
84
162.5
77.03
222.13
193.33
Sodium (mg)
2
1.39
1.35
0
10
Zinc (mg)
0.1
0.53
0.16
0.07
0.13
Copper (mg)
0.06
0.17
0.05
0.06
0.07
Manganese (mg)
0.36
0.65
0.34
0.07
 
Selenium (mcg)
0.2
0.42
0.14
0
0.67
Fatty Acids
 
 
 
 
 
Saturated Fat (g)
0.02
0.01
0.03
0.03
0.03
Monounsat. Fat (g)
0.02
0.04
0.05
0.04
0.03
Polyunsat. Fat (g)
0.06
0.28
0.15
0.05
0.2

© 2013 Dr. John Anderson

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