This vibrant red berry is indeed nutritious and offers several potential health benefits. A one-cup serving of cranberries is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fiber.
Cranberries are a top source of antioxidants (vitamin C is one) that may help protect body cells from damage. Studies suggest that the antioxidants and fiber in cranberries may help promote heart health by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and boosting HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Cranberries also contain procyanidin, a healthy plant compound that may protect against urinary tract infections.
Don't get bogged down by thinking that cranberries are strictly a Thanksgiving table staple—you can enjoy them all year long. Cranberries are available fresh, dried and in juices and prepared sauces. Fresh cranberries are usually available from September to December. They freeze well so buy a few extra bags to use in baked goods and other dishes throughout the year.
Here are few more tips to satisfy those cranberry cravings:
Add fresh cranberries to whole-grain muffins and quick breads or to your favorite recipe for apple crisp or apple pie.
Sprinkle dried cranberries into oatmeal and salads, bake them into biscotti or eat them as a snack.
Make a refreshing cranberry by mixing cranberry juice and orange juice with sparkling water.