a little red berry that may help fight/prevent cancer, age-related
like loss of memory, heart disease, ulcers, and even cavities. Sound to
good to be true? These are among the health benefits attributed to the
Cranberry...you may be more familiar with it as the side dish on your
Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table.
In the mid 1990's laboratory studies conducted by University of Illinois
scientists and published in Planta Medica demonstrated the potential
anti-cancer properties of cranberries. More recently researchers at the
University of Western Ontario demonstrated, in animal models, that
human breast cancer cells showed significantly lower incidence of tumor
development when the experimental group's diet was supplemented with
USDA scientists at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have been finding promising results associated with
diets high in antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Preliminary
studies suggest that diets containing fruits and vegetables with high
ORAC values may provide protection against chronic age-related
afflictions like loss of coordination and loss of memory. ORAC stands
for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity which is a measure of the
antioxidant activity for a particular food. Cranberries score very high
on the ORAC scale at 1750 ORAC units per 3.5 oz. serving.
A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association
reported that a unique cranberry juice component, a
high-molecular-weight nondialysable material (NDM), has the ability to
reverse and inhibit the co-aggregation of certain oral bacteria
responsible for dental plaque and periodontal disease in vitro.
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition reported on a
preliminary clinical trial using a mouthwash containing cranberry NDM.
Saliva samples of the experimental group showed a two order of
magnitude reduction in Streptococcus Mutans compared with the placebo
group. This is exciting news because a large percentage of cavities can
be attributed to Streptococcus Mutans.
Flavonoids have been shown to function as potent antioxidants both
in vitro and in vivo and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis
(clogged arteries). Cranberries contain significant amounts of
flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds that have been demonstrated to
inhibit LDL (bad cholesterol) oxidation. Ongoing research continues to
suggest that cranberries may offer a natural defense against
Peptic ulcers are increasingly being attributed to infection by
Helicobacter pylori bacteria, as opposed to stress and/or stomach
acidity. A high-molecular-weight nondialysable constituent of cranberry
juice has been shown to inhibit the adhesion of H. pylori to human
gastric mucus in vitro. These preliminary results suggest that
cranberry may be beneficial in the prevention of peptic ulcers through
the inhibition of H. pylori adhesion to gastric mucus and stomach
You may also enjoy visiting "Healthy Natural Honey Cranberry Sauce Recipe" for my home-made healthy recipe for Whole Cranberry Sauce made with ingredients from two vacation locations, Maine and Lancaster, PA., plus pictures of an antique cranberry sorting machine.
Copyrighted Image: Harvested Cranberry Bog from my personal photo collection. Do not use without permission.
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