Diet

9 Health Benefits of Dried Cranberries

Cranberries have high nutritional value, coupled with some great medicinal characteristics that make them a go-to fruit for all seasons. Dried cranberries are a favorite among all age groups- youngster adults, even little children. The fruit is a natural solution to many health problems and is a popular choice when it comes to skin solutions. If you are looking to keep your skin glowing and healthy, you must include dried cranberries in your diet plan.

Cranberries, in any form, dried or fresh, are known to help in the possible prevention of breast cancer in women. Regular consumption of this fruit can also prevent acne, stop dandruff and other hair problems. Some studies also suggest that this magical fruit also works its magic with your weight loss goal. Of course, you cannot just rely on the consumption of dried cranberries to lose weight. You should also supplement it with regular exercise and other nutritional food intakes.

Table of contents:

Nutritional Value of Dried Cranberries

Cranberries, in general, dried, or fresh, are loaded with nutrition in the form of vitamins and antioxidants. Dried cranberries contain almost the same number of antioxidants and dietary fibers that you will get in the fresh ones. But it is important to note that unlike fresh cranberries, dried cranberries go through the process of being dried for longer shelf life. This may or may not reduce the nutritional content depending on the type of drying process. 

Dried cranberries also contain natural sweeteners which may decrease the nutrient density of the fruit. It is advisable to read the nutrition facts on the packaging before you buy from a specific brand. But to help you get started here is an exhaustive list of the nutrition facts per 40 gm of serving of a cup of dried cranberries:

  • 123 Kcal of total calories through carbohydrates, fat, and protein
  • 0 protein
  • 26 gm sugar
  • 3 gm dietary fibers
  • 1 mg. sodium
  • 33 gm carbohydrates
  • 0.5 gm fat
  • 4 mg calcium
  • 0 sterols

9 Health Benefits of Dried Cranberries

Dried cranberries offer an array of benefits to living a healthier and fitter life. Here is a list of the 9 benefits you get from the consumption of dried cranberries:

#1 Lowers risk of cardiovascular diseases

Cranberries have polyphenols that possess anti-inflammatory properties. These elements are known to lower hypertension, a condition that increases blood pressure and is known to contribute to the build-up of excess platelets in the body. The latter is a primary cause of heart diseases and a huge contributor to cardiovascular problems. Regular consumption of dried cranberries is an easy and tasty way to reduce heart problems.

#2 Reduces risk of urinary tract infections (UTI’s)

Cranberries possess another important nutritional element called PACs or proanthocyanins. These are antioxidants that prevent unwanted bacteria from sticking to the walls of your urinary tract. There are both good and bad bacteria going in and out of your system. It is the bad bacteria that cause various forms of urinary infection, and UTI is one of the most painful ones. Consumption of PACs, found in dried and unsweetened cranberry juice, can prevent these infections.

#3 Reduces chances of breast cancer and other forms of cancer

It may be true that there is no one way to prevent the development and spread of cancer but eating healthy is surely one of them. Research shows that those who consume dried cranberries on a regular basis have been found to have reduced exposure or risk of developing a cancerous tumor. The nutrients found in cranberries are known to slow down the progress of existing cancer while preventing the build-up of new ones. Many people over the world with predispositions to conditions such as prostate cancer or breast and ovarian cancer have shown significant improvements in reducing their risk by consuming dried cranberries daily.

#4 Great for oral hygiene

Just like the PACs property in dried cranberries prevents bacteria from sticking to your urinary wall, in a similar way, they prevent tooth-decaying bacteria from sticking to your teeth. This improves your oral hygiene by making your teeth and gums stronger and preventing other problems like bad breath and gum bleed.

#5 Improves renal function

If you have ever experienced kidney or gall bladder stones, you would know how painful they can be and how you would do anything to avoid them in the future. The pain can be excruciating and often, intolerable. Dried cranberries are loaded with citric acid that can help you stay away from kidney and bladder-related complications. This acid is a key element in preventing the formation of kidney stones.

