It’s officially Fall which means it’s officially cranberry season!

Long before goji berries, blueberries and mulberries were getting hype, cranberries were the superfood du jour. 

Cranberries make me pretty proud to be Canadian.  Did you know that in 2005, cranberries were grown on 7175 acres of Canadian soil?That is a pretty impressive statistic!

Cranberries are most popular as juice or as sauce.  Unfortunately, since we load these items with refined sugar, we lose much of the benefits that cranberries possess. 

These little red gems are loaded with phytonutrients including catechin, myricetin and quercetin.2  Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plant foods which act as antioxidants and can  and help reduce the risk of illness and disease.3

More facts about cranberries:

  • The deeper the red colour, the higher the concentration of healthy anthocyanin pigments (antioxidant pigments that give blue, purple and red pigments to fruits and vegetables)4
  • A therapeutic use for cranberries is as a remedy for rectal disturbances, hemorrhoids and inflammation of the rectal pouch.   Place slightly cooked cranberries in the rectum after each movement.5  That’s straight outta the book people.  Proceed with caution.
  • The tannins (plant compounds that act as astringents6) in cranberries protect against bladder infection by preventing bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.7
  • Cranberries may have such a potential to protect urinary tract health that even consumption of a single serving of 1.5oz of dried cranberries had the ability to reduce the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract walls.8  Dani’s note – if consuming dried cranberries, choose the no sugar added variety, sugar suppresses the immune system and stimulates bacterial growth.

Recipes using cranberries:

Do you have a favourite cranberry recipe?

References

1.  Canada.  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  Crop Profile for Cranberry in Canada.  5 May 2005.  4 Oct 2011.  <http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1241547089433&lang=eng>

2. Haas, Elson M.  Staying Healthy With Nutrition.  Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 2006.  p307.

3. Government of Ontario.  EatRight Ontario.  Phytonutrients – Nature’s Natural Defense.  2011.  4 Oct 2011.  <http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/ViewDocument.aspx?id=147>

4. Murrary, Michael.  The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.  New York: Atria Books, 2005.  p269.

5.  Jensen, Dr Bernard.  Foods That Heal.  New York: Penguin, 1993. p136.

6. Murrary, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005. p260.

7. Mateljan, George. The World’s Healthiest Foods. Seattle, WA: GMF Publishing, 2007. p414.

8.  Mateljan, George. The World’s Healthiest Foods. Seattle, WA: GMF Publishing, 2007. p414.