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5 health-promoting reasons to eat cranberries

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5 health-promoting reasons to eat cranberries

The health benefits of cranberries are plenty, including cancer protection, cavity prevention, and improved cholesterol.

Thanksgiving may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to reap the health benefits of cranberries—hold the turkey.

Most well-known for their efficacy in preventing and treating urinary tract infections, cranberries have a resumé worthy of superfood status.

Here are five reasons to eat more cranberries:

Reduce bad cholesterol
In a 2008 study from Diabetic Medicine, subjects with type 2 diabetes who supplemented with cranberry extract reduced their LDL (bad) cholesterol significantly more than those who were given a placebo.

Boost vitamin C intake
Just one cup of pure, unsweetened cranberry juice contains 39 percent of our daily recommended vitamin C intake. With cold and flu season looming, we could all use a little extra vitamin C—a known free-radical defender and likely cold fighter—in our diets.

Fight cancer
A recent study from the Department of Biology at the University of Prince Edward Island showed that whole cranberry extract induced apoptosis (cell death) in prostate cancer cells, suggesting it may be a powerful agent in cancer prevention.

Heal faster
A 2011 rat study looked into the potential wound-healing properties of cranberries. The results showed that cranberry oil sped up healing by as much as 14 percent compared to the controls. The study, however, is preliminary and evidence does not indicate the wound-healing effects of cranberry oil on humans.

Protect your teeth
Cranberries are quickly becoming famous for their role in dental health. A recent study showed that cranberry reduced the adherence of bacteria to the tooth surface, suggesting that cranberry may ward off cavities.

To incorporate cranberries into your meals, check out “Cranberries + Carrots,” packed with health-promoting, cranberry-loaded recipes.

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