6 Sweet Reasons Tart Cranberries Are Your Body’s Best Friend

More than just a holiday side dish, cranberries pack a punch when it comes to health benefits. These tiny, tart berries are rich in essential nutrients and powerful antioxidants, making them a must-have in your daily diet. Below are six reasons why you should start incorporating cranberries into your meals today.

####1. High in antioxidants

Cranberries outrank many other fruits and berries in terms of antioxidant content. They are particularly rich in polyphenols and proanthocyanidins, both of which play a key role in maintaining overall health and preventing illnesses caused by oxidative stress, such as certain types of cancer and age-related degenerative diseases. Healthline has a list of the top antioxidant-rich foods, which includes cranberries.

####2. Supports urinary health

Cranberries are most famous for their potent effect on urinary tract health. The proanthocyanidins they contain function by preventing bacteria, such as E. coli, from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. This prevents the formation of bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you experience frequent UTIs or simply want to maintain proper urinary health, consider making cranberries a regular part of your diet. WebMD has more information on UTI prevention with cranberries.

####3. Bolsters heart health

A healthy heart is vital for overall well-being, and adding cranberries to your diet may help ensure your heart stays strong. Numerous studies have pointed to the potential cardiovascular benefits of cranberries, particularly when it comes to reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk of heart disease. The antioxidants found in cranberries can help keep blood vessels healthy by reducing inflammation and preventing plaque buildup, as discussed on the American Heart Association website.

####4. Promotes digestive health

Cranberries can work wonders for your gut. Their high levels of antioxidants can help rebalance the gut microbiome by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori, which has been linked to stomach ulcers and even stomach cancer. The fiber in cranberries also helps maintain healthy digestion, preventing constipation and other gastrointestinal issues, as reported by Mayo Clinic.

####5. Enhances prostate health

In addition to overall urinary health, cranberries may benefit men’s prostate health. The phytochemicals present in cranberries have shown to help control the size of the prostate gland, reducing the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. This makes cranberries a valuable addition to the diets of men who are experiencing prostate issues or simply want to take preventative measures. The Prostate Cancer Foundation provides guidelines on how to maintain prostate health.

####6. Supports dental health

Nobody wants cavities and tooth decay, and luckily, cranberries may come to the rescue here too. The same proanthocyanidins responsible for their urinary health benefits can also inhibit the growth and formation of the bacteria that cause dental plaque. This helps keep your teeth and gums healthy and free from disease. Strive to include cranberries in your diet to maintain good oral health, as recommended by the American Dental Association.

To get the most out of these fantastic health benefits, aim to include cranberries in your meals regularly. While cranberry juice is a popular choice, be wary of added sugars which can negate the health benefits. Opt for fresh or frozen cranberries when possible, or consider cranberry extract supplements if you’re not a fan of the tart taste. From heart health to urinary and prostate function, cranberries bring a plethora of advantages to the table, making them a berry worth adding to your health regimen.