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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Cranberries, also known as mossberries in Canada and fernberries in England, like the somewhat colder climate and therefore can be found in the northern parts of the world. They can grow as shrubs or vines and were already used by the native Americans as food, wound medicine and dye.

Vaccinium oxycoccos

Cranberries are one of only three fruits native to North America (the other two are blueberries and Concord grapes).

A 1/2-cup portion of cranberries (55g) contains 25 calories and is a good source of manganese, vitamin C and fiber. According to the USDA , cranberries rank 6th in total antioxidant capacity out of over 100 common foods, making them an Antioxidant Superfood.

They are also a Superfood for your Heart: studies have shown cranberries may boost HDL "good" cholesterol levels. Scientists at Cornell University isolated compounds in cranberries with extremely potent "antiproliferative" effects on human liver and breast cancer cells.

Furthermore, scientists from University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth demonstrated similar effects for human lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells. One cranberry antioxidant, quercetin, may help reduce Alzheimer's risk and alleviate prostatitis (inflammation or infection of the prostate gland).
~Source: Dole Food Facts.

These little berries have more health benefits though; they can help fighting infections (like Urinary Tract Infections) and recent researches have shown that cranberries may help improve dental health, because they inhibit and even reverse the formation of plaque which causes tooth decay.

Cranberries also promote digestive health, reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent formation of kidney stones and certain types of cancer. On top of all that, they may possess some anti-aging abilities as well.

Most of us only serve cranberries and cranberry products during the Holidays, but maybe we should consider consuming them a little more often. They can be purchased year-round and are available fresh, frozen, and canned.

Fresh cranberries can be frozen at home as well and will keep up to nine months. You don't even have to thaw them, but can use them directly in recipes. There are recipes galore which can be found on the Internet and will help in dishing up a new meal almost every day.

Not everything which is good for our health may taste good. The taste of these berries is rather sour and bitter, but it is comforting to know that sugar, or a sugar substitute, can be used to sweeten the cranberries.

Trials that occur in our lives may leave us in turmoil and may not feel good, but it is comforting to know that God's love, care and mercy will see us through it all!

2 Corinthians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,


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