Cranberries are a holiday staple, but did you know they are actually a great health food for you all year round? These tiny, tart, and tangy berries are loaded with nutrients your body is craving.
First off, cranberries are jam-packed with anti-oxidants, more so than blueberries. Anti-oxidants help fight oxidation throughout the body which helps to fight the aging process and the negative impacts related to that. This also is what makes them a great cancer fighter.
They are also brimming with vitamin C, an essential vitamin to over-all health, including immunity boosting, and cell function – something that is extra important in the winter months when colds and flu bugs are being passed around.
Cranberries are also a phenomenal detoxifier. They are especially great at cleaning and clearing the urinary tract and kidneys and are recommended for anyone susceptible to UTIs as they block bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. If you experience frequent UTIs try consuming cranberry juice on a regular basis to see if it changes things. Always consult with a doctor if you have serious symptoms. This same anti-bacterial and anti-viral nature of cranberries helps to detoxify the liver as well – something that is especially important if you consume alcohol or have heavy chemicals in your environment that have worked into your system. Unfortunately, most of us do to a certain extent from the air we breath and the water we drink, so a regular cranberry cocktail is the perfect medicine.
A word of caution: make sure you check out if the cranberries you get are organic or not. This is one of those crops that can be secretly toxic to your body if you are not careful. A loophole in the regulation of cranberry bogs means that some use a very heavy amount of pesticides that end up right in the bog water that they are harvested in and into streams once the bogs are drained.
Also be careful to pay attention to your label. Not all cranberry juice is created the same. Some are mostly high-fructose corn syrup and water, with a hint of apple juice and just a tiny splash of cranberry – almost for color. If your juice is sweet, you probably wont see the same health benefits. Real cranberry juice is about as tart as lemon juice. I personally like the unsweetened pure juice from Trader Joes, which I always add to water and sweeten with pineapple juice. It’s also fun to add a little to your tea for flavor or even your next glass of Champagne!
Play with adding more cranberries to your life and see how healthy you become!