During the winter months, delicious cranberries tend to show up directly in meals, alongside meals, in baked goods and various drinks. It seems to be a great choice for the winter and compliments well with many of the seasonal and traditional meals and dishes that are served during this time. A deliciously sweet yet tart treat, this nutrient dense berry can be used in various cooking methods and it has numerous health benefits.
Proteins are enhanced when cranberry sauce is by their side and at the end of the meal it can be such a treat to find a berry or two in a cake or ice cream dessert. Cranberries can be an acquired taste but beyond its wonderful taste properties and rich color and scent, cranberries represent a key staple to our diet and health.
The most common prevention and aid in treatment for urinary tract infections is cranberry juice. It clears the toxins in the urine which is great for anyone with bladder infections. If you find it difficult to drink cranberry juice on its own then you can try a cranberry blend or add some soda to it for a delicious drink. Women need to find a way to add this superfood into their meal plan on a regular basis. Alternate cranberries with other delicious and healthy berries like blueberries, raspberries, acacia berries from Brazil and gogi berries. These berries are considered true superfoods with lots of powerful health advantages.
Healthy treats can be made with cranberries and this includes anything from protein pancakes to oat squares. It is as simple as adding dried cranberries onto your oatmeal or onto your cereal in order to get some of these powerful nutrients into your diet. One of my clients adds them to nonfat cream cheese and then smears it on rice cakes.
Being a powerful antioxidant, cranberries are also rich in phytochemicals. These are the wonder nutrients which are said to fight cancer. New phytochemicals are still being discovered every day! Cranberry is composed of various nutrients and phytochemicals. These nutrients include:
- vitamin A
- vitamin B-1
- Vitamin B-2
- vitamin B-3
- vitamin B-5
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
The phytochemicals contained in cranberries include:
- benzoic acid
- chlorogenic acid
- ellagic acid
- ferullic acid
- malic acid
You can find cranberries processed into powders and tablets in the form of supplements at your local health store. I am not sure how effective this would be compared to eating the real fruit itself but I would assume it’s at a much higher concentration of nutrients versus eating real food. Of course, with these types of supplements you need to watch out for added sugars and fillers. I would also suggest non sweetened cranberry sauce for those special occasions or make some yourself for an easy and fun project. It is always nice to know exactly what is in the foods we are eating!
Juicing is another great way to include cranberries into your diet and it’s commonly used in juicing recipes. I always suggest keeping the pulp that is left over for muffins! Whichever way you slice it, make sure to include these wonderful berries into your diet for continued health and wellness.