Doing things for our bodies that offer long-term benefits is something every one of us should entertain. One of those things is to eat fruits and vegetables that can ward off cellular damage and nervous system failure. Thanks to a study done by a prominent university in the United Kingdom, a tiny berry is making big waves in the health community. That berry is the humble cranberry.
Cranberries are not just for Thanksgiving anymore … a new study shows that cranberries offer incredible neuroprotective benefits. Researchers at the University of East Anglia have just discovered that eating cranberries may slow cognitive decline and improve memory function while also improving cholesterol levels.
Slash disease risk by adding a cup of cranberries to your daily diet
The scientists conducting the study included a group of people between the ages of 50 and 80-years-old. Study participants ate a cup of cranberries a day for 12 weeks. The results were impressive.
The good news is that when taking the right steps to prevent diseases, sometimes it’s just as simple as adding a cup of cranberries to your daily diet. Cranberries are rated so highly as a preventative measure against cognitive decline because the berry is full of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins that give the fruit its dark red color. Plus, each cranberry is full of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is chock full of micronutrients. These vital nutrients go a long way in protecting brain health and cognitive function.
But wait, there is more! Cranberries may improve cholesterol levels
In looking at how cholesterol levels were improved in the participants during the cranberry study, researchers found that the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) went down significantly after consuming cranberries daily.
Keep in mind, excessive levels of cholesterol can contribute to atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries, leading to cardiovascular events. According to the CDC, an estimated 28 million Americans have elevated levels with the ratio between HDL and LDL levels being way off. Therefore, improving vascular health is clearly part of the solution that can be connected to better overall wellbeing in the future.
Support urinary tract health with this tart berry
Full disclosure, the funding for the study came from the Cranberry Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 1951. Their main goal is to provide aid to the agricultural industry and help those who grow cranberries spread the word about the health benefits of the fruit. Even so, the health benefits are significant.
For example, the specific type of flavonoids contained in cranberries has been shown to support a healthy urinary tract because they can fight off harmful bacteria as an antimicrobial. Besides urinary tract benefits, cranberry has been known to help cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes and has been promising in cancer research.
Enjoy cranberries year-round to tap into their health benefits
Although fresh cranberries are challenging to find year-round, cranberry supplements are widely available. You can find them anywhere vitamins are sold.
In conclusion, cranberries can definitely help keep your brain healthy as you age, making them a worthy addition to your diet. So why not make cranberries a part of your life year-round each day instead of reserving them for Thanksgiving as a side dish.
In NZ whole cranberries cost $16 per kg at Pak’n’Save. —Eds