Cranberries are a holiday season tradition. Their tart taste, dark red hue, and versatility underlie their popularity. Americans are consuming more cranberries, with 40,000 acres devoted to this crop. Farmers grow cranberries in bogs or marshes, taking advantage of a natural habitat for plants and animals. Long-lived cranberry vines can bear fruit for more than 150 years!
Here are 10 benefits of enjoying cranberries fresh in season, and dried or frozen year-round.
1. Of all fruits, cranberries rank near the top in both number and amount of phytochemicals, beneficial plant substances that help protect your cells in many ways. Scientists have identified over 150 phytochemicals in this berry, with more yet to be discovered.
2. Cranberries have a well-researched, unique ability to make it way more difficult for certain bacteria to infect your body. Most people have heard that cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections by keeping bacteria from sticking to the wall of the urinary tract. What you might not know is that cranberries have a similar ability to keep bacteria from infecting your stomach (decreasing ulcer risk) and mouth (decreasing the chances of cavities and plaque).
3. If you want to reduce chronic inflammation associated with degenerative diseases of aging,