Fall Fit Food Spotlight – Cranberries

It’s harvest season. A time for cold air, warm clothes, and some of the tastiest food of the year. With that, we wanted to highlight some of these fall treats so you can enjoy your healthiest and tastiest fall yet. 

Berries are some of the sweetest fruits from nature … that is, other than cranberries.

These tart little orbs can pucker your lips, making them one of those love/hate foods for many people this fall or even from meal to meal. Some people love cranberry bread on their Thanksgiving table yet despise cranberries with their turkey, or vice versa.

Regardless of where you stand, there are two things worth noting: They always pack quite the burst of flavor (whether you enjoy it or not), and they can actually be even healthier than their sweet berry cousins.

Here are three reasons why you should incorporate cranberries into your diet this fall:

  1. Good for your urinary tract

Forget flavor. Probably the No. 1 reason anyone indulges in cranberries is they help prevent UTIs.

Currently, there are two leading theories as to why cranberries prevent UTIs:

  1. As gross as it sounds, scientists used to believe that cranberries actually made urine more acidic, which makes it less hospitable to bacteria that usually cause infections, like E. Coli.
  2. Now, scientists believe that cranberries, due to their flavonoids, actually prevent any bacteria from sticking to and invading the bladder wall.

Either way, they’ve been proven to help prevent that painful scourge. Just note that cranberries aren’t a stand-in for UTI treatments and won’t help cure an infection you already have.

  1. Boost immunity

If you’re beginning to stock up on tissues and cough drops, you might want to throw some cranberries in your cart, too.

No, cranberries can’t cure the winter sniffles, but they can help you fight them. Cranberries can boost your immune system, so even if you catch a seasonal cold, you’ll be back and better than ever sooner rather than later.

Cranberries (and cranberry products, since you’ll rarely see raw cranberries for sale) are high in vitamin C, which can help control infections. Vitamin C can also help curb more serious illnesses like cancer by protecting your cells from free radicals.

  1. Boost “good” cholesterol

The holiday season has just begun, and chances are you’re going to slip up on your diet at least a little bit.

No worries. It happens to the best of us.

However, a few too many pieces of Halloween candy or pumpkin pie can seriously add up and make your cholesterol levels skyrocket.

That’s where cranberries come in handy, as they’ll lower your “bad” cholesterol levels and raise the “good” cholesterol levels.

The “good” cholesterol found in cranberries is high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which absorbs “bad” cholesterol and brings it back to the liver. The “bad” cholesterol then gets flushed out from your body, leaving higher amounts of good cholesterol, which can help prevent heart disease and stroke.

So, they’ll provide you with less chance of a UTI or cold and lower your cholesterol – cranberries have quite a lot going for them. Maybe enough to at least give them a running for your new favorite berry this fall.