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Good news for Thanksgiving: Cranberry is healthy!

I am not American and I live outside the US. My only experience with the Thanksgiving celebration is limited to one Thanksgiving dinner of roast turkey with cranberry sauce. And I loved it – especially the sauce.

Cranberry, whose Latin name is Vaccinium macrocarpon is native to North America so we don’t often see the likes of it here in Europe. This post reviews some research results on the health benefits of cranberries.

  • Cranberries are rich in polyphenols such as anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which have very strong anti-oxidant properties.
  • Researchers at Rutgers University observed that cranberry extract enhances the effect of chemotherapy drugs on ovarian cancer cells while reducing their side effects. This suggests that cranberries have potential anti-cancer properties.
  • A study reported in the American Academy of Family Physicians demonstrated that cranberries have anti-bacterial effects. It can be used in the treatment of urinary tract infections as well as against gastrointestinal tract bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers.
  • Another study conducted by researchers of the Winona State University showed that low-calorie, unsweetened cranberry juice has a positive metabolic effect on people with type 2 diabetes.

I don’t know about the turkey but cranberry sauce seems to be actually some kind of a health food. So hopefully this week, while enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, you’ll remember to eat more red sauce and less of red meat. Happy Thanksgiving!


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