You may associate cranberries with the holidays, but there are good reasons to consume them year-round, either frozen, dried, or in juice form. Here are six cranberry benefits, including new research about how these gems may help counter the global threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Cranberries curb antibiotic resistance
In a new study from McGill University in Canada, researchers selected bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis. When bacteria are treated with antibiotics they typically become resistant to its effects. But in this experiment, scientists found that the addition of cranberry extract prevented resistance from developing.
Cranberries are anti-inflammatory and packed with antioxidants
Like other berries, cranberries are antioxidant powerhouses. In fact, when it comes to fruit, they rank just under blueberries (often called the king of antioxidants) in antioxidant potency.
Research shows that people who consume cranberries have lower levels of C-reactive protein, a blood marker of inflammation, which is a known trigger of premature aging, chronic illness, and cognitive decline.
Cranberries boost circulation
Cranberries have been shown to help improve artery flexibility. This means enhanced circulation and blood flow, which takes pressure off the heart and can help lower blood pressure. Better circulation can also boost energy and cognitive function.
Cranberries offer disease protection
There’s evidence that cranberry juice protects heart health by reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol, trigylcerides (blood fats), and insulin resistance. What’s more, certain compounds in cranberries have been shown to slow the growth of tumors, including cancer cells of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate.
Cranberries support gut health
Research shows that consuming cranberries can create a positive shift in the beneficial gut bacteria tied to immunity, mood, and digestive health. The fiber in whole or dried cranberries also helps prevent constipation and support digestive health.
Cranberries help with immunity
The vitamin C in cranberries supports immunity and is required to make collagen, so it plays a key role in skin and joint health and overall healing. You’ve probably also heard that cranberries help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. That’s true.