As far as I’m concerned, cranberries and turkey as made for each other, which means come Thanksgiving Day I’ll be one happy camper. But cranberries are good all year long in my book which is why I don’t hesitate to eat them along with chicken and meat, on top of ice cream or even mixed in with my favorite beverage. I guess you can see that I’m a big fan of cranberries and that has nothing to do with their health benefits! I love the taste of CB’s and how they enhance virtually anything I can place on a fork or spoon. But as long as you’re asking, let me tell how cranberries can enhance your life in addition to your appetite.
Say Goodbye to the URI
I’ve been eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice longer than I can remember, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that regularly drinking cranberry juice can reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. According to the Cranberry Institute, a recent study determined an eight-ounce serving of cranberry juice cocktail prevented E. coli from adhering to the bladder cells in the urine of six volunteers. Fewer bacteria mean less chance for infection to kick in. I don’t know about you, but anytime I have a reduced risk of bacteria swimming around my urinary tract I’m all for it.
But That’s Not All
Ok, granted, the worry of a urinary tract infection does not keep me up at night. Fortunately, the peripheral benefits of cranberries extend far beyond its bacteria-blocking properties. According to naturalnews.com, recent scientific research shows that cranberries and cranberry products contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other ailments including stomach ulcers, tooth decay and gum disease. Not bad for a berry that I use as garnish on my turkey!
A Bitter Berry
Oddly enough, the very lack of sweetness in cranberries may be one reason I enjoy eating them so much along with virtually every meal that crosses my plate. On the popularity scale however, what appeals to me, turns off a lot of consumers, which is why cranberries mat be more tolerable consumed along with something else rather than just alone.
The important thing is that you eat them. The peak season for cranberries tends to be October – December. If you are picking them raw or at a market go with the deepest, plumpest cranberries you can find. Cranberries bounce when they are ripe (hence the nickname “bounce-berries”) and they are also firm to the touch. Also keep in mind that cranberries are best eaten raw. You don’t want to boil all the nutrients out of them.
More and more medical circles are touting the cranberry as the next “super food” thanks to the level of antioxidants, vitamin C and cholesterol reducing fiber contained there in.
The cranberry: not just for Thanksgiving. Heck, all this time I thought they just went well with meat and chicken!