Fruits and vegetables, in general, contain high levels of certain compounds that make them great additions to any diet. These compounds are often responsible for various body functions, in addition to muscle and tissue repair, preventing various diseases and disorders, and aiding in the absorption of other minerals and vitamins throughout the body.
However, there are some fruits and vegetables that have extremely high concentrations of specific compounds. Called “superfruits,” these foods have many benefits when consumed as part of a balanced, nutritional diet.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
According to The Cranberry Institute, cranberries are high in proanthocyanidins, or PACs, that help prevent certain bacteria to adhering to various locations throughout the body. This includes preventing the E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract wall. This property in cranberries also helps to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs,) stomach ulcers, and gum disease.
Cranberries have also been found to contain high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients. These compounds can aid in preventing heart disease, certain cancers, and other diseases.
In addition, cranberries have qualities in anti-aging, dental health, heart health, and preventing stomach ulcers.
Health Benefits of Cherries
According to Choose Cherries, research on the benefits of cherries is still ongoing, but the findings that are in place suggest that tart cherries have the largest number of health benefits when added to a healthy diet.
Cherries of all kinds have been found to aid in preventing or aleiviating many different kinds of conditions, including:
- heart disease
- certain cancers
- jet lag
- memory loss
- weight loss
How to Eat Cranberries and Cherries
As with most fruits and vegetables, cranberries and cherries are the most nutritional when eaten fresh and raw. Almost all fruits and vegetables lose some of their nutritional value after they are cooked or processed, and the packaging process for frozen or other prepared foods adds sugar and other preservatives to the fruit.
Cranberries are often consumed in juices or juice cocktails along with other fruits, such as pomegranates, grapes, or apples. Dried cranberries are also added to salads and cereals or eaten dried as a snack.
Cherries can be found easily fresh in grocery stores and produce markets, in addition to being canned or mixed with other canned fruit in fruit cocktails. Cherry juice is often mixed with other fruits in juice cocktails, and black cherry extract can be purchased as a weight-loss supplement. Before using black cherry extract, however, those interested should consult a qualified physician.
Cranberries and cherries have many health benefits that can enhance a person’s life when consumed as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. In addition, cranberries and cherries are also tasty snacks that are a great alternative to less-healthy foods.