My thoughts these days are generally focused on Thanksgiving and what follows. Maybe that’s why when I picked up a recent newsletter from the Mayo Clinic, I noticed an article on the health benefits of cranberries. Ocean Spray doesn’t talk about much beyond their potential value in maintaining the health of the urinary tract, but the Mayo Clinic cites a multitude of good-for-you characteristics, including:
- High in vitamin C
- Contains plenty of the antioxidant phytochemical anthocyanin
- Has a potential role in treating stomach ulcers caused by H. pylori bacteria
- Possibly helps lower LDL, or "bad," cholesterol
- Contains salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory compound similar to aspirin which may have health benefits
They do warn, however, that people who take blood thinners may need to be wary about using cranberry supplements (they apparently can affect bleeding time), and that they contain oxalate – which can be a problem for people who have a history of kidney stones that contain oxalate.
My interest in cranberries doesn’t have anything to do with supplements, though. I like them for that thing they do to turkey and stuffing…yum, I can hardly wait! And that’s why I thought this subject a good one for this blog. Holiday eating time is upon us, and I encourage everyone to eat mindfully, appreciating the health value in eating well and even in eating foods that are often thought ‘bad for us.’ Sure, cranberry sauce is loaded with sugar. But with benefits like the above, cranberry sauce adds more than just good flavor to our foods.
So enjoy healthy eating! Here’s a festive healthy recipe to get you started — Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti that will surely impress family and friends this holiday season. They’re not only chock full of healthful cranberries, they taste great! The Mayo Clinic website also features a cranberry-studded stuffing that looks pretty good, too.
Photo from The Cranberry Institute