Find out, what are the main health benefits of dried cranberries.
A balanced diet includes fruits. However, if you’re always on the go with your busy lifestyle, you may find it difficult to have fruits every day.
One easy way of including fruits in your diet is to have them in dried form. It is an easier, more convenient way to get your recommended daily serving of fruits.
More and more people are eating dried cranberries. Dried cranberries are handy, delicious, and easy to eat. They are also extremely good for your health.
READ ALSO: Easy Ways of Drying Cranberries at Home
Health Benefits of Dried Cranberries
You benefit from including dried cranberries in your daily diet in the following ways.
Dried cranberries prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
You get a high dose of proanthocyanidins (PACs) when you eat cranberries. PACs are antioxidants that prevent UTI-causing bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract walls. They prevent infection.
Dried cranberries lower your risk of cardiovascular disease
Research indicates that cranberries help bring down the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cranberries have polyphenols with anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols help bring down hypertension to prevent platelet buildup – and, as a result, lower your risk of cardiovascular problems.
Dried cranberries help prevent cancer
Cranberries have nutrients that keep you from getting tumors. These nutrients also help slow down the enlargement of existing tumors. People who are predisposed to suffer from prostate problems or from cancers, including breast, liver, colon, and ovarian, develop a stronger immunity to these conditions.
Cranberries enhance oral health
Cranberries have proanthocyanidins that increase oral health. Proanthocyanidins stop bacteria from binding to your teeth and causing tooth decay. They also help prevent gum disease.
Cranberries are low in calories
An individual burns a certain number of calories a day. This number depends on the person’s gender, age, and level of physical activity. On average, the typical individual uses up about 2,000 calories on a daily basis.
You don’t want to eat too much lest you take in more calories than you burn. Unused calories tend to end up as fat that sits on your stomach or hips.
Every food item you put in your mouth adds to your daily calorie intake. If you eat meals in large portions, you are likely to go over your recommended daily calorie allowance. You are likely to gain weight. You are likely to get fat.
It is prudent to choose healthy foods that do not have many calories but make you feel full. Pick nutritious food. Go for smaller portions. A serving of dried cranberries has about 130 calories only – and the dried fruit makes a good, satisfying addition to cereals or salads. Dried cranberries are also gratifying as a stand-alone snack.
Dried cranberries are fat-free
According to nutritionists, you must be careful about your intake of fat if you don’t want to gain weight. Limiting your intake of fat to between 44 and 78 grams keeps you from gaining weight.
Dried cranberries are fat-free. They are ideal for snacks. Sprinkling a small handful of dried cranberries on your soup or salad is a tasty and healthy way to make your meals more nutritious.
Dried cranberries are high in dietary fiber
You need to include dietary fiber in your diet. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy and efficient. It keeps the heart healthy.
According to the Institute of Medicine, women should include about 25 grams of fiber in their daily diet. Men should have at least 38 grams daily.
You get 2 grams of dietary fiber from just one serving of dried cranberries. This is a good amount considering that the recommended serving of dried cranberries is only about a third of a cup.
Dietary fiber is said to lower risks for developing diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, and gastrointestinal disease, among other health conditions.
It also helps you manage your blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce cholesterol levels. Dietary fiber also helps obese individuals lose weight.
Dried cranberries are rich in antioxidants
Dried cranberries have the following antioxidants: anthocyanin (which gives cranberries the pigment responsible for their robust red hue), proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
These antioxidants help slow down or prevent the damage that free radicals do to your cells.
Dried cranberries add flavor, crunch, and nutrients to bread, salads, cereals, or trail mix
You can make a lot of food more nutritious and tasty by adding dried cranberries to them.
These were the main health benefits of dried cranberries. Let’s now see what are the main nutrition facts of dried cranberries.
Nutrition Facts of Dried Cranberries
Dried cranberries will give you the same nutrients you get from fresh cranberries. You get basically the same amount of antioxidants and dietary fiber.
On the other hand, you may lose out on Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Dried cranberries go through commercial drying processes that tend to considerably lower their content of the said vitamins.
Adding sugar to the cranberries prior to drying tends to reduce the nutrient density of the cranberries.
The nutrition facts for this dried fruit may vary from brand to brand. It pays to read the packaging so you choose a brand that gives you the most nutrients.
Ocean Spray Craisins have the Health Check symbol. Only food products that are found to meet the nutrient requirements set by registered dieticians are given this symbol.
The nutrition facts for a serving of 40 grams or 1/3 cup of dried cranberries (Ocean Spray) are as follows:
- 123 kcal – Calories
- 0.6 g – Fat
- 1 mg – Sodium
- 24 g – Total Carbs
- 2 g – Dietary Fiber
- 22 g – Sugars
- 0 g – Protein
Dried cranberries have no trans fats, saturated fats, or cholesterol.
People often eat cranberries as they are. They are convenient to have around as snacks.
On the other hand, you can add zest to some food simply by adding a small handful to dried cranberries to them.
- Make your own healthy trail mix by combining dried cranberries with unsalted nuts (walnut, pecans, or almonds) and seeds (flax, pumpkin, hemp, sesame, or sunflower).
- Make a fruit smoothie and add a handful of cranberries.
- Add dried cranberries to your breakfast whole grain cereal or oatmeal.
- Bake cookies or muffins and toss in some dried cranberries.
- Make your apple cobbler or pie more flavorful by including some dried cranberries.
Should you include dried cranberries in your grocery list?
A wide variety of dishes can be made more interesting, colorful, and nutritious with dried cranberries. It goes without saying, too, that you simply can’t ignore the many health benefits of dried cranberries.