For years, cranberries were thought to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to its strong acidity; however, recent research asserted that it is actually the unusual nature of proanthocyanidins in cranberries that aids in the prevention of UTIs. This area of investigation has also opened the door to other benefits of cranberries.
There is mounting evidence that cranberries may also help prevent stomach ulcers related to overgrowth and the stomach bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) – which is a dangerous link in the infection-inflammation-cancer chain.
Other potent compounds such as anthocyanins, flavonols, phenolic acids found in cranberries are also responsible for cranberries anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The array of potent compounds aid in preventing many diseases and infections like cardiovascular diseases, various cancers, urinary trach infections, dental health and H. pylori-induced stomach ulcers and cancers.
Even though cranberries are known to be rather sour, here’s a quick and easy gluten-free recipe in which we can enjoy the benefits of cranberries as an all-day (or Christmas!) snack: chocolate, cranberry and nuts clusters.
Ingredients needed are: ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, ½ cup of milk chocolate chips, ½ cup of dried cranberries and ½ cup of coarsely chopped and toasted pecans.
- Place the semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute. Stir; microwave 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
- Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Immediately drop by level teaspoonfuls onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Clusters will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days.