Cranberries are hard and tend to be very tart hence; eating them out of hand is not suitable for all tastes. Typically they are sold in the dried and sweetened form. Approximately 95% of the cranberry crop is processed and employed in making cranberry juice or sauce. Even the juice is combined with other fruits to cut down on its natural tart flavour.
To ensure that the freshest berries are processed an innovative discovery was made by John Web, a New Jersey grower. Rather than carrying the fruit down the steps of his barn he slid them down to discover that only the firmest and most fresh berries made it all the way down to the last step. The rotting or bruised berries stayed on the steps. This idea was used to develop the bounce board separators that are used even today to separate the good berries from poor quality ones.
Thick Cranberry Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- ½ cup low fat yoghurt
- 1 tbsp. honey
- ½ cup ice
Directions: Cut the banana into pieces and place in the blender with all the other ingredients. Blend all ingredients until velvety smooth.
Not only are cranberries low in calories, making them the ideal health food, but one serving of 100 grams provides 0.39 milligrams of protein, 4.04 milligrams of sugar,0.13 milligrams of fat, 4.6 milligrams of fibre and no cholesterol. They are full of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and vitamin C. In the mineral department, cranberries are certainly not lacking in any way with calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium and sodium.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries are most widely recognized for their ability to prevent urinary track infects. However, most recent research shows them to be useful in a variety of other ailments. The proanthocyanidins that help prevent UTI also benefit oral health by inhibiting bacteria from binding to teeth and gums and eliminating plaque build-up that leads to gum disease and tooth decay.
The antioxidants in cranberries neutralize free radicals in the body and protect the cells against damage. In turn this prevents the growth of tumors that may lead to cancers of the breast, prostate, colon or lung. The anti-bacterial characteristics of cranberries kill bacteria and stop its growth in the stomach thus proving to be helpful in preventing ulcers. The Phytonutrients and flavonoids in cranberries aid in improving overall stomach health. Lastly, the vitamin C in the fruit helps to enhance immunity against common diseases like fever, cough, and colds.