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The Cranberry… That little berry with lots of benefits!

The cranberry, a widely fashionable fruit, is a small acidulated red berry that is quite rich in vitamin C and which was initially produced in North America where it was known since the sixteenth century. It is also particularly appreciated for its nutritional virtues and antioxidant properties. Cranberry can be consumed as fresh fruit, dried fruit or in the form of juice or dietary supplement.

However, several studies have shown that cranberry is not considered as a treatment for urinary infections but it rather plays a preventive role aiming to limit the adhesion of some pathogenic bacteria (E. coli) and their proliferation on the urinary tract walls. In fact, the ANSE (formerly AFSSA) declared that “the daily consumption of Vaccinium macrocarpon juice, for instance, (containing 36 mg of proanthocyanidins) leads to a decrease in the frequency of urinary tract infections due to certain E.coli uropathogenes in adult women. This takes us to conclude that cranberry is not a treatment to such cases but it is rather recommended for the prevention and thereby reduction of the frequency of recurrent urinary infections.

From the nutritional point of view, you’ll find below some of the benefits of cranberry:
– The main advantage of the cranberry resides in its richness in antioxidants which makes it interesting for the prevention of urinary tract infections, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and aging.
– It is noted that antioxidant compounds are more abundant in dried cranberries than in fresh cranberries and this is due to their drying process. However, their added sugar content is often high; hence, it is better to consume them in moderate quantities.
– Cranberries also contain flavonoids. Therefore, they are beneficial to the cardiovascular system and can improve the elasticity of blood vessel walls.
– Cranberries can be efficiently taken for preventing the development of certain cancer cells.
– In terms of calorie intake, the consumption of a small handful of this fruit (about 30 g) consumed in its dried form brings us about 110 kcal.
– Also, cranberry is high in fiber and contains protective pigments such as carotene.
– Cranberry is a great addition to fruit or vegetables salads. Also, you may easily add some pieces of cranberry while preparing muffins and cookies.
– As for its conservation, fresh cranberry may well stay in the refrigerator for a few weeks and even months, which is quite exceptional for a small fruit.

Caution! However, it is advised that people taking anticoagulants should consult their physician with regards to their consumption of cranberry and its derivatives.

About Denise Abou Jamra

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