#6 Helps prevent weight gain

The average adult burns about 1500-2000 calories each day. The number of calories you burn depends on many factors like your age, gender, lifestyle, exercise regime, etc. You may be surprised to know that eating less is not equivalent to shedding calories. Accumulated calories will eventually convert into fat and add to your weight, even if you eat less. It is thus wiser to consume food portions that are not high in calorie content. One serving of dried cranberries, for example, has only 130 calories and are loaded with fiber that keeps you full for a longer time.  You can simply have these as a stand-alone meal.

#7 Gives you flawless skin

Dried cranberries are rich in amino acids and hydroxyproline that are needed by the body to form collagen. The latter is a critical component in keeping your skin soft and young. Cranberries also keep your skin hydrated.

#8 Solves hair problems

Rich in Vitamins A and C, dried cranberries can be the answer to your hair problems like dandruff and hair fall. The antifungal and antiseptic properties of the fruit prevent drying of the scalp that is the main cause of dandruff and oily hair.

#9 Reduces comorbidity factors

The Mayo Clinic recommends the consumption of at least 25 gm of dietary fiber in your daily diet. Dried cranberries can be the source of these nutrients for you. These fibers lower comorbid factors like diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, nerve problems, etc.

Healthy and Tasty Cranberry Recipes

The fun part about dried cranberries is that, unlike most fruits, these can be used in savory dishes as well. Here is a look at two of the most healthy and tasty recipes to add flavor to your regular diet:

Cranberry Vinaigrette

Cranberry Vinaigrette

This dish can be prepared with fresh or dried cranberries. Cranberries, herbs, and vinegar are the main ingredients in this dish that comes packed with flavors.

Serving Portion:

Approximately 2 teaspoons.

Nutrition Facts: 

Calories (127), sodium (143mg), fat (14 gm), zero saturated fats, carbohydrates (3 gm).

Ingredients:

  • 1 peeled and quartered small onion 
  • About half a cup cranberry
  • A quarter cup extra virgin oil
  • A quarter cup flax seed or walnut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme, mint or basil
  • A quarter teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt to taste

Steps:

  1. Make a puree with the onion, cranberries, olive oil, walnut oil, vinegar, herbs, honey, salt, and pepper
  2. Pour in a jar and refrigerate for about a week
  3. Serve with salads, or as a dip

Cranberry Banana Layered Smoothie

Cranberry Banana Layered Smoothie

This is an impressive and healthy drink to spruce up your mornings. 

Serving Portion: 

2 small servings.

Nutrition Facts: 

Calories (286), vitamins (143mg), fat (14 gm), saturated fats (106%), carbohydrates (64 gm), potassium (900 mg).

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of Spinach
  • 1 cup dried or fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup frozen banana 
  • Half a cup of almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Add honey if you like

Steps:

  1. Make the green smoothie first to create the first layer using spinach, banana, almond milk, and orange juice
  2. Pour the blended ingredients into a glass and refrigerate them
  3. Next, make the red layer by replacing the spinach with the cranberries
  4. Repeat step 2
  5. Freeze both blends for about 10 minutes
  6. Take a spoon to carve out the frozen red blend and place it on top of the green one to get the final product

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Do dried cranberries help lose weight?

A. Yes. Dried cranberries are significantly low on fat and calorie content that prevent excess fat accumulation in your body.

Q. Do dried cranberries and fresh cranberries have the same nutritional value?

A. Cranberries, in any form, will give you almost the same benefits in terms of nutrition and medicinal value.

Q. Is it okay to consume dried cranberries daily?

A. It is highly recommended to include dried cranberries in your daily diet owing to their high nutritional value.

Q. Can dried cranberries solve hair problems?

A. Yes, they can. They are loaded with vitamins that prevent dandruff and hair fall.

Q. Can dried cranberries solve skin problems?

A. Yes, they can. They are loaded with nutritional properties that prevent acne and aging.

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