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26
JUN

Herb of the Week: Cranberry

Filed Under: Herbs at 11:50 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Cranberries

We hear a lot about Cranberries around holiday season. Most Americans and Canadians only see this “false berry” in a sauce form as part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Cranberries can offer a lot more than just a once-a-year delicious dish. Let’s explore all the potential health benefits of this northern hemisphere fruit.

Cranberries have high levels of nutrients and antioxidants, supporting urinary tract health and reducing infections. Although the fruit is edible, its very acidic taste will most likely keep you away from any fresh cranberries.

A good alternative for this problem is Cranberry Juice, a proven helper against formation of kidney stones. Several brands are available and most of the natural products can actually taste pretty good. The warning here is the sugar amount, as some companies tend to add an overabundant amount of sweeteners for a more appealing taste. Look for natural brands and check labels for sugar levels.

Cranberries can also provide benefits for the cardiovascular and immune system. However, the amount needed for significant results is relatively high comparing to what is found on juices and dried berries. If you are experiencing chronic problems, cranberry supplements will help you getting better and faster results. A recent study shows many people are happy with the proven health benefits of cranberry. Other studies also point out the potential of even more benefits, such as anticancer properties, maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels and prevention of plaque formation on teeth.

So, with many potential benefits, you should consider adding cranberry to your diet. Sauces, juices, dried fruit, even a delicious cranberry pie! You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy this traditional North American fruit.

 Image source: www.hort.purdue.edu

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