October 23, 2013

Cranberries...a lot of benefits in a small berry!

I just love cranberries especially in baked goods! 

Now, I know most of you have only tried cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving times, and probably from a can! Sorry but you just haven't tasted what cranberries really taste like unless you use fresh cranberries!
It is so simple to make cranberry sauce (the instructions are usually on the bag!) takes like 10 minutes to make - seriously who doesn't have 10 minutes - and tastes wonderfully sweet and tart! 
 Probably asking yourself, "what is so special about them?" 
Well check this out:
A substantial number of recent studies have shown that whole cranberries consumed in dietary form—in comparison with purified cranberry extracts consumed in either liquid or dried supplement form—do a better job of protecting our cardiovascular system and our liver. Several groups of researchers have summarized their health benefit findings by pointing out that it is the synergy among cranberry nutrients (rather than individual cranberry components) that is responsible for cranberry's health benefits. This synergy is only found in the whole berry as consumed in food form. This rule about whole dietary intake appears to apply to the antioxidant benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-cancer benefits of cranberry.
Dietary consumption of cranberry has also been shown to reduce the Rrisk of chronic, unwanted inflammation in the stomach, large intestine (colon) and cardiovascular system (especially blood vessel linings). 
In the case of our gums, the anti-inflammatory properties of cranberry can help us lower our risk of periodontal disease.
While research in this area is somewhat limited, recent studies on the immune support benefits of cranberry are exciting. In studies on very small numbers of human participants, intake of cranberry extracts has shown the ability to improve multiple aspects of immune function, and to lower the frequency of cold and flu symptoms in the subjects
No area of cranberry research has been more intriguing in the past 10 years than research on cranberry and cancer, even though the majority of studies in this area have involved lab studies on human cancer cells or animal experiments. On a virtual year-by-year basis, scientists continue to identify new mechanisms that establish cranberries as anti-cancer agents. It's important to point out that this amazing list of anti-cancer properties in cranberry is not sufficient to establish cranberry as a food to be used in the treatment of cancer. However, it is a list that appears consistent with other studies of cranberry and cancer showing dietary intake of this food to help prevent cancer occurrence. These cancer-preventive benefits of cranberry are especially likely in the case of breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
 Read more here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=145

So go on out and get some fresh cranberries and use them tonight in some of these great recipes!

Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries and Pecans
Cranberry Butterscotch Brownies
Hearty Cranberry Cornmeal Porridge
Cranberry Pie
Asian Roasted Brussels Sprouts with cranberries
Cranberry Mojitos ( I would leave out the rum and orange bitters - instead add in orange peel!)

For those who use Pinterest - click here for a search with cranberries!

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