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Autumn is coming and pumpkin always gets all the praise, the reality is that for many good reasons. Pumpkin is packed with gut-healthy fiber and beta-carotene, an antioxidant that’s synthesized into vitamin A, which supports healthy eyes and the immune system. Without a doubt eating pumpkins is a great addition to your diet during the winter, especially as the months get colder. However, there is another food that often goes unnoticed and that is undoubtedly a bright star of autumn: the Cranberries. They are an absolute nutritional treasure, which provide great versatility and therapeutic properties to the diet.
We all have some good blueberry related memories during the holiday season. In fact, cranberry sauce on the table on Thanksgiving is a staple, even in Christmas decorations to make a garland on the tree, or even sipping a cranberry vodka cocktail at a party. There is no doubt that blueberries are a special part of the holiday season, but the most important thing is to talk about their great medicinal benefits. It is one of the most important and healthy super foods to incorporate into your diet regularly.
While there are many qualities around these little strawberries, one of the ones that has most caught the attention of experts is their power to promote a healthy urinary tract. It is well known that cranberry juice is one of the most powerful natural remedies to improve urinary infections and conditions such as cystitis. In fact, there is a lot of research showing how blueberries in any version are a food that helps maintain a healthy urinary tract and reduce the risk of certain infections in your body. All its healing benefits are related to its content in an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins (PAC) which are substances known to remove toxins from your body and keep you healthy.
Its benefits to fight urinary tract infections are immense and the reason is its ability to help eliminate bad bacteria, through urine. And also, it is a food that helps keep the body nourished and healthy. The same thing happens with the renal system, blueberries are an a great protector of the kidneys and helps purify them of toxins that can damage its operation naturally.
Best of all, according to the experts it is possible to benefit from PACs in blueberries in any formEither in bottle juices, a can of cranberry sauce, or even dried cranberries sprinkled on the salad. All cranberry products, including fresh and frozen cranberries, cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries, and sauces, contain unique health-promoting flavonoids: the famous PAC. PACs help reduce the incidence of certain infections, maintain a healthy urinary tract, improve heart health, and reduce inflammation associated with chronic disease and aging.
In such a way that one of the main medical recommendations is to consume blueberries regularly to anyone seeking to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections. In fact, there is a very valuable reference, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found that women who drink 8 ounces of cranberry juice a day saw a 40% reduction in the risk of UTIs recurrent for healthy women. Followed by an FDA announcement in 2020 recommending that women regularly consume cranberry juice for the same reason.
Blueberries also benefit the heart. While a healthy urinary tract is certainly a major benefit of consuming blueberries regularly, This little superfood can also benefit your heart health in powerful ways. PACs, as well as some other antioxidants in blueberries, have been shown to benefit the heart in multiple ways ranging from helping lower blood pressure and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol to decreasing inflammation in blood vessels, as well as decrease the stiffness of the vessels in those with heart disease.
As if that were not enough, blueberries are a great ally to improve intestinal health. It is well known that a healthy intestine is the key to preventing all kinds of diseases and thereby promoting the good digestive, immune, mental and emotional health The reason? Again the PAC. There is a clinical trial published by the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology that linked the consumption of cranberry juice with a reduction in the rate of H. pylori infection in the intestine. The participants drank one 8-ounce serving (containing 44 milligrams of PAC) twice daily and they saw a reduction rate of 20%. H. pylori is known to be the leading identified cause of gastric cancer.
Last but not least: Don’t overlook the seeds. As we mentioned earlier, there are typical ways in which we consume blueberries, such as juice, sauce, salads or even cocktails, cranberry seeds can also benefit the body in a number of ways. They are a little treasure, packed with nutrients. Bright red and crisp, they don’t have much flavor but they do have a huge list of benefits. For reference they are a little larger than chia seeds, but smaller than flax, but still packed with properties. The main reason is that these tiny little seeds, are full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and even some plant-based proteins. Best of all, they can be easily sprinkled on salads, oatmeal, or even mixed into smoothies. Another genius is that they can also be made into cranberry seed flour, which can be used for baked goods.
So now you know, blueberries are a fall staple to give a super boost to the diet especially to protect us from the inclemencies and temperature changes of the season. They protect us against diseases and infections, enhance intestinal and immune health, and are even a great ally for the skin. They are also delicious and They will make any dish or drink much more attractive and nutrient dense.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.