Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In The News: The Many Health Benefits of Cranberries!

Last month I was excited to have the opportunity to share some cranberry info and a great recipe in a guest post courtesy of The Cranberry Institute. And this month I am also sharing some interesting research news that they have made available to me to share with my readers.  Check it all out below!! And try my previously posted (and pictured above) Almond Cranberry Rice, to get some cranberries into your diet!

Science Bites: News from Cranberry Scientists  (all courtesy of The Cranberry Institute)

Cranberries Have Health-Promoting Properties, New Expert Review Reveals
Cranberries are more than a holiday favorite, given their remarkable nutritional and health benefits. A new research review published in the international journal Advances in Nutrition provides reasons why these tart berries can be front and center, rather than just a side dish. The review authors conclude that cranberries provide unique bioactive compounds that may help reduce the incidence of certain infections, improve heart health and temper inflammation. The authors also cite data that shows the cranberry may improve blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress.

Cranberry Juice Drinkers Have Healthier Diets, Smaller Waistlines and Lower BMIs
To assess whether cranberry juice consumption is linked with being overweight or other negative health outcomes, researchers at Virginia Tech use data on U.S. adult diets from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Survey 2005-2008 to compare those who drink cranberry juice to those who didn’t report drinking cranberry beverages.

The results of this paper show that cranberry juice products provide vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and other bioactive compounds important for health, noting that these products are not linked to being overweight or any other adverse health outcome. Despite cranberry beverages having added sweeteners, they do not appear to have any negative health consequences, based on this population-based report.

Cranberry Products to Help Fight the Cold and Flu? Clinical Trial Shows Promising Results
It’s well-known that cranberry polyphenols exhibit anti-adhesion properties in the urinary tract, but preliminary research suggests cranberry’s anti-bacterial and immune-booster effects may extend beyond the urinary tract to provide total body protection against bacteria and viruses related to the common cold and flu.

A study published in Nutrition Journal tested this theory. Researchers from the University of Florida conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial with 43 adults who were randomly assigned and blinded to receive either a 16 oz. low-calorie cranberry juice beverage that was prepared from a cranberry fraction powder or a 16 oz. placebo beverage daily. The results showed that those drinking cranberry juice had significantly greater T-cell proliferation and a lower production of inflammatory cytokine, which indicates an improvement in immune responses.


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