Did you know that today is National Cranberry Day? Cranberries are not only a popular fruit to have during the holidays, but they are also loaded with vitamins and nutrients. I am absolutely amazed at all the things you can make with cranberries: drinks, baked goods, and so much more. But they are not just for show, they are an important part of a healthy diet. Here are some reasons why you should add cranberries to your diet.
5 Reasons Why You Should Add Cranberries To Your Diet:
1. They Have a High Amount of Antioxidants
Antioxidants have a huge range of health benefits and are especially powerful at fighting off illnesses. They also help to fight infections and diseases. By having cranberries regularly, you avoid a lot of serious diseases. They also have benefits for skin, hair and nails.
One of the main reasons cranberries are classed as a superfood is because of their extremely high antioxidant content. In a cupful of cranberries, there’s an estimated 8,983 antioxidant content. This is beaten only by a cupful of blueberries.
You’ll find that many fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants, cranberries have more than many of them, including broccoli, other berries, apples, red grapes, cherries, and spinach. It also contains other nutrients like fiber and vitamin C, so having cranberry juice each day is a good way to get healthier.
2. Cranberries Are Good For UTIs
One of the diseases that cranberries are the best for is the UTI. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common and can be very painful. This occurs from bacteria entering the urinary tract walls. Just by having more cranberries in your diet, you can help to prevent a UTI. Just be aware that cranberries are NOT a cure, just a means of making it less likely of getting one.
Drinking cranberry juice is often recommended during treatment of a UTI along with medication to get rid of the infection. They’re even said to be better than antibiotics. This is because although very effective, antibiotics can cause some pretty nasty side effects, whereas cranberries don’t produce any side effects. Again, cranberries aren’t a cure, but they can possibly shorten the UTI by a few days.
Women are most likely to suffer from these infections and it’s estimated around 15 million cases of them are reported every year in the US. If you’re prone to this type of infection, you should have cranberries on more of a regular basis.
3. You Can Reduce Your Risk For Cancer
Thanks to the nutrients in cranberries, particularly the antioxidants, cranberries can also help to reduce your risk for certain types of cancer. While you should also follow your doctor’s orders for avoiding cancer, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet, along with not smoking and not drinking alcohol as much, cranberries are good to add to your diet. They have been shown to help with colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate and ovarian cancer, and liver cancer.
One of the major benefits of cranberries is their ability to fight off cancer. They’re especially good at preventing breast cancers, with several studies highlighting their cancer-fighting benefits. Most studies have been carried out on laboratory animals, but they have shown cranberries can prevent cancer cells from developing. Cranberry extract has also been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer cells multiplying.
4. Strengthen the Immune System
The high concentration of antioxidants in cranberries, helps them to really strengthen the immune system. They work by flushing toxins out of the body.
It’s the proanthocyanidins which helps to protect the gut’s lining, keeping the immune system strong and healthy. As the antioxidants work to remove harmful bacteria, they also help to boost the good bacteria within the gut. So, if you’re looking to stay fit, healthy and resistant to colds and flu, you’ll want to make sure you add a good amount of cranberries to your daily diet.
5. They Contain Excellent Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
While inflammation can be good for the body, it’s also often a contributor or result of many illnesses. For example, inflammation has been linked to cancer, auto-immune diseases and heart disease. By adding cranberries into a healthy diet and exercise program, you can reduce the body’s inflammatory process and decrease the risk of other diseases.
As always, you should always check with your physician first before adding anything new to your diet regime. Be aware of any medications you are on that may interact with cranberries, and discuss them first.
Are you familiar with the reasons why you should add cranberries to your diet?
Other posts you might enjoy:
- Dove Fruit Cranberry Friendship Muffins. Speaking of recipes with cranberry, check out this delicious recipe that features cranberries!
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple French Toast Casserole. The perfect breakfast dish featuring cranberry!