It’s that time of year that cranberries make it to our table in the form of cranberry sauce or whole cranberries added to our stuffing, casseroles and desserts.  But cranberries are a healthful addition to our diet that should make it a year-round mainstay. 

Cranberries are at the top of the list of healthy foods due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content and are often referred to as a “super food.” Not to mention, half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories!

They are a good source of vitamin C, a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body’s resistance against infectious agents by boosting our immune systems.  Vitamin C also helps detoxify our bodies, promotes healing of all of our cells, and allows us to better deal with stress. It supports the good bacteria in our gut, destroys detrimental bacteria and viruses, removes heavy metals and protects us from pollution.

Cranberries are a great source of fiber as well.  Fiber helps lower cholesterol, promotes healthy digestion, keeps the heart healthy, prevents cancer, prevents gallstones and kidney stones, promotes healthy skin, prevents stroke, aids in weight management, increases energy, and helps control diabetes.  Fiber rich foods also help you feel fuller for longer which helps with weight management.

They are also rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant involved in immune function that helps prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals.  It’s also key for healthy skin and eyes, lowering cholesterol, preventing blood clots, reducing the risk of sunstroke, cancer, and heart disease.  Vitamin E helps alleviate fatigue and strengthen capillary walls while nourishing the cells.

Cranberries also contain vitamin K, another antioxidant that helps fight free radical damage and supports healthy brain function.  It also lowers our risk of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, prevents stroke, prevents blood clots and is essential to building strong bones.  Vitamin K has also been found beneficial in the fight against non-Hodgkin lymphoma, colon, stomach, nasopharynx, and oral cancers as well as preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

They also contain manganese which aids in the metabolism of food, normal functioning of the nervous system and in the production of sex hormones.  Manganese works as an antixoidant to help prevent cancer and heart disease.  It also helps improve memory, helps with fatigue and muscle reflexes.  Cranberries also contain a large array of phytonutrients, naturally occurring plant chemicals that help to protect the body from harmful free radicals and offer anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties. 

All these amazing benefits make cranberries worthy of being a regular part of our healthy diet.  Happy Thanksgiving!