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Cranberries and Health Benefits

Updated on September 15, 2017
Cranberries
Cranberries | Source

Vitamins Found in Cranberries

Vitamins that are in a cranberry are as follows: Vitamin A, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Vitamin C, E and K. Minerals include Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc.

You can find cranberries sold fresh, frozen, as a juice, dried or in a tablet and capsule form.

Check With Your Doctor

  • With all this said there are people that should consult their doctor before consuming any type of cranberry products.
  • There are high levels of oxalate in cranberries, which may increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • People that take warfarin a blood-thinning drug should talk to their physician before taking a cranberry supplement, as it may not interact well with the warfarin.
  • Anyone that has diabetes should check the sugar content of the juice.

Health Benefits From Cranberries

This little red plump berry that many people only eat at Holiday time to accompany their turkey dinner has many health benefits that people are unaware of.

  • For years women have been drinking cranberry juice to ward off bladder infections.
  • This amazing berry is now known to protect the cardiovascular system and the liver. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer are among the benefits of adding cranberries to your diet. As an Antioxidant these little gems have more antioxidant phenols than 19 of the most regularly eaten fruits.
  • Studies have shown that by drinking cranberry juice you may get the same result and benefits as taking an aspirin for an anti-inflammatory.
  • As a preventative for cancer, consuming cranberries are helpful for breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers.
  • There has been research done that cranberries can be a defense against bad cholesterol. The studies and findings of how the cranberry can benefit our health is amazing.

Where The Cranberry Is Grown

The cranberry is native to North America. American Indians not only enjoyed cranberries that were made into a sauce, they also used the cranberry for a red dye, in a poultice for wounds, which helped to stop the bleeding, as well as working as an antibiotic.

Red: Common cranberry Orange: Small cranberry Green: American cranberry
Red: Common cranberry Orange: Small cranberry Green: American cranberry | Source
Harvest Time
Harvest Time | Source

How The Cranberry Is Grown

Cranberries are a bog plant that grow on vines, producing berries year after year. There are cranberry vines that are 150 years old. In Eastern Canada these berries at one time grew wild. This fruit does not actually grow in water as most people think but it does need a good supply of water and drainage.


Personal Note

Anytime we have turkey, I always make fresh cranberry sauce. It is so simple to make and tastes better than any of the canned sauce that you buy at your local grocers. Simply follow the directions on the back of the bag of cranberries. As long as you have a pot, water, and sugar you are good to go. I make this in the morning, chill in a dish that I will be serving it from, and refrigerate it until the meal is served.

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    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks htodd :)

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Wow ..That looks nice ..Cranberries are really great for health

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      CookwareBliss, Cranberries are very good for you. I stopped buying the canned jellied cranberries when I found out how easy it was to make my own.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      barbergirl, Home made cranberry sauce is so much better than the canned. You should try it. It's so easy to make :)

    • CookwareBliss profile image

      CookwareBliss 5 years ago from Winneconne, WI

      Just Ask Susan- My favorite time of the year to eat cranberries has to be around Thanksgiving. Its great to know that cranberries are packed with so many vitamins:) I agree with barbergirl28, the jellied canned cranberries are real addictive!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I love Cranberries... although sadly I must admit that I truly do prefer either the juice or the canned stuff when it is jellied. However, I do eat them year round... I especially love adding them to chicken meals! :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      bianccaalice, Thank you, and yes packed with many vitamins and antioxidants.

    • biancaalice profile image

      biancaalice 5 years ago from Southern California

      Oh I love cranberries and cranberry juice. I really enjoyed your article. I didn't know cranberries had that many vitamins in them.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Brian, Cranberry sauce is great with turkey and there are so many different ways you can make it. I usually have a bottle of cranberry juice in my fridge.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Louisiana Jobs, Nice to meet you and thank you.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      LORD, Thank you.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      kikalina, Me too, but since they are so good for us I try to look past that :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Ruchira, Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Victoria, The sauce takes no time at all to make and most people prefer it to the canned sauce.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Audrey, Yes they are high in antioxidants. I eat the dried ones all the time too.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      missolive, I have a recipe for a great salad that has cranberries and walnuts in it. I'll have to see if I can find it. Thank you and glad you liked the hub.

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 5 years ago from England

      Cranberries are a great antioxident food. We drink cranberry juice which is nice but fresh ones are so much the better. I love cranberries at Christmas time as it goes great with turkey. Nice article, book marked for furture use. Voted up.

    • Louisiana Jobs profile image

      Louisiana Jobs 5 years ago from Louisiana

      Cranberry Juice is very good for you, I try to drink at least a glass a day. Nice hub, keep up the good work!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Grandma was right!! But I used to use the bathroom a lot, I guess I was still growing up. Great read Susan!

