When did cranberries become all the rage? Seriously, what we have with cranberries today is an overnight sensation. Used to be cranberries got on the menu once a year. You had cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving and then you didn’t see these little guys for a whole year. Now, of course, cranberries are paired with apples and grape and just about every other fruit in the produce section. But what of the plain and simple raw cranberry? Is there any nutritional benefit to be found in the consumption of just plain old cranberries? You bet.
A cup of whole cranberries will give you 6% of the vitamin E you need in a day. That may not sound like a particularly huge percentage, but keep in mind that cranberries are pretty small entities. Yes, yes, a cup is a cup is a cup, but you love the taste of cranberries, then a cup a day is nothing. But what of the vitamin E? Studies have linked low vitamin E levels to an increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin E also lends its antioxidant properties to fighting the good fight against cancer-causing free radicals. Knocking back a couple of cups of raw cranberries should therefore be part of a long term wellness plan.
You can get 18% of the manganese you need in a day just by eating a cup of cranberries. You may not think much of manganese when you eat cranberries or when you eat anything else for that matter. Which is okay. As long as you do eat cranberries or some other food that provides you the manganese you need, you don’t really need to bother giving it much thought. That cup of cranberries will provide you with a very healthy amount of manganese which will efficiently and quite silently go about its job of facilitating the enzymatic activity required to make sure your bones remain strong. Manganese also helps work alongside vitamin E to fight off those free radicals trying to turn you into a cancer patient. Eating cranberries may be a good idea before and after you engage in physical activities because it can reduce the pain of muscle strain and sprains.
Almost one-fifth of the dietary fiber you are recommended to get every day can arrive I the form of just one cup of cranberries. Fiber, as you probably are very aware, can help fight off bouts of constipation as well as make the arrival of hemorrhoids less frequent. But were you also aware that a diet that meets the recommended amount of fiber is also one that can actually reduce levels of bad cholesterol. Eating cranberries, therefore, just may be one small road on the nutritional superhighway toward a life free from coronary disease.