This Thanksgiving staple may benefit your health

This Thanksgiving staple may benefit your health

Canned, raw, dried, as a sauce or even as a drink – cranberries come in many different forms, and with the holidays upon us, cranberries have become a dinnertime staple for many families.

Cranberries are often called a “superfruit” due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content. They also offer natural remedies for treating various health conditions.

Studies have found them to be effective in:

  • Treating urinary tract infections
  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Slowing tumor progression for prostate, liver, breast, ovarian and colon cancer patients
  • Preventing bacteria from affecting dental health

Melodi Peters, a registered dietitian at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill., explains that cranberries are not as high in vitamin C as strawberries and blackberries, but their health benefits seem to be more in the area of infection prevention. For example, there are components in cranberries that seem to prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, stomach lining, teeth and gums and from multiplying to the point of infection.

Other cranberry health facts:

  • Cranberries have been called “bounce berries” because they bounce when dropped if they are fresh.
  • Cranberries are a cholesterol-free, fat-free and low-sodium food and help maintain a healthy heart.
  • One cup of cranberries contains about 50 calories. One cup of cranberry sauce contains about 400 calories.
  • “On average, Americans consume some 400 million pounds of cranberries a year – 20 percent during Thanksgiving week,” says Peters.

Want to learn more about your risk for heart disease? Take a free online quiz to learn more. 

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About the Author

Liz Donofrio
Liz Donofrio

Liz Donofrio, health enews contributor, is a marketing specialist at Advocate Health Care. As a newlywed, she is happy to be done planning her wedding and enjoying spending time with her husband and new extended family. In her free time, you can find Liz cooking new tasty recipes for her family, attending Chicago sporting events and chasing after her shih tzu-yorkie, Buttons.