Everything you need to know about the nutritional value and health benefits of dried cranberries
Cranberry has been known for many generations for its beneficial influence on the functioning of the human body. Therefore, these fruits are widely used in cuisines all over the world. Numerous scientific studies prove that the substances contained in dried cranberries have a bactericidal effect. In addition, eating this fruit is recommended for people who struggle with chronic urinary tract infections.
Where does it come from and what characterizes dried cranberries
Although the North-East United States and the South-East Canada region are considered the capital of these fruits, today cranberries are grown on almost all continents of the world. Also in Poland, we can find its numerous crops. Large-fruited cranberry is a perennial plant species. It is characterized by creeping shoots that are 40 centimeters up to 1.5 meters long. Cranberries are spherical in shape, 1-2 centimeters in diameter, and red in color. Cranberries in their fresh form are slightly sour. Nevertheless, it becomes slightly sweet during the drying process. Dried cranberries may remind us of dark red raisins. It is also worth knowing that the name of this plant comes from the word crane. Its origin goes back to the time when settlers from Europe came to North America. Then they saw a plant whose flowers reminded them of the birds just mentioned.
Dried Cranberries - Health Properties
Cranberries are a valuable source of vitamins and minerals valuable for health. Its healing properties are widely used in folk medicine (for example, in the treatment of infections of the upper respiratory tract). These fruits contain both:
vitamin A - contributing to the protection and proper functioning of eyesight
vitamin E - contributing to slowing down the aging processes of the body;
vitamin C - responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system.
Moreover, cranberries are an excellent source of valuable minerals, such as:
potassium - responsible for supporting the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system;
sodium - involved in the conduction of nerve impulses, as well as in the transport of glucose and amino acids through the mucous membranes; selenium - contributes to the protection of red blood cells against the harmful effects of free radicals.
However, cranberries are not only a set of valuable vitamins and minerals. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants. We can find lutein, beta carotene, as well as flavonoids and phenolic acids in it. The fiber contained in cranberry fruit is also important for our health. This ingredient is responsible for maintaining the normal rhythm of bowel movements, as well as for protecting the cardiovascular system by regulating blood cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure.
Dried cranberries and urinary tract infections
The consumption of dried cranberries is often recommended in the course of urinary tract infections. It turns out that these fruits, due to their acidic reaction, are able to lower the pH of the urine, and thus reduce the amount of bacteria responsible for causing infection. In addition, the consumption of dried cranberries reduces the adhesion of bacteria to the walls of the bladder epithelium, which reduces the risk of repeated urinary tract infections in the future.
Contraindications for the consumption of dried cranberries
People who regularly take anticoagulants (with warfarin) should avoid consuming dried cranberries. It turns out that the substances contained in these fruits make it difficult to remove the above component from the human body, which may lead to its accumulation and causing dangerous hemorrhages. Additionally, dried cranberries should not be introduced into their diet by patients suffering from osteoporosis. It is worth knowing that the oxalic acid contained in cranberry hinders the intestinal absorption of calcium, and may also lead to an increased risk of kidney stones.