Cranberries Healing Powers For All Seasons
Traditionally cranberries are a food we eat and associate with Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Cranberries have so many health benefits and healing power that maybe we should include cranberries in our diet for all seasons. Those little red berries have a lot to offer us in flavor and helping us live a healthy and green lifestyle. There are so many reasons that you should include them in your regular diet.
Did you realize that before the first Thanksgiving that the Pilgrims and Native Americans picked those red berries and used them as medicine. One condition that used them for was scurvy. Native Americans used cranberries as a primitive antibiotic. They would ground them up and make a paste out of them to use on wounds to fight infections.
Cranberries should be a year around superfood because they are loaded with antioxidants and are very low in calories, only about 45 per cup. So if you are watching your weight they are a great natural choice, so few calories but so much nutrition. They have plenty of vitamin C, fiber, and are just plain good for you.
According to Amy Howell, a researcher at Rutgers University at nbcnews.com cranberries are one of the top foods with proven health benefits. The National Institutes of Health is funding research on the cranberry’s effects on heart disease, yeast infections and other conditions.
Health Benefit of Cranberries:
- Cancer Fighters — They are a good source of ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that has shown to help prevent mutations in DNA, the genetic stuff that instructs our cells how to function. Not only does it help to disarm cancer-causing agents but it also helps to prevent tumors from growing. It is believed that extracts of chemicals in cranberries prevent breast cancer cells from multiplying.
- Immune System Support — Cranberries are loaded with flavonoids, that plant pigment that gives them the bright red color, which had powerful antioxidant abilities that support and strengthen your immune system. They block damage from free radical which fights against molecules that lead to cancer, heart disease, and many serious health conditions.
- Urinary Tract Infections — Drinking cranberry juice can block urinary infections by binding to bacteria so they have a tougher time adhering to cell walls.
- Prevent Kidney Stones — Cranberries contain quinic acid which prevents calcium and specific phosphate chemicals from binding together, which is what causes kidneys stones.
- Dental Health — Proanthocyanidine, a compound found in cranberries prevents plaque formation on teeth.
- Stomach Ulcers — Consuming cranberry juice regularly for months has shown to kill the H. pylori bacteria, the bacteria that has proven to cause some stomach cancer and ulcers.
- Heart Disease — Research has shown that drinking cranberry juice daily may help stabilize cholesterol levels. Research has evidence that it can increase levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and reduce levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol).
- Vision Health — Cranberries are especially beneficial to the eyes (they significantly improve symptoms of cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy)
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup Raw yogurt
- 2 or 3 ice cubes
- Organic liquid Stevia (Add a few drops or to personal taste)
Directions — Blend all ingredients in a blender or small food processor and blend to smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
Nature provides us with so many foods that we are not always aware of the value they can add to our lives and health and cranberries are probably one of them. So don’t just eat them during the holidays but make them part of your family’s regular diet. Make sure you are getting the best quality cranberries — buy organic. There are so many way to add cranberries to your diet such as; put some on your morning cereal, add them to your favorite muffins, put them in a smoothie, eat them dried as a snack, or drink 100 percent organic cranberry juice. Start adding cranberries to your family’s diet so they can reap the many health and nutritional benefits that they provide for our bodies.
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Other Sources:The Doctors of Food Remedies Author: Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books