Health Benefits of Cranberries
Don't typecast this saucy seasonal star. The tart superfood has a host of other uses.
Move over, OJ: One cup of cranberry juice can deliver up to 100 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C—just make sure to look for a label that says "100 percent juice" and is free of high fructose corn syrup. There's evidence that the berry's C—along with other antioxidants—can help hypertension. In one study, people who drank two glasses of low-sugar cranberry juice daily saw a significant drop in their blood pressure.
Cranberries are loaded with water-soluble fiber—the kind that keeps you feeling full. Both fresh and dried cranberries deliver ample amounts: One cup of fresh cranberries (cooked or raw) contains about 5 g fiber and 50 calories, while 1⁄2 cup of the dried version has 31⁄2 g fiber and 187 calories—so keep tabs on portions if you're choosing the dried variety.
Bacteria don't stand a chance against these guys: Several studies show that cranberries and cranberry juice can help ward off urinary tract infections—in some cases, even those caused by strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Cranberries also seem to thwart h. pylori (associated with stomach ulcers) and various gum-disease-causing germs.