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Health Benefits Of Dried Cranberry For Moms To-Be & Kids

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  • October 1, 2021
  • MKB Team

It is well known that fruits are generally very beneficial for the functioning of our body. However, little do we know in detail the properties that these foods provide us. Cranberry is one such deliciously popular berry fruit that has a load of nutritional value to offer us, along with its delectable juiciness!

 

Cranberry- A small, sweet berry, of the Heather family, is a juicy fruit with a range of benefits. It has its origins in North America, although it is widespread across this native region. It’s cultivation records date back to 1816. With its high nutrient and antioxidant content, cranberry is rich in vital B vitamins, and can play a major role in preventing UTIs, some cancers, etc. if consumed as a low calories snack. 

 

Historically, these berries have been used to treat various ailments like bladder and kidney diseases, blood disorders, etc. 

 

This tart fruit is primarily made up of water, and raw cranberries are bitter, hard and sour, so they are usually processed with a little sugar or blended with other fruits for consumption. Despite their slightly sour flavour, cranberries are widely consumed as they are a powerhouse of nutrients. 

 

Nutritional Profile

A cup of fresh, raw cranberries, around 100g, has:

  • 46 kCal
  • 87.3g of water
  • 4.27g of sugar
  • 0.46g of protein
  • 3.6g of dietary fibre
  • 8mg of calcium
  • 14mg of vitamin C
  • 80mg of potassium 

These values are approximate for raw fresh and dried cranberries, but these values will change if they are processed or sweetened. 

They also have the following essential B vitamins-

  • Vitamin B1 or thiamine
  • Vitamin B2 or riboflavin
  • Vitamin B3 or niacin
  • Vitamin B6 

 

The Many Health Benefits of Cranberry for Kids and Adults

Cranberries are not simply low calorie, pretty little berries. They also offer a wide range of health benefits for everyone who chooses to gorge on it. While cranberries alone cannot cure any diseases, they have properties to aid in recovery from diseases. They have antioxidants, vitamins, anti inflammatory effects, etc. 

They can play a role in traditionally treating Urinary Tract Infections, as they have antibacterial properties. 

Since they contain polyphenols, they also prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases like blood pressure problems. It also has a role to play in regulation of blood sugar levels. 

Certain studies also point toward a property of triggering death of cancer cells, and reducing inflammation in cancer patients. Thus, this fruit is highly beneficial to cancer patients on the path of recovery. 

Cranberries have also been known to benefit oral health, due to the PACs they contain. They can be highly beneficial in preventing gum diseases. 

Due to their high fibre content, cranberries can help reduce the risk of certain health problems like obesity, diabetes, stroke, coronary heart diseases etc. It can also aid in bringing down blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as the antioxidants can help delay conditions like cancer, arthritis, heart diseases, alzheimer’s etc. 

 

Benefits of Consuming Cranberry During Pregnancy 

Due to its antioxidant properties, cranberries can provide women with a variety of health benefits during pregnancy. They can help in fighting inflammation, which can in turn reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and allergies.

 

Its high fibre and water content can help prevent constipation during pregnancy, when it can prove to be a very common problem. Due to their high water content, they can also play a key role in keeping a pregnant woman hydrated. 

 

Since cranberries can act as an immunity-booster, they also play a role in fighting the bad bacteria in the gut-lining. 

 

Being a rich source of vitamins and minerals, cranberries are also abundant in vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin K1, copper and manganese. 

 

The most looked toward benefit of cranberry is its high water percentage which helps in maintaining an appropriate weight during pregnancy. Its low calorie and high fibre content has a large role to play in prevention of overeating in expecting mothers. 

 

It is also a little sour in taste if eaten raw, and a lot of pregnant women report craving for sour tastes during pregnancy. Hence, this fruit can satisfy that craving while simultaneously providing other health benefits!

 

Risks of Consuming Cranberry During Pregnancy

While cranberries can be your ultimate aid to adding antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals into your diet  to a certain extent, there are few risks attached to consuming cranberries in greater amounts during pregnancy. Some of these may include-

  • Its excessive consumption could cause bloating due to its high fibre content.
  • Due to its otherwise sour taste, it is usually sweetened and consumed, which could add to blood sugar levels and cause diabetes or other health issues. 
  • Although cranberries are known to aid constipation, their over-consumption could lead to loose motions or diarrhoea.
  • For pregnant women suffering from chronic liver issues, ulcers, gastritis, or stomach ulcers, cranberries may worsen their symptoms. 

 

The Tasty Way of Including Cranberries in Your Diet

 

Cranberries have their own tart taste and a beautiful red colour, and they are a highly versatile berry fruit which can be used in a variety of food combinations, apart from being eaten alone. This makes them highly versatile. They can be combined with a variety of dips, salad, and juices, to add nutrition, taste and flavour to your daily boring food. They can also be consumed fresh and raw, or can be eaten frozen, dried or canned! However, it is not advisable to over-process cranberries as the nutritious value is lost in the process. 

Here are some tips to include cranberries into your daily diet-

  • Add a handful of fresh cranberries to your daily smoothie
  • Cranberries can be added to salads to give them a tart flavour
  • They can be dried and added to trail mixes with other nuts and seeds
  • Dried and processed cranberries can also be used as cereal or in an oatmeal
  • Sweetened cranberries can be tossed into muffins, chocolates and tea cakes for a fruity flavour.

 

Cranberry has so much in it to give you, that you can easily name it a SUPERFOOD!. Women who are pregnant and kids who need nutrition for proper growth can stay well-nourished and healthy with cranberry consumption. 

 


Published by

MKB Team

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