Cranberries contain valuable phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, that have proven beneficial for optimal health and wellness. The key phytonutrients in cranberries are flavonoids, which act as potent antioxidants. This is definitely a fruit that has a lot to offer.

Heart Health

A diet rich in antioxidants helps contribute to a healthy heart by reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. Cranberries are full of antioxidants and flavonoids, and are the active components that give red wine its reputation for being heart healthy. In a recent study, cranberries had the highest flavonoid content of 20 common fruits that were tested. Incorporating cranberries into a healthy diet helps keep the heart pumping strong.


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, second only to heart disease. A number of studies have shown that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Preliminary laboratory studies show that cranberries contain specific nutrients that slow cancer cell growth. Cranberry is so healthy for you try them everyday.

A History of Therapeutic Uses

Native Americans are the first known settlers to have used this tart and tangy treasure we now know as cranberries. They ate the berries raw and used them in sauces, breads and pemmican, (a mixture of dried meat or fish and berries that was pounded into a pulp), shaped into a cake and dried in the sun. Beyond incorporating cranberries into their diets, Native Americans also used the cranberry plant for medicinal purposes. They found that cranberries could be used to stave off various illnesses. They even used cranberries in ointments to treat wounds and blood poisoning.

Fun Facts & Folklore

• According to folklore, early settlers referred to the tiny red berry as a “craneberry” because just prior to opening, the flower and its stem resembled the neck, head, and bill of a crane. Another theory claims that this was a berry, cranes favored.

• To prevent premature picking, the New Jersey legislature passed an act in 1789, which stated that a fine of 10 shillings could be given to anyone caught picking cranberries before October 10.

• The first actual cultivation of the cranberry is attributed to Captain Henry Hall, a Revolutionary War veteran from Cape Cod. In 1816, Hall transplanted sods of cranberry vines on his property and soon others caught on and began planting their own cranberry “yards.” Shipments to Boston and overseas to Europe began in 1820.

Healthy condiment with Cranberry

¾ cup water
1 ½ cups sugar (or an amount of your favorite sugar substitute)
3 whole cloves 3 whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon grated fresh orange zest

How to Make:
1.Combine the water, sugar, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon sticks. In a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the syrup is clear, about 3 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for about 5 ore minutes, or until the cranberries begin to pop.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated orange zest.

3. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, tightly covered, for at least 3 days before serving.

You can serve this in place of chutney and goes well with grilled meats and turkey

Author's Bio: 

I believe that knowledge can be empowering and the more we understand our bodies and the mechanisms that cause illness, the more committed we become to getting better. Through my Hope Nutritional Services, I am devoted to educating you about your body, how it works and how to nourish, heal and nurture it.

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