Cranberries are an exceptional and multipurpose little fruit. Their bright red skin and unique taste can brighten up a wide variety of dishes. The fruit’s antioxidant levels and potential health benefits have drawn the attention of health professionals and food lovers for years. Once you know everything cranberries have to offer, you’ll want to include them in every meal!
The benefits of pigments
Cranberries have astonishing antioxidant properties. According to the ORAC index (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), cranberries have one of the highest indexes out of all edible berries. Their pigments, called proanthocyanides, are recognized for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
Cranberries for your health
- For your heart:
Cranberry juice is being closely studied by Canadian researchers for its beneficial effects on blood cholesterol. We now know that drinking cranberry juice every day (or the equivalent of 60 ml or ¼ cup of pure cranberry juice diluted in water) can increase the amount of good cholesterol in the blood.
- To fight infections:
While it won’t cure urinary tract infections after they occur, cranberry juice does seem to be an efficient means of prevention.
- To fight cancer:
Some laboratory studies suggest that the antioxidant extracts from cranberries may eventually help to develop medications that could prevent the development of cancer cells.
Cranberries in every meal
Whether fresh, dried, or in the form of pure cranberry juice, cranberries can be used to give a fruity and tangy taste to any dish. Here are my secrets:
Give a nice kick to your rice, barley, quinoa, bulgur, millet, or buckwheat dishes by adding dried cranberries and some citrus zest.
Add dried cranberries to muffins and banana bread to bring out their flavor.
Mix dried cranberries with your favorite nuts and grains to create a homemade, healthy trail mix.
Toss cranberries or cranberry-based artisan blends into your favorite salads to add some crunch.
Add dried cranberries to your slow-cooker recipes: chicken, pork, butternut squash, and red meat all go wonderfully with cranberries.
Mix a handful of dried cranberries with your favorite cereal, granola, or yogurt.
Don’t forget to enjoy the extraordinary taste of fresh cranberries in muffins, scones, and cakes when the fruit is in season, from September to January.
What else can I say? The cranberry is a little fruit that keeps on amazing us!
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Science & Fourchette
Annie Ferland is the founder and editor of the magazine Science & Fourchette and a nutritionist. Epicurean and a lover of photography, she shares her creations and tips about nutrition on her blog, Science & Fourchette. Her motto: simplify science to put on your plate.Visit Blog