By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Cranberries go great with a Thanksgiving feast, since their sweet flavor mixes well with a turkey’s smokey taste. According to researchers from 7 different universities around the world, you may want to put an extra serving on your plate this holiday season, because they’re also really good for you!
One reason cranberries are so healthy is because they contain a compound known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which have been shown to promote healthy urinary tracts (the tube that gets our urine from the bladder to the toilet). Additionally, these chemicals protect against a number of chronic (long-lasting) diseases. “Hundreds of studies show that the bioactive compounds found in cranberries improve health,” stated lead author Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg, Director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory.
For example, cranberries lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, clear plaque in the arteries, and ease blood vessel stiffness. Since imbalance in these areas of our body can lead to heart and brain problems, like strokes and heart attacks, cranberries might just save your life with their sweet properties. Even better, is that the sweetness doesn’t mean they’re packed with sugar. In fact, researchers found these bright fruits don’t have any more sugar than unsweetened fruit juices and other dried fruit products.
Basically, cranberries are a great heart-healthy food, and scientists encourage individuals to consume more of them. “While we look forward to more research to better understand how cranberries affect our well-being and longevity, we know that including cranberries and cranberry products in a healthy diet is a great way to increase fruit intake,” said Blumberg.