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4 Amazing Health Benefits of Fresh Cranberries

Updated on December 8, 2011

4 Amazing Health Benefits of Cranberries

As we finally move away from food products and back to food in its most natural state, we are finding out that fresh food has all the nutritional benefits that we will ever need This includes cranberries, which are now being proven to have even more health benefits than originally thought.

Consumers are well aware of the long-standing belief that drinking cranberry juice (not cocktail) can help to prevent UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections). However, recent studies have shown that cranberries may be bacteria's biggest enemy and therefore have more health benefits than previously thought. Cranberries have at least four amazing health benefits.

Cranberries can:

- fight E.coli - this is the bacteria that can cause urinary tract infection

- can get rid of H. pylori - this is the bacteria that is linked to stomach cancer and ulcers

- help eliminate streptococcus mutans - this is the bacteria responsible for tooth decay

- also help prevent stroke and heart disease - this is a finding by a university study published earlier this year

Further, researchers from Harvard Medical School, and Rutgers University determined that regular consumption of cranberry juice reduced the amount of bacteria in the urinary tract. It was determined that something specific to the cranberry actually prevented bacteria from adhering to the lining of the bladder.

Cranberries also contain phytochemicals that contribute to their overall effects. Some of these phytochemicals act as antioxidants which neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. These antioxidants are known to reduce oxidative damage to cells that can lead to heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

The cranberry fruit contains no cholesterol, virtually no fat, is low in sodium, and has dietary fiber. Throughout history, the health benefits of cranberries have been based on folkloric remedies that have existed for centuries. These health-giving benefits were long recognized by the First People on this continent.

Fresh cranberries are available from mid-September through December, which probably explains why they were traditionally served (fresh) during the year-end holiday season. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. They can also be bought fresh then frozen to be enjoyed all year.

There are several ways to enjoy cranberries:

Fresh or dried - are highly recommended. Fresh cranberries can be used in breads, and muffins. Dried cranberries are less tart than the fresh ones and can be eaten as a snack - no more than 1/2 cup per day.

Fresh cranberries cooked during the holiday season are excellent. Generally, cranberry sauce is traditionally served for American holidays. But one holiday, instead of cranberry sauce, my sister cooked fresh cranberries - outstanding! Now it is impossible to go back to the canned cranberry sauce.

Cranberry juice - should be real juice and not the cocktail. Choose pure cranberry juice. If it is too tart it can be mixed with sparkling water. About 6 ounces daily will provide optimum health benefits.

Cranberry supplements - these are suggested as a last resort for people who just don't like the taste of cranberries. Follow the dosage on the bottle. However, it is always recommended that you get your nutrients from food and not food products or supplements.

For other healthy eating ideas see the links below :

fresh cranberries


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