December Superfood: Cranberries

Hey y’all! My name is Kaleigh and I am a intern here at Chartwells, and let me say wow! I cannot believe this semester is over, and it’s already time for the holidays. I am currently sitting here with a peppermint mocha in hand, day dreaming about all the lights, snow, Hallmark movies and family traditions that are coming up. And the thing I’m most excited about is, you guessed it, the holiday FOOD! Christmas dinner is one of my favorites, and in the past it’s been easy to rag on myself for indulging in multiple helpings. However, this year I discovered there are some healthy perks to our favorite dishes. More specifically cranberries are both a fun, seasonal food and extremely healthy for you. Looks like we have found our healthy loophole for this holiday season you guys!

Cranberries are antioxidants, and whole cranberries contain up to five types of antioxidants with the addition of  resveratrol, piceatannol, and pterostilbene. These berries are so compact with phytonutrients that they provide maximum benefits.

On top of being exceptional antioxidants, cranberries may aid in decreasing cardiovascular disease. The antioxidant benefits have been associated with decreased risk of high blood pressure, and may have the ability to help us lower our LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol. Cranberries most likely helps us achieve these cholesterol-improving changes by helping to reduce our oxidative and inflammatory stresses of our everyday environment. We all know we need all the anti-stress we can get during the holidays!

Cranberry are great sources of  manganese, fiber and vitamin C. Containing only 45 calories per cup, they are easy to mix in with some of your favorite dishes. They have the added bonus of helping prevent UTI’s due to their proanthocyanidin (PAC) content. Proanthocyanidin inhibit bacteria from attaching, thereby decreasing the risk of UTI’s. Honestly, this superfood seems like a Christmas miracle!

Cranberries are also super easy to incorporate into your favorite meals and snacks, making it easy to get all the health benefits. Attached is a recipe for Cranberry Protein Bites, which are easy to make and store. They are perfect for finals week, meal prepping snacks, or for road trips to visit family for the Holidays. Make sure to check it out, and stay healthy this break.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

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