Nutritional Benefits of Cranberries
Generally, when you are eating foods, it’s because of the taste. You love them. However, many people do not stop and think about the benefits they are getting from eating certain foods. One important food that has identified benefits, and steadily emerging new ones, is the cranberry.
Cranberries are small red berries that grow in cooler regions of the world. Most cranberries are grown in bogs, and float in water for easy harvesting, a process known as water harvesting. Due to the water harvesting growth process, cranberries are exposed to natural sunlight. The anthocyanin and phytonutrient health benefits are greatly increased due to this.
Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and the essential nutrients our bodies need. They can be eaten whole, in supplements, or as juice. In addition to providing us with the nutrients, cranberries also serve as an excellent digestive aid. Cranberries are also an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and fiber.
- Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which helps block the damage caused by free radicals – oxidants that are toxic molecules in your body. It also helps boost the immune system.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps prevent chronic disease.
- Fiber is an excellent means of lowering the blood pressure; can lower cholesterol; helps aid in weight loss; and lowers a person’s risk for stroke, certain gastrointestinal diseases, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
Cranberries also have a strong presence of Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin A, many phytonutrients, and minerals. All of these nutritional properties are what gives the cranberry such a high recommendation for being an anti-inflammatory food choice. Their antioxidant properties are the key weapon in fighting free radicals that damage cell structures and DNA.
See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:
Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Fresh, ORAC score 9584,
Percentage of RDA
|Total Fat||0.13 g||<1%|
|Dietary Fiber||4.6 g||12%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.295 mg||6%|
|Vitamin A||60 IU||2%|
|Vitamin C||13.3 mg||22%|
|Vitamin E||1.20 mg||8%|
|Vitamin K||5.1 µg||4%|