It is Harvest time for cranberries. So, you know we love fruits, but especially berries over here at EN&T, but there is one berry that is most popular this time of year only and that is the all-powerful, super versatile cranberry. Cranberries are red and tart and just like its cousin's blueberries and strawberries they are an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and bad bacteria resolver too; they are just not naturally as sweet like them, more tart. Cranberries are however, low in calories, so you won't feel guilty incorporating them into your diet on a daily basis as long as it is not loaded with sugar; especially artificial ones.
The Cranberry Harvest Season is Now
This season is the best time of year to stop by your local farmer's market or grocers to purchase cranberries to strengthen your immune system for the Winter Season. Since cranberries are only in season from September to November, December the latest I suggest you do as I do and purchase some extra’s to freeze so that you can make cranberry juice concoctions all year long. I just went to Costco and purchased cranberries for just $2.99 for a 2 lb. bag, to most that price should not be a deterrent in improving one's health with a berry filled with antioxidants and that is an anti-inflammatory agent full of Vitamin C which is quite helpful for Cold Season. In addition, you can make some of the best cranberry sauce, jams and cocktails you have ever had for just pennies this Holiday Season. If you are not into shopping at Big Box Stores, you can always go to your local Farmers Market or smaller grocery stores or bodegas and ask for Fresh Meadow Organic Farm cranberries, which are freshly grown in New York State with no GMOs and are organic if that does not work for you inquire with your grocer on who they use that are GMO free for natural cranberries. I like to offer as many options as possible, so that you can obtain the best nutrients to improve your overall health as best as you can; after all you only have one body and if you spent years not feeding it well, it is very important that you take your remaining time on earth giving it the foods that are made from earth with as minimum chemicals as possible.
Cranberries, like blueberries are an antioxidant that assists with anti-aging. This means that cranberries helps with lowering oxidation that takes place in the body or slowing down the aging process as well as builds up the immune system to ward off colds, bacteria and lower LDL which is the bad cholesterol. According to the National Center of Biological Information, research has shown that consumption of flavonoids in foods and beverages may decrease the risk of atherosclerosis. In vitro and in vivo experiments with flavonoids demonstrate that flavonoids are dietary antioxidants and inhibit LDL oxidation, inhibit platelet aggregation and adhesion, inhibit enzymes involved in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism that affect the immune response to oxidized LDL and their uptake by endothelial macrophages, may induce endothelium-dependent vassorelaxation, and may increase reverse cholesterol transport and decrease total and LDL cholesterol. Cranberries contain both hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids. (NCBI).
Cranberries are also packed with Vitamin C and fiber to help clean toxins out of the body. It does a great job in working the liver to recycle unwanted and unneeded foods out of the body.
Cranberries have been known to reduce overall inflammation in all parts of the body inclusive of the gums.
Cranberries have been heavily researched and known to prevent and destroy UTI’s. It is best to take a capsule or make your own cranberry juice with no chemicals or sweeteners in it for the best results.
As always, test out the power of cranberries for yourself. For a month or two incorporate consistently (2) 6 oz to 8 oz cups of cranberry juice a day into your daily routine. Try one cup for lunch and another cup with dinner or breakfast; you will be getting almost 50% of the recommended Vitamin C daily intake from just 2 cups of this drink alone. Take out your journal and document how you feel every day, starting with day one. Want to learn how to make natural cranberry sauce and juice with natural sweeteners read our previous blog post here. You can always omit the sugar completely and drink the cranberry juice straight with all of the other ingredients included if you want to go sugarless, which is a whole lot of healthy in itself.
Be Merry, Drink Up & Enjoy!