Cranberries - Not Just For Thanksgiving

By: Kathy Ferneau

Don't save cranberries for your Thanksgiving feast. They're way too valuable to limit to just once a year. A mainstay of this traditional American feast, cranberries count among just three fruits indigenous to North America.

The Pilgrims named the red berries, but Native American Indians used them long before Europeans set foot on the new land as a healing agent and a dye for fabric.

Sailors ate cranberries to ward off scurvy and bartered with them for other goods.

Today, commercial growers raise cranberries throughout the northern United States and Canada.

Health Benefits
Loaded with antioxidants, flavinoids, and polyphenols, this little red berry reigns as nature's medicine chest.

Long known to fight urinary tract infections, cranberries combat potent bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori and Escherichia coli.

Cranberries inhibit the growth of oral bacteria that causes periodontal gum disease and stomach ulcers.

The highest antioxidant-containing fruit, cranberries offer a healthy, natural defense in the battle against heart disease and cancer.

Cranberry flavinoids inhibit the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis.

Recent research finds cranberry seed oil rich in tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E, as well as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Cranberry seed oil claims the lowest level of saturated fat of the most commonly used edible oils.

New studies determine that cranberries may even fight the loss of coordination and memory common in the aging process, resulting in dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Extreme tartness prevents the cranberry from achieving perfect fruit status, at least for most palates, necessitating sweetening of juices and jellies.

How To Eat Cranberries
Juice accounts for most cranberry consumption, with jellies close behind. Pies, muffins, and other baked goods make tasty use of cranberries.

But how about Turkey and Cranberry Panini, or Cranberry Apple Scampi with Sweet Peppers? For an exhaustive source of cranberry recipes and cranberry preparation tips, visit Ocean Spray's web site:

Think Ocean Spray and you think cranberry juice. Actually an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 650 cranberry growers, Ocean Spray boasts the best selling brand name of canned and bottled juice since 1981.

Health food stores carry cranberry powder and extract, as well as cranberry flower tea.

Many communities celebrate the cranberry with festivals:

Warrens, Wisconsin is the Cranberry Capital of Wisconsin. Residents of this Wisconsin community welcome 100,000 visitors to one of America's biggest festivals. Events include a parade, shopping, and an arts and crafts festival.

The Cranberry Festival in Chatsworth, New Jersey is the third largest cranberry festival in the United States.

Bala Cranberry Festival in Bala, Ontario, Canada offers entertainment, attractions and vendors.

Harwich Port, Massachusetts Cranberry Festival features a crafts tent, food booths, carnival, entertainment, and fire works.

The Stone Lake Cranberry Festival in Stone Lake, Wisconsin, population 544, hosts over 30,000 guests.

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Kathy Ferneau has created an excellent resource for information on diets, healthy eating, and exercise. Get a free smoothie recipe e-book just for visiting! Cranberry Chronicles The cranberry claims it own: Magazine: Institute: Marketing committee: This small, versatile, and amazing berry deserves a place in your daily diet.

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