Cranberries are among the fruits and vegetables richest in health-promoting antioxidants, which protect our cells from free-radical damage. Cranberries have a great source of Vitamin C, and are only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fighting antioxidant, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable-including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.
Cranberries are a great source of vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C: Is one of the predominant antioxidants in cranberries. It is essential for the maintenance of skin, muscles, and bone. It also improves iron absorption from plant sources, boosts the immune system, and aids in making collagen which helps wound healing.
- Manganese: Found in most foods, manganese is essential for growth, metabolism, and the body’s antioxidant system.
- Vitamin E: A class of essential fat-soluble antioxidants.
- Vitamin K1: Is essential for blood clotting.
- Copper: A trace element, often low in the Western diet. Inadequate copper intake may have adverse effects on heart health.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
The high level of antioxidant proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries helps to stop certain bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls. In this way, the PACs in cranberries help prevent infection.
Some evidence suggests that the polyphenols in cranberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It does this by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure, through anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
High in fiber:
High fibre intakes are associated with significantly lower risks for developing a range of health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases.
Increased fibre intake has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance weight loss for obese individuals.