In Honor of Thanksgiving: 4 Health Benefits of Cranberries

November 23, 2015 Updated: November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away and cranberries are a staple of many traditional Thanksgiving feasts. For as long as I can remember, we have had a terrific cranberry bread that has become one expectation of my day. That’s wonderful, but I hope this post convinces you to indulge in cranberries year round because they have  enormous health benefits.

 4 Health Benefits of Cranberries

1. Protection against Urinary Tract Infections

The Cranberry is well known for it’s ability to help prevent UTIs, especially if the infections are recurrent. How does cranberry juice help prevent urinary tract infections? It contains a significant amount of proanthocyanidins (condensed tannins that are powerful antioxidants), which helps reduce the adhesion of  E. coli, responsible for the majority of UTIs, to the urinary tract walls. This process helps to fight off infections.

*Chinese herbal medicine is also very helpful in treating and preventing reoccurring urinary tract infections

(Stephanie Frey/iStock/Thinkstock)
Cranberry juice ranks among the highest in disease fighting antioxidants. (Stephanie Frey/iStock/Thinkstock)

 

2. Cranberry juice ranks among the highest in disease fighting antioxidants, outranking nearly every other fruit and vegetable!

3. Cranberries are low calorie, contain vitamin C and fiber.

4. Cranberries Fight Heart Disease

Cranberries benefit the heart in many ways. They lower bad cholesterol levels. Prevent plaque from forming on the arterial walls, a problem that can lead to atherosclerosis, (hardening of the arteries). In this way, cranberries can reduce your chance of heart disease and stroke.

(Anetlanda/iStock)
Cranberries can reduce your chance of heart disease and stroke. (Anetlanda/iStock)

 

Cranberries can be frozen and used later when they are out of season and hard to find, so buy some extra when you do your Thanksgiving shopping or afterward when store put the berries on sale.

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Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.

 

*Image of “cranberries” via TheDeliciousLife/Flickr/CC BY 

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