Good Medicine Everyday: Cranberries / by emily penn

When you think of cranberries you probably think of two things - Thanksgiving and Urinary Tract Infections. But cranberries deserve so much MORE credit than that!

Cranberries contain one of the HIGHEST levels of antioxidants of any fruit! This means they’re stellar at fighting inflammation and boosting immunity. Here’s a few other things cranberries are awesome at (1):

  • Preventing and treating UTIs. It’s true - cranberries have earned their reputation for a reason. They contain a specific compound that prevents bacteria from attaching to the inner surface of the urinary tract and bladder.

  • They fight cancer. Human and animal studies show that cranberries may help slow tumor progression and block the growth of cancer cells.

  • Cranberries contain high levels of polyphenols, vitamin C and combined with their ability to fight bacteria, they make a great ally during cold and flu season.

  • They support your GI tract. Cranberries help optimize the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract while also having anti-diarrhea, anti-septic, and diuretic properties.

My favorite way to incorporate cranberries into my life is with unsweetened cranberry juice (Trader Joe’s makes a great, inexpensive one). I add 1-2 oz of cranberry juice to a regular glass of water or to plain kombucha. Avoid those cranberry juices that are heavily sweetened. Sometimes I’ll buy frozen cranberries to throw into smoothies - only a small handful is necessary.