April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN
Cranberries are a member of the Ericaceae family, along with blueberries and rhododendrons. They grow wild in the northern regions of Asia, Europe and America. Although these little gems make their appearance at the Thanksgiving table you may want to consider getting them into your diet regularly. Here’s why…
A little history
Essential to Native American life, cranberries were used to make pemmican (a mash up of dried meat, fruit and grains–think of it as an early power bar), everyday cooking, spiritual ceremonies and to dye cloth. Medicinally the berries were used to stop bleeding and, most notably, to treat urinary tract disorders (UTIs).
Cranberries peak season is October through January and America produces over 150 tons of cranberries for commercial use each year, most of them coming out of the Cape Cod region. These commercial berries are much larger than their wild cousins that were treasured by Native Americans.
Western nutritional highlights
Cranberries are a fabulous low calorie food, offering a meager 46 calories per cup. They are packed with vitamin C, manganese and copper. Cranberries are also filled with fiber–both soluable and insoluable making them an important part of diet for bowel health. Vivid red, purple color means they are bursting with antioxidants to battle off cancer and free-radicals. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, soluable and insoluable fiber. Manganese and cooper and antioxidants–that’s the color.
In 1994 JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) published a study regarding cranberries and UTIs. The study not only found cranberries to be beneficial in the treatment of chronic or acute UTIs but it also in their prevention. Why? Cranberries contain a compound called proanthocyanidins (PACs) which inhibit the fimbrial adhesions of bacteria […]