Cran-credible Berry

Planning to enjoy the bold flavor of crimson cranberries this Thanksgiving? While the extra sugar in most jellies could offset some benefits, you’d do well to drop an extra dollop on your plate.

Plenty of research supports the claim that cranberries prevent and help treat urinary tract infections by thwarting bacteria bonding to the membranes. But this anti-microbial superhero may defend your body against even graver illnesses. Not only does it cut down E. coli bacteria (which is responsible for 80%-90% of urinary tract infections), a recent study found that extended consumption can kill H. pylori bacteria — a precursor to stomach cancer.

Evidence also suggests that the tart fruit works against viruses like Rotavirus, slows tumor growth, and bumps up HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL. It also pummels gum disease, thanks to the plaque-fighting compound proanthocyanidine.

Enjoy these ideas for boosting your cranberry buzz:

Sprinkle fresh cranberry pieces on your mixed greens in place of vinegar or lemon juice for a different zing.

Substitute dried cranberries for raisins in trail mix or atop your morning oatmeal.

Stir up a combination of 100% cranberry juice with 100% apple juice for a tangy splash of synergistic power. Cornell researchers found the antioxidant potency of cranberries and apples surpassed what either fruit delivers on its own.

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