The main reason that we have them at Thanksgiving is a long running tradition started by the pilgrims that has been passed from one generation to another. Cranberries, blueberries and concord grapes are native American plants that are now grown commercially. The Colonists used them for food, for medicinal purposes, dying clothes and even as trade for other supplies.In todays global market we can enjoy these great fruits everyday and we can get them in various forms such as canned, frozen and dried. However you enjoy them they are healthy for you. Enjoy some everyday.
What Are The Benefits Of These Vitamins and Minerals?
For more than a century, cranberries have been used to treat urinary tract infections and as a preventive treatment for kidney stones. Their unique feature is the quinic acid that they contain. Our bodies do not break this down, causing the urine to remain more acidic which in turn prevents phosphate and calcium from combining to form kidney stones.
But there are added benefits that doctors and scientist have found. Research at the University Of Massachusetts discovered compounds in this fruit are toxic to a number of cancer cells. The findings showed that breast cancer, cervical, leukemia, lung, and prostrate cancer cells were diminished from these compounds.
Additional research has found that the antioxidants found in them can also lower the LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL cholesterol, keeping the arteries open and pliable. Having a higher HDL level has been shown to help prevent hypertension and in preventing heart attacks.
The same compound nutrients that help bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract also help prevent plaque from building up on your teeth.
The health benefits of eating cranberries make it a fruit that we should eat more often and not just during the holidays.
How to Buy and Store
When you get ready to buy cranberries look for the ones that have a dark red color and firm to the touch. Soft berries are a sign of being overripe and not the same high quality as the firmer ones.
Simple tips for the best nutritional value: The fresh berries will provide you with the most vitamins, followed by the dried berries and frozen ones. Bottled juices that contain added sugar will yield the least in nutritional value. Drinking the bottled juice will be more beneficial to your system than drinking soft drinks.
Tips For Preparing:
Pour fresh berries into a strainer and gently rinse with cool water. Let them drain for a few minutes then pour from the strainer onto a paper towel to help dry them.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
Great for a snack, add them to salads, cookies, muffins, pancakes and even used in fruit drinks such as smoothies.
For snacks, the dried berries are perfect! They can be added together with nuts, Cheerios, amd Grapenuts; put all of the ingredients into a Ziploc bag and you have an enjoyable snack that is very good for you.
For salads, you can use them to replace lemon or vinegar Not only do they add tartness, they also add great color to make your salads more attractive. When mixed in with fruits like papaya, oranges, bananas, apples, pineapples, pears or melons, the berries will taste less tart.
Use them when you are cooking or baking cookies, muffins, cakes, pies, etc. They make a great substitute for blueberries and raisins. Even oatmeal tastes better with a few cranberries sprinkled on top.
Desserts can be enhanced with added color and taste. A few scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of warm apple pie sprinkled with a few dried cranberries, a few slices of almonds, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Mmmm....now that is living life large!!!
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