Berries are a well-established Super Food, so let’s have a closer look at one berry in particular – the cranberry. Many would associate berries as a summer food, but there are many ways that you can include them in your winter diet.
The high content of Vitamin C and fibre contained within the cranberry contributes greatly to its reputation. There is also a lot of hype around the cranberries ability to help prevent Urinary tract infections (UTIs.) This is because of the proanthocyanidins (PACs) that the berry contains. These PACs act as a barrier to bacteria that might otherwise cling onto the urinary tract lining.
Cranberries are also packed full of phytonutrients, which are shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting abilities. These nutrients also support the immune system and promote cardiovascular health.
It is important to note that many of the nutritional benefits of cranberries lie in the skin of the fruit. In many commonly consumed cranberry juice products, the juice is squeezed and the skin discarded – obviously not a whole lot of good! Here are some ways in which can
you can get the full benefits from this superfood:
- Add fresh cranberries to salads
- Sprinkle dried cranberries over oats or cereal
- Have a handful of dried cranberries as a healthy and tasty snack
- Add fresh or dried cranberries to health rusks, or bran muffins
- Slice fresh berries thinly and add to cooked vegetables, couscous or bulgar wheat
- Mix a few fresh or dried berries into natural yoghurt for a delicious snack
- If you own a juicer, make your own cranberry juice or add to smoothies and shakes
I’m always keen to hear your ideas – if you have a recipe that includes cranberries let me know and I can share it!