Cranberries are an incredible source of antioxidants. In fact, one study from Cornell University found cranberries to have the highest antioxidant levels compared to 19 other commonly eaten fruits. These antioxidants include proanthocyanins that help prevent urinary infections by blocking the infection-causing bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract lining.
Cranberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C, the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant. Not only are they rich in nutrients but they are also low in calories: one half-cup contains only 23 calories.
In the 18th century, American sailors carried these vitamin C rich berries on their voyages to help prevent scurvy. They were also used medicinally by the Native Americans as a poultice for wounds since the berries’ astringent tannins contract tissues and help stop bleeding. Cranberries have also been found to have antibiotic effects.
Many studies have concluded that cranberries promote gastrointestinal health by inhibiting growth of common foodborne pathogens, preventing the formation of kidney stones as well as heart health by decreasing LDL cholesterol.
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