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CRANBERRIES

With small evergreen leaves, the berry plant is a creeping vine of up to 10 to 20 cm in height and contains woody stems. The berries which are small and round once ripe turn red in colour and are rich in antioxidants. Though quite acidic in taste, having a PH of 2.3 to 2.5, the berries protect from tooth cavities, urinary tract infections, inflammatory diseases among others. The cranberry season lasts from October to December.

Scientific studies have also shown that consumption of berries have potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases and diabetes.

In addition, the berries are a good source of vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate and phenolics like ß-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and minerals like potassium, and manganese.

While fresh, as well as dry, cranberries carry good level of antioxidants. Bottled cranberry drinks and cocktails with added sugars may actually devoid the antioxidants.

IMPORTANT SERVING TIPS:

  • Raw, fresh, or dried cranberry can be eaten alone as snacks.
  • Tart berries can be a great addition to vegetable as well fruit salads.
  • The berries can be employed in desserts and fruit cocktails.
  • They can be used in the preparation of muffins, pie-fillings, breads, and ice creams.
  • The berries are being used in the food industry in preparation of sauce, jam, and jelly.
  • Cranberry sauce is being used in traditional poultry dish. 

TO NOTE:

Research studies have shown that cranberry juice potentiates the anticoagulant effect of warfarin. Some patients on warfarin therapy exhibited excessive bleeding in the organ system after they began to drink cranberry juice therefore, patients using warfarin should be advised to avoid its juice.