Cranberries are a smart choice for the health conscious consumer. Scientific research reveals that cranberries are packed with vitamins, nutrients like antioxidants, and other natural compounds.
Many health professionals believe there is a clear relationship between a diet high in fruits and vegetables and a low risk of chronic disease. Phytonutrients (naturally derived plant compounds), particularly antioxidants, are increasingly being shown to help optimize human health.
For many years, people believed that cranberry juice helped alleviate the symptoms of urinary tract infections. Now, research backs up that theory. Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins that can prevent the adhesion of certain of bacteria, including E. coli, associated with urinary tract infections, to the urinary tract wall. In another study, the anti-adhesion properties of cranberries were found to inhibit the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers.
Recent scientific research shows that cranberries and cranberry products contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
Besides being high in Vitamin C and flavonoids, cranberries contain tannins; compounds that keep bacteria from binding to cells, preventing them from multiplying and causing infections. Tannins are also antioxidants. Antioxidants may help prevent certain cancers and Alzheimer's disease and they contribute to cardiovascular health. Studies indicate that on a per-serving basis, cranberry sauce, cranberry juice, sweetened dried cranberries, and cooked cranberries have comparable amounts of tannins.
For a complete bibliography on scientific studies and cranberry research, contact the Cranberry Institute.
Include more cranberries in your diet and start eating healthier today.