Healing Benefits of Cranberries
As I'm up in northern Wisconsin, it is cranberry harvesting time in these lands! I was so excited to get some fresh, local cranberries yesterday which were harvested in the last few days. I already added two cups to my heavy metal detox smoothie this morning. I don't mind their tart flavor; especially when mixed with wild blueberries and strawberries. I love adding cranberries to my smoothies for a bit of a tart bite.
Cranberries are incredibly beneficial. They fight strep (and I'm going beyond what most people think of as 'strep throat' as we can harbor strep in our gut and other places within our bodies). They're packed with antioxidants and are ideal for anti-aging, memory and boost the immune system—they are a fantastic source of vitamin C, A and beta carotene. Additionally, cranberries have remarkable anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. They are a vital food for anyone dealing with chronic illness or disease.
Most people are already aware that cranberries' tannic acids allow protection--or heal--a urinary tract, kidney or bladder infection. Here are some interesting tidbits most of us don't know…cranberries contain one of nature's most potent vasodilators opening the bronchial tubes which help with breathing issues. These tannic acids are made up of proanthocyanidins, which can coat infection forming bacteria, thus preventing the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary/digestive tracts and flush it out of the system.
This anti-adhesion can help prevent stomach ulcers, gum disease and cavities. Furthermore, this anti-adhesion helps prevent cardiovascular disease by stopping cholesterol plaque forming in the heart and blood vessels. This anti-adhesion helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood.
I consume cranberries because…I love them, but one thing I have struggled with over the years is strep in the gut. I also had chronic strep throat in my teens until I had my tonsils removed in my mid-20s. So, I try consuming cranberries year-round (I stock up in the fall and freeze them as they aren't easy to find the rest of the year). It's essential to learn the most vital foods to eat because it is through foods we can heal ourselves—and living foods (not cooked) are our best defense.
What's your favorite way to have fresh cranberries?