Why You Should Eat More Cranberries

We are here with a mission: to liberate the humble cranberry from Christmas and Thanksgiving – and make it the everyday fruit it so deserves to be. Why do we care whether people eat cranberries? Because we love them. We love their pleasantly sour taste – the perfect complement to sweet OR savoury dishes – and their pretty jewel-like colour. And most of all, we love that they are packed to the brim with nutritional benefits.

Packed to the brim, you say? Yes, packed. Cranberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is a powerful, immune-boosting antioxidant critical for healthy skin, bones and teeth. They also come with a healthy dose of flavonoids, which neutralize free radicals in the body and help prevent heart disease and even some kinds of cancer. Not to mention polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. In plain English? They help keep you healthy from the inside out.

But it doesn’t stop at antioxidants, amazing as those benefits are… Like all fruits, cranberries are also a great source of fibre, and countless vitamins and minerals. For example, there’s manganese (which boosts growth and encourages a healthy metabolism), copper (great for heart health), and ursolic acid (a strong anti-inflammatory agent). And the list goes on… One thing to keep in mind, though: many of these beneficial ingredients are in the skin of the berry – so you don’t get all the good stuff just by drinking cranberry juice.

Really want something to smile about? Cranberries have been shown to help prevent dental plaque and tooth decay – though to reap these benefits, you’re once again best off munching the berries themselves, rather than sipping sugar-heavy juices and cocktails. According to researchers at the Center for Oral Biology and Eastman Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, cranberries help promote dental health by preventing bacteria from binding to your teeth. Talk about a multi-tasking ingredient…

Okay, feeling convinced? Got cranberries at the top of your grocery list? Now we’ll get to the fun part: how to use ‘em. With their naturally sour and bitter taste, cranberries aren’t easy to snack on like other, sweeter berries. But there are a million and one amazing ways to get more of these little wonders in your diet. Here are some ideas to get your started:

  • Put frozen cranberries in your favourite smoothie
  • Make a protein and fibre-rich homemade trail mix with unsalted nuts, seeds and dried cranberries
  • Marinate fresh cranberries in a little sugar and salt, and add them to your favourite salad. Don’t believe us? Try our in-house marinated cranberries in Tagine Dream!
  • Add dried cranberries to your oatmeal or cereal
  • Toss some cranberries into your favourite muffin recipe
  • Add a handful of fresh cranberries to your favourite baked dessert – like apple pie or pear crisp
  • And of course – serve your favourite grilled meat (or roasted veggie dish) with a side of cranberry sauce. Why mess with the classics?

Ready to start cooking? Let us know how it goes! And if we missed your favourite use for these tangy little wonder berries, write to us at blog@madradish.com.

Photo credit: juliametkalova/shutterstock.com