      LORD

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 5 years ago from Europe

      Cranberry juice reminds me of UTIs. Tastes great though!

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      cranberries are my favorite too :) thanks for sharing!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great article, Susan! Makes me thirsty for cranberry juice. I think I have an unopened bottle of it. May have to partake! My boyfriend's sister made homemade cranberry sauce a few years ago for T-giving. I loved it. Had never had it before. I should make some myself! Thanks for a great hub. Voted useful, interesting, awesome, and UP! Sharing with others, too!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      I enjoy them dried actually---aren't they high is some kind of anti-oxidant as well??

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Just Ask Susan, Hi Susan! This hub came up when I was researching hubs on antioxidants. I have always enjoyed cranberries. I like them as a juice as well as a side dish. Who says we need to just limit ourselves to Thanksgiving? It's kind of ironic that cranberry juice is a common remedy for a bladder infection, but it's high levels of oxalate can cause kidney stones. We can't win em' all can we?

      My grandmother always made fresh cranberry sauce. You have inspired me to give it a try. By the way, you commented to Frank about dried cranberries. I like sprinkling them in my salads. :)

      Thank you for sharing. Bookmarking under my 'Healthy Hubs' file. Voted up, across and sharing.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Frank, Dried cranberries are very tasty. Thanks for the visit and your comments too.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Yeah Just Ask Susan.. I am at that age where I gotta start watching my health.. and I like dried fruits.. don't know why but I do.. am I going off track? nevertheless your hubs are useful and easy to read plus share...

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      dahoglund, I too live not too far from Ontario's largest cranberry grower in Bala, Ontario. They have an annual Cranberry festival that I had wanted to attend this year. There's always next year.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I had to read this as I live in a cranberry growing area. It is a major crop for this area of Wisconsin.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Winsome, Cranberry sauce is very easy to make. All you need is water, sugar and the cranberries. No I didn't know how the cranberry name came about. Thanks for the link. It's a pretty flower.

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hi Susan, thanks for the encouragement to make our own sauce. I think I'll try it this year.

      Did you know that the cranberry got it's name from the flower's resemblance to the head and bill of a crane--hence "crane-berry." You can see for yourself here:

      http://www.jon-nelson.com/wp-content/gallery/flowe... Thanks again.

      =:)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Tina, I always make homemade cranberry sauce, cranberry muffins and I really enjoy the dried cranberries for a snack.

      craftybegonia, Thank you.

      suziecat, Turkey meatballs in cranberry sauce sounds really good.

      S.W. Sometimes it's better to not listen to what doctors say. In your daughters case especially. Thanks for sharing that.

      Wesman, Cranberry juice is good in Vodka too:)

      shea, I just went and read that hub and I will definitively be trying your gravy. Thanks.

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

      Hi Susan, great hub. I knwo this will sound like shameless self-promo... but I just wrote a hub about making gravy with cranberry juice. I love it!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I like the juice a lot, especially if it's mixed with something like pomegranate of blueberry - I mix it with sprite or seven up and red wine!!!!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Yes I can vouch for all the benefits of these amazing berries. When my daughter was a baby the doctors told us that she would be need to be placed on a maintenance dose of antibiotics for two years to treat her reflux kidney condition. I refused to allow this and opted to give her cranberry juice every day instead. It worked and she has grown into a healthy radiant young woman not like some people I know who followed their doctor's instruction and look like hell now. Voted up!

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Great info. I recently made turkey meatballs in cranberry sauce and it was good. Thanks.

    • craftybegonia profile image

      craftybegonia 6 years ago from Southwestern, United States

      Very interesting information. Thank your for sharing!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Wonderful hub, you have put it all together! I havn´t thought about eating cranberries before reading this, but I will definitely try now!Thanks!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Craisens are so good. They are cranberries and you can use them the same way in which you use cranberries.

    • patdmania profile image

      patdmania 6 years ago from waterford, mi

      I don't know if they are the same. I love craisens. I can eat a whole bag.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Carrie it is very easy to make and once you make it the first time you will probably never go back to the canned sauce. Thanks nighbear, I eat a lot of cranberries myself, they are a great fruit!

    • nightbear profile image

      Susan Kaul 6 years ago from Michiagn, USA

      Great information. I love this fruit. usually have it in some form every day

    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 6 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      This is a very informative hub Susan. I did not realize all of the benefits of cranberries. I'm going to try and make my own cranberry sauce, thanks

      Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Pamela. It is always nice to know that something that we really enjoy is very healthy at the same time.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I love cranberries also. I made fresh cranberry sauce this past Thanksgiving with a new recipe. I also use dried cranberries in salads and I like it to drink. Thanks for the good nutritional information.