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Vitamin bombs for winter – cranberries

Healthy, tasty and a variety of uses! Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) can be consumed in different ways, for example in salads, desserts, as juice or even as jam. The little berries include a lot of power. They are full of vitamins and minerals to help ward off winter illnesses. Do you know where the fruit comes from and why it is called this?

Cranberries have their home in the Eastern part of North America where they were already appreciated by Native Americans. They already knew about their nutritional value and healing properties. When Pilgrim Fathers came to North America, the Native Americans showed them how to subsist on game and native plants. The Pilgrims named this plant “Crane Berry” because the blossoms moved like the head of a crane bird when wind was blowing. 

Cranberries are said to be very healthy. They have a lot of vitamins and strong antioxidants like tannin. Tannins prevent the bacteria, which can cause inflammation of the bladder, nest in cell walls from bladder and kidneys. Cranberry juice can also be used to prevent infections in the oral and stomach regions as it stimulates the body’s own production of anti-inflammatory salicylic acid. 

Currently there are more than 170 sorts of cranberries. The fruit belongs to berry bushes, like lingonberry and blueberry. Cranberry-plants are low shrubs which spread over the ground. Ripe berries shine red and have the size of little cherries. The pulp is firm and tastes tart. Harvest time is the end of summer early autumn. There are two methods to harvest cranberries.

Cranberries include vitamins as C, B, E, K and minerals as iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. So off you go and buy some of the red vitamin bombs. But keep in mind: Some of the fruits are offered sweetened and include a lot of calories. So it’s best to buy not dried and unsweetened cranberries – they have more vitamins than dried ones and less calories.

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