Native to North America, cranberries and are a major commercial crop in several New England states, the Pacific Northwest, and Wisconsin. When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, they found Native Americans harvesting cranberries and eating them.  Native Americans also used them as dyes for clothing and for medicinal purposes.

This traditional Thanksgiving food is often called a “super food” because of its high antioxidant content. Cranberries are grown in bogs which are flooded in the fall months. This brings the fruit to the top of the water where it floats for harvest. This wet-picking increases the antioxidant value by exposing the fruit to more sunlight.

Cranberries may be best known for preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). But cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail from the grocery store will not treat a UTI because the concentration of the effective compound is very low. Cranberry capsules may help prevent a UTI, but the clinical research has mixed reviews. Also, cranberries are not effective in treating an existing UTI.

If you drink cranberry juice cocktail keep in mind it is not 100% juice and contains a lot of added sugar. Even a product labeled 100% juice usually doesn’t contain all cranberry juice and is a mixture with other fruit juices.

Celebrate this little fruit with this applesauce with cranberries recipe for a side dish during the holidays or at any time of the year.

Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD


Medical News Today.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.