Do you need a go-to tip for improving your heart, health, and mind? I’ve go the a secret to share… get ready to go crazy for cranberries. These tart berries help your heart, skin, shape, brain & more! Who knew there were so many reasons to enjoy this wonder-fruit?
Cranberries are at the top of the grocery list due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content and are often referred to as a “super food.” Not to mention, half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories! So here are the benefits of cranberries, they help to:
- Treat Urinary Tract Infections: Pure cranberry juice can help block urinary tract infections by preventing E. coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of the uterus and bladder. One glass of juice a day is all you need to prevent and heal urinary tract infections.
- Fight Cancers: Studies have shown that cranberry extracts can prevent breast cancer cells from multiplying.
- Fight Heart Disease: Cranberries are very good for the heart. They help to lower the bad cholesterol levels which can clog the arterial walls.
- Help Kidney and Bladder Problems: Cranberries contain citric acid and other nutrients that can prevent kidney stones, and other kidney and bladder problems.
- Promote Weight Loss: Cranberries are high in antioxidants, which help to flush out your system. This in turn improves your metabolism and digestive system so that you can begin to lose weight quicker.
- Provide Anti-Aging Properties : The antioxidants contained in cranberries will help your body to get rid of all the free radicals which contribute to the aging process. They will not only help your skin to look young, but your internal organs will also be able to function longer without problems.
- Improve Mental Health: Help to lift your moods by relieving stress, anxiety and depression. Studies show that they are good for the brain and can help to improve your memory.
- Strengthen the Immune System: The antioxidants work hard to flush out the harmful toxins which suppress the immune system. Once these are removed, your immune system will be strong so that you can ward off just about any sickness or disease.
From breakfast to dinner (and snacks in between) your entire day can be cran-healthy!
Some tips for enjoying cranberries:
- Make a homemade trail mix with unsalted nuts, seeds and dried cranberries.
- Include a small handful of frozen cranberries in a fruit smoothie.
- Add dried cranberries to your oatmeal or whole grain cereal.
- Toss dried or fresh cranberries into your favorite muffins or cookie recipe.
- Include fresh cranberries in an apple dessert like pie or cobbler for an extra kick of flavor.
My recipe to share: Cranberry bread makes a real breakfast treat! The contrast between the sweet bread and the tart cranberries is absolutely delightful. This week I’ve made cranberry lime almond bread to enjoy as a grab n’ go breakfast.
Below is my recipe. Enjoy!
- 1 teaspoon light olive oil for pan
- 2 cups cranberries (fresh, frozen or dried)
- 2 cups flour of choice (I use white whole wheat flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup sugar free/organic honey
- 1 ripe banana
- ¾ cup fresh citrus juice (I used lime)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with oil.
- Toss cranberries in a bowl with ¼ cup of the flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining flour with the baking powder and salt.
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add banana and honey and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the citrus juice and vanilla.
- Mix in nuts.
- Pour the liquid mixture onto the dry mixture and use a spatula to combine. Don’t over mix – batter should remain lumpy.
- Fold in the cranberries, including any flour remaining in the bowl.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake 1 hour, then check the bread by inserting a toothpick in its center. Cranberry bread is ready if the toothpick comes out dry. Tip: if your bread is not be fully baked yet, although the edges are beginning to brown – to prevent the edges from burning, cover the bread loosely with foil and continue baking, about 15 more minutes, until the center is fully baked.
- Transfer the bread to a wire rack and let cool.