Cranberry season is from mid-September to mid-November, and during this time you can find fresh cranberries at just about every grocery store. Although you can find cranberries almost all fall, they generally only make an appearance during Thanksgiving and Christmas as cranberry sauce or canned cranberry jelly. However, cranberries are a fantastic fruit that shouldn’t just be eaten during holiday dinners. They have a wonderful tart taste, and they have many fantastic health benefits. In fact, once you read about all of the health benefits of cranberries, you just might start eating a lot more of them during cranberry season.
1. Packed Full of Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are compounds that are found in plants and help protect them from things such as sun damage. Interestingly, phytonutrients also protect you and help keep you healthy when you consume them. Cranberries happen to be a fantastic source of phytonutrients, which is why you should eat them often during cranberry season. They are fresh and you can reap the many health benefits their phytonutrients have to offer.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
If you are following an anti-inflammatory diet, you should definitely load up on cranberries this fall. The phytonutrients in cranberries help decrease inflammation throughout the body. They have even been shown to decrease inflammation in your gums, which can help keep periodontal disease at bay!
3. Healthy Immune System
Fall and winter are cold and flu season, but if you eat cranberries this season, you may be able to avoid getting sick. Researchers have found that cranberry extract can improve immune function and decrease the frequency of cold and flu symptoms. Eating whole, raw cranberries may offer the same benefits.
4. High in Iodine
While sea vegetables are often given praise for their high iodine content, cranberries are also high in iodine. Just 4 ounces of cranberries have 267 percent of the recommended daily intake of iodine! Making sure you get enough iodine will help ensure your thyroid stays healthy. So, be sure to eat plenty of cranberries this fall for a healthy thyroid.
5. Cancer Prevention
Cranberries are a wonderful fall fruit to eat for cancer prevention. Researchers have discovered that cranberries have anti-cancer properties, especially in regards to breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer. Because of their anti-cancer properties, it is well worth including cranberries in your diet.
6. Prevents and Treats UTIs
It is hard to talk about the health benefits of cranberries without mentioning their ability to prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberry juice is a common home remedy for UTIs that actually works! Cranberries contain compounds that prevent bacteria from clinging to the lining of the bladder. Therefore, drinking cranberry juice can help clear up a UTI. You just have to make sure that you drink a lot.
7. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
A surprising amount of research has been done on cranberries’ ability to promote cardiovascular health. Eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice has been shown to prevent thickening of blood vessel walls, which can lead to heart disease and atherosclerosis. Cranberries can also decrease bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol. So, for a healthy heart, be sure to eat plenty of cranberries this season.
If hearing about the health benefits of cranberries has you wanting to include them in your diet more, but you are not sure how, there is no need to worry. Cranberries are a great tart addition to salads. They also taste great in berry smoothies. You can even cook them with leafy green vegetables for a nice flavor addition. As you can see, cranberries are easy to include in your diet, so eat them often this cranberry season. Did you know cranberries were so healthy?