Please Pass the Cranberries

Cranberries can strengthen the immune system, increase bladder health, fight bad cholesterol and maybe even help prevent stomach cancer and other illnesses.

In short, they’re more than supporting players in an annual turkey-centric production.

“Cranberries contain high amounts of vitamin C and dietary fibers,” said Rachael Vega, dietetic intern at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. “We know that vitamin C is really good for your immune system—preventing the com- mon cold and flu—and fiber is great for keeping your digestive system regular.”

The fiber, she added, can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. The tart berries are also known for helping prevent urinary tract infections in women.

“The main bacteria that causes urinary tract infections is E. Coli and cranberries prevent the E. Coli from attaching to the cells on the urinary tract,” said Larissa Grigoryan, M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Although antibiotics remain the most effective course of treatment for urinary tract infections, researchers are eager to find alternative treatment options because of the growing risk of antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organization maintains that antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today.

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