Cranberries are small red colored berries that grow on evergreen dwarf shrubs. In India, we often find them in the summers sold by street-side vegetable vendors. However in India, the range between white to pink color and only one in million would be a bright red berry, they are sour and usually used to make jams. These berries are called karonda in Hindi. It can be consumed in various forms, like a ripe fruit, juice, jam, conserve, sauce, compote, jelly and even as a dry fruit. These little red cute berries are nutrient rich and very beneficial to maintain good health. They are a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, dietary fiber, magnesium and manganese. Here’s a list of some great benefits and reasons to gobble down some cranberries.
- Lesser Calories
The ripe cranberry fruit contains only 46 calories* and 0.13 g of fat per 100 grams of servings and dried cranberries contain around 325 calories* and around 1.2 g of fat per 100 grams of servings. This is the reason why it is a dieters favourite. Being sweet in flavour and containing sugar in the form of fructose (which is not very harmful, rather a preferred natural source of sugar) it is also a guilt-free method to satisfy sugar cravings of those dieting or trying to lose weight, without adding much calories to their diet. Being rich in dietary fiber makes it even more useful for weight watchers.
- Healthy Heart
Already thin on fats, cranberries contain very low trans and saturated fats, almost nil, thus consuming cranberries won’t lead to increase in cholesterol level in the body. When blood cholesterol levels increase, our arteries get blocked, increasing blood pressure and preventing the oxygen-containing blood from reaching many organs, specially heart, which leads to stroke and heart attack, but cranberries help to reduce the blood cholesterol level in the body hence, promoting stable blood circulation and decreasing the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
As already established that cranberries are rich in antioxidants, these antioxidants help to retard the tumor growth in the body, hence slowing the cancer growth. It has shown positive effects on slowing prostate, liver, breast, ovarian and colon cancer.
- Urinary Tract Infection
Cranberries are acidic in nature and rich in antioxidants, it helps to detoxify the body. It flushes out all the toxins from the body, thus keeping the kidney and urinary tract clean and clear of any viruses or infections. The phenolic acids present in cranberries prevent some bacteria and other microorganisms from attaching and surviving in the urinary tract. Hence, it not only cures but also prevents urinary tract infection.
- Radiating Smile
Cranberries contain good amount of calcium which help to strengthen our teeth and bones. It also reduces the chances of osteoporosis. The antioxidants present in cranberries reduce the plaque on teeth and being antibacterial it reduces the chances of oral infection. Cranberries are inflammatory in nature, thus regular intake of cranberries reduces the gum swelling, leaving your mouth healthy and fresh.
- Improves Immunity
This antioxidant-rich fruit, when consumed regularly, whether as ripe fruit, dry fruit, or juice, improves our general body health and immunity.
- Anti Ageing
We know antioxidants and Vitamin C are good for skin and fight free radicles and cellulite and help to reduce the signs of ageing. And by now we also know that cranberries are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C. Thus we can conclude that cranberries are very helpful to reduce the signs of ageing. What better way to fight the signs of ageing than savouring a wonderful and tasty fruit.
- Aids Digestion
Cranberries contain high dietary fiber, (4.6 g per 100 grams of serving) which provides sufficient roughage to the digestive system and aids digestion. This acidic fruit helps the intestines to boost acid secretion thus easing the digestive process.
So here were a few reasons to savour this tasty and juicy fruit. If you are worried that being perishable in nature, you cannot enjoy it all round the year, try the dry fruit version. To know more benefits of cranberries, click here.
*The words calories and kilocalories can be used interchangeably.