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Cranberry Magic

Health Notes from Dr. Liz

November 13, 2007

‘Tis the season for cranberries, and they’re fresh in Nugget’s produce section from September through December. This wonder fruit is loaded with proanthocyanidins, which help stave off urinary track infections (UTI). Consuming 10 ounces of cranberry juice, 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen berries, or ½ cup sauce daily keeps E. coli, the culprit bacteria, from sticking to the bladder wall, lessening UTI infection risk. Anthocyanidins also help lower artery-clogging LDL levels, making cranberries a merry fruit for heart health. And the fiber in cranberries is the water-soluble type that’s been shown to help curb appetite as well as lower circulating levels of cholesterol.

This season, freeze fresh cranberries for use any time of the year for a tart addition to smoothies or salads. You can also cook them along with orange zest and a bit of honey for a tangy sauce on fish, poultry or grilled tofu. And fresh cranberries always make a tasty addition to muffin and quick bread recipes or boxed mixes.

Dr. Liz Applegate Ph.D.

Director of Sports Nutrition, UC Davis