by Dr. Helen Lee
Don’t be fooled by their size. Cranberries are the ultimate super fruit packed with nutrients and antioxidants. From combating urinary tract infections to promoting gastrointestinal (digestive) health, the lists of health benefits are endless. Make sure you don’t pass on the cranberries this Thanksgiving and enjoy cranberries as a juice or cocktail, in pie, jam or sauce.
ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Dr. Helen Lee shares how cranberries can boost your health this Thanksgiving.
- Urinary Tract Health: Studies in 1994 showed that women who drank cranberry juice were less likely to develop urinary tract infections. At the Experimental Biology conference in 2002 a study showed that 8-oz of cranberry juice cocktail prevented E. Coli from adhering to the wall of the bladder. Cranberries contain a structurally unique form of proanthocyanidins which prevent bacteria such as E. Coli from adhering to the urinary tract and thus can be released through the urine.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants are compounds in the body which have the ability to stabilize free radicals which cause cellular damage, increased degeneration/aging/disease, as well as increase risk of cancer. A study published in the November 19, 2001 edition of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry showed cranberries to contain more antioxidant phenols than 19 other common fruits & vegetables.
- Gastrointestinal Health: Cranberry has been found to inhibit some food-bourne bacteria from attaching to the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. A study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition also showed that cranberry juice prevents the common bacteria responsible for many stomach ulcers, Helicobacter pylori, from adhering to the gastric wall.
- Cholesterol Health: A study in British Journal of Nutrition showed 8% increase in HDL (“good”) levels of 30 overweight men with slightly elevated LDL. Increased levels of HDL has been shown to decrease risk of heart/cardiovascular disease.
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