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Cranberries – Treasured medicine to treat and ward off infections

Cranberries – Small fruit with big health benefits

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Cranberries have a long history of use by Native Americans–not only as food, but also as a treasured medicine to treat and ward off a variety of conditions, including infections. The pilgrims were introduced to the berry by Native Americans, and we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying them ever since. The cranberry is one of only three commercially grown fruits native to North America, which is one reason why there are many cranberry products available for consumers.Cranberry sauce, dried fruit and juice not only taste great; they may also provide important health benefits.

Cranberries –  New entrant in our supermarket shelves

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Fresh cranberries are very popular this time of the year in the west. Cranberries are a fairly new entrant in our supermarket shelves. While fresh cranberries are available sometimes, they are quite expensive. So, I stick to using the dried ones in my cooking. Dried cranberries are much like dried raisins and intense in flavour. The sugars are concentrated, but they still retain their tartness. This makes it such a versatile ingredient to work with in both sweet as well as savoury food. Our local stores are full of dried cranberries from different countries.

Cranberries – health benefits and medicinal values

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Research over the past several decades has helped to explain how the little berry provides such big health payoffs. Studies have helped identify several bioactive compounds that do, in fact, provide health benefits from the mouth to urinary tract as well as the vascular system.

Cranberry, Urinary Tract Health and Antibacterial Properties

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For centuries, the cranberry has been a popular folk remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs), a common but not often talked about health problem.  Cranberry has an extensive history of use for treating UTI. Furthermore, this traditional use of cranberry for UTI has been validated through scientific research. Cranberries keep bacteria that are responsible for urinary tract infections from sticking to the urinary tract cells.A type of flavonoid found in cranberries sticks to the bacteria to keep them from settling in.  “Drinking cranberry juice, and lots of it, is one of the earliest known solutions to the UTI problem.

Another reason cranberries are prescribed by health gurus is because of the prevalence of many vitamins and antioxidants. The cranberry juice has been promoted as being high in polyphenols and flavonoids that are extremely beneficial in treating stomach disorders, ulcers and urinary tract infections.

Dried cranberries contain vitamin E, along with traces of iron, potassium and vitamin C. It is a berry that found very easy to incorporate into many a salad and rich dish, while cooling both-co Mine ntal-as— well as Middle Eastern food.

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