These small red fruits have a
variety of health benefits and
help to boost the work of the

Fresh cranberries are too sour and acidic to eat as they are but, for many years, they have been used as a sauce to serve with turkey. However, since their health-giving properties were discovered, they are now widely found sweetened and dried, as a juice drink, and in baked desserts and preserves. Their best-known benefit is that they can help to prevent, or alleviate, urinary tract infections. This is partly because they contain quinic acid, which increases the acidity of the urine, and partly because of the tannins they contain, which are antibacterial. The same compounds may also help protect against stomach ulcers and heart disease.

  • High soluble fiber content may help reduce “bad” cholesterol.

  • May protect against heart disease.

  • Help prevent and alleviate urinary tract infections.

  • Help prevent digestive disorders and stomach ulcers.

Practical tips:

Cranberries sold fresh should have a smooth, bright skin. It is said that one way to test
their freshness is to drop one—if it bounces, it is fresh! Cranberries are rich in pectin,
and make a valuable addition to jams made with low-pectin fruit, such as strawberries,
to help them set. The sugar content of most cranberry products, such as drinks and
dried fruit, is relatively high in calories and may not be suitable for people on a lowcalorie
or low sugar diet.


People taking warfarin should avoid eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice—
the berry can raise blood levels of this anticoagulant drug to a very high, possibly
fatal, degree.

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