Dried Cranberries Nutrition
All You Wanted to Know about the Nutritional Value of Dried Cranberries
Understanding the nutritional value of dried cranberries can convince even the most skeptical amongst us to increase our consumption of these power-packed berries. Though they are small in size they are large in terms of the proportion of nutrients they can offer the human body. You have heard much about how cranberries are good for you and would like to understand the exact benefit of eating cranberries.
History of cranberries
Cranberries have been around in the New World for a long time now. They were growing wild in the marshy lands from as far north as New Foundland and Minnesota to the south in places such as Arkansas. Native Americans thought of cranberries as very medicinally useful and it was considered a treatment for blood related problems, stomach conditions and liver issues. Even before it became known that cranberries provide a lot of Vitamin C, sailors took them at sea to deal with scurvy. Literature from as far back as the 17th century shows that this fruit has a well-established reputation.
What do cranberries do for you?
Cranberries are good for you in that they offer a lot of goodness with very few things that can be considered harmful to the body. It is low in cholesterol and sodium. These tart berries are good aids to boosting immunity. The antioxidants in cranberries help counter the free radicals in the human body that hamper a person’s immune system.
Cranberries are known to be good sources of fiber and Vitamin C. The combination of nutrients in cranberries makes the antioxidants particularly effective when consumed in this form. Besides this cranberries also serve as good antibacterial agents in the effect they produce on the body. Cranberries is said to have the same amount of antioxidant potency as blackberries and blueberries.
Cranberries can be consumed fresh as berries, as juice and in dried form with equal impact. Dried cranberry is amazing in that it retain all the characteristics of fresh berries and is accessible in different seasons and different conditions. While it is hard to carry around fresh berries, dried cranberries can be kept in a backpack and used at different times of the day. Similarly, there is no reason to forego the goodness of these berries when they are not in season either.
Dried cranberries are a good source of proanthocyanidins, which are also called tannins. These prevent bacteria such as Escherichia coli from settling along the urinary tract and that is why cranberries are a popular cure for urinary infections.
One of the major flavonoids in cranberries is quercetin. It is found to be a good anti-inflammatory and is particularly effective if used in the early stages of an inflammation. It is also known to have iron-binding capabilities.
Another flavnoid that is found in dried cranberries is myricetin which is recognized as an antioxidant. Myricetin is said to have the ability to fight prostate cancer in particular and is effective on the whole in fighting carcinogens.
Dried cranberries, much like fresh cranberries, are high in oxales. This is said to cause kidney stones when consumed in large quantities. This is a possible downside to consuming vast quantities of dried cranberries although there is no research proving this theory.
On the whole though, cranberries have much good to offer and there is no proven down side. Those prone to urinary infections and those seen as potentially vulnerable to prostate cancer are usually advised to take a lot of cranberries. The nutritional boost that these tiny berries offer is a great natural aid to the body in countering these infections and diseases.