Cranberry : nutrition, amazing medical use & adverse effects

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Cranberry Nutritional Profile

• Energy value (calories per serving): Low
• Protein: Low
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: Low
• Sodium: Moderate
• Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C
• Major mineral contribution: Iron, potassium

How Many Nutrients in This Food

• Cranberries are nearly 90 percent water. The rest is sugars and dietary fiber, including insoluble cellulose in the skin and soluble gums and pectins in the flesh.

• Pectin dissolves as the fruit ripens; the older and riper the cranberries, the less pectin they contain.

• Cranberries also have a bit of protein and a trace of fat, plus moderate amounts of vitamin C.

• One-half cup of cranberries has 1.6 g dietary fiber and 6.5 mg of vitamin C (9 percent of the RDA for a woman, 7 percent of the RDA for a man).

• One-half cup cranberry sauce has 1.5 g dietary fiber and 3 mg vitamin C (4 percent of the RDA for a woman, 3 percent of the RDA for a man).

How To Serev Nutritious In This Food

• Relish made of fresh, uncooked berries (to preserve the vitamin C, which is destroyed by heat) plus oranges.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food

• Low-fiber diet

How To Buying This Food

Look for:

Firm, round, plump, bright red berries that feel cool and dry to the touch.


Shriveled, damp, or moldy cranberries. Moldy cranberries may be contaminated with fusarium molds, which produce toxins that can irritate skin and damage tissues by inhibiting the synthesis of DNA and protein.

How To Storing This Food

• Store packaged cranberries, unwashed, in the refrigerator, or freeze unwashed berries in sealed plastic bags for up to one year.

How To Preparing This Food

• Wash the berries under running water, drain them, and pick them over carefully to remove shriveled, damaged, or moldy berries.

Rinse frozen berries. It is not necessary to thaw before cooking.

What Happens When You Cook This Food

cranberry recipe

• First, the heat will make the water inside the cranberry swell, so that if you cook it long enough the berry will burst.

• Next, the anthocyanin pigments that make cranberries red will dissolve and make the cooking water red.

• Anthocyanins stay bright red in acid solutions and turn bluish if the liquid is basic (alkaline). Cooking cranberries in lemon juice and sugar preserves the color as well as brightens the taste.

• Finally, the heat of cooking will destroy some of the vitamin C in cranberries.

• Cranberry sauce has about one-third the vitamin C of an equal amount of fresh cranberries.

Amazing Medical Uses and/or Benefits

Urinary antiseptic.

Cranberry juice is a long-honored folk remedy for urinary infections. In 1985, researchers at Youngstown (Ohio) State University found a “special factor” in cranberries that appeared to keep disease-causing bacteria from adhering to the surface of cells in the bladder and urinary tract.

In 1999, scientists at study at Rutgers University (in New 122 The New Complete Book of Food Jersey) identified specific tannins in cranberries as effective agents.

• The report, in the journal American Family Physician, suggested that a regimen of eight ounces of unsweetened cranberry juice or one 300–400 mg cranberry extract tablet twice a day for up to 12 months safely reduced the risk of urinary tract infections.

• In 2008, a similar review by scientists at the University of Stirling (Scotland) of 10 studies showed
similar results.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food

Increased risk of kidney stones.

Long-term use of cranberry products may increase the risk of stone formation among patients known to form oxalate stones (stones composed of calcium and/or other minerals).

How To Interactions with Food

• Anticoagulants Anticoagulants (blood thinners) are drugs used to prevent blood clots.

• They are most commonly prescribed for patients with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that allows blood to pool in the heart and possibly clot before being pumped out into the body.

• In 2006 researchers at the College of Pharmacy and the Antithrombosis Center at the University of Illinois (Chicago) reported that consuming cranberry juice while using the anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin) might cause fluctuations in blood levels of the anticoagulant, thus reducing the drug’s ability to prevent blood clots.


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