The Remarkable Antioxidant Power of Cranberries ~ With the holidays just around the corner, cranberries will start to make its annual appearance on Thanksgiving and other seasonal meals.
Cranberries and Your Heart
Studies have shown that cranberries reduce the risk of heart disease. Other studies have also found that people who drink cranberry juice have higher levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and may have improved blood vessel function.
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Cranberries are a rich source of antioxidants, according Cranberry Institute, a trade association for cranberry growers. In a study funded by the Institute, it was found that:
"Cranberries contain more antioxidants compared to 19 commonly eaten fruits phenols. Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and should be eaten more often," said study author Joe Vinson, Ph.D., research chemist at University of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Other studies also rank cranberries as leaders in the content of phenolic compounds.
Cranberries fight against cancer
Certain compounds of Cranberries were considered toxic to many strains of tumor cancer cells, including:
One study, for example, published in June 2004 Journal of Nutrition, found that whole cranberries inhibit prostate cells, skin, lung and brain. Experts estimate that a compound across the cranberry (not just the juice) is responsible for this.
Unique properties "non-stick"
Cranberries have a unique ability to inhibit bacteria, including E. coli, from adhering to the urinary tract. That's why cranberry juice is often recommended to prevent urinary tract infections (UTI). Cranberries also contain hippuric acid, which is antibacterial and helpful for warding off UTIs.
But the anti-stick properties "cranberries are useful for much more than your urinary tract. A study published in the Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture in October 2004, revealed that antiviral compound in cranberries called proanthocyanidin A-1 inhibits the herpes virus in settling and penetrating the genitals.
Cranberries and Your Teeth
A study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition in 2002 found that compounds in cranberry juice are great for your oral health. They help to dissolve aggregates formed by many oral bacteria to reduce the level of Streptococcus mutans, the primary cause of tooth decay.
Cranberry tasty recipes to try this season
The best part of all this is that cranberries are not, as some healthy foods, hard to swallow.
Traditional cranberry sauce (no sugar added!)
1 12 oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chopped orange zest
Cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup honey
Bring orange juice, ginger, zest and cinnamon to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Rinse cranberries and add once liquid is boiling. Remove from heat and let cool.
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Spicy Cranberry Sauce
1 1/2 cup water
1 orange (including juice and finely chopped rind)
2 cups sugar
1 piece cinnamon stick
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
Cook first 4 ingredients together for 5 minutes.
Add cranberries. Cook until the berries stop popping.
Cool without stirring.
Lady Cranberry Recipe
2 cups chopped Braeburn apples
2 cups whole cranberries
1/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 c. minced garlic
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger root (or ground ginger 1 teaspoon)
Combine all in a non-aluminum boiler.
Stir often to prevent burning.
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