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Friday, November 16, 2012

Juice It Up With Cranberries


This time of year I start thinking more about cranberries. This is the time when they are harvested. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I drink a Long Life Cocktail every morning with diluted pure, unadulterated cranberry juice. Diluted it is not nearly as tart as it is full strength (thank heavens!). We got started drinking cranberry juice thanks to Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., C.N.S. and her Fat Flush Diet. Since cranberries are now plentiful, I thought I would remind all of us why they are so good for us. In the Fat Flush Plan, Dr. Gittleman says this about the benefits of cranberry juice:

The cranberry juice-water mixture eliminates water retention, cleanses accumulated wastes from the lymphatic system, and also helps to clean up cellulite.

Then in her Fat Flush Foods book she goes on to state:

Native to North America, the cranberry can still be found growing wild in the cool, sandy bogs of Massachusetts and New Jersey. It was Dutch and German settlers who named this bright red berry, calling it "crane" berry after the birdlike shape of its blossoms.

Cranberries--and pure, unsweetened cranberry juice-- enjoy the superstar status as a prime component of the Fat Flush Plan. Cranberries contain significant amounts of both flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds, shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the "bad" type of cholesterol, which becomes dangerous to the body only after it has been oxidized. Ongoing research continues to suggest that cranberries offer a natural defense against atherosclerosis and heart disease. At the Technical University of Denmark, researchers compared the health benefits of cranberry and blueberry juice. The results? Cranberries won, hands down.

Just the Facts-
  • In colonial times, cranberries did triple duty as medicine, a colorful natural dye, and a symbol of peace.
  • Cranberries are one of only three original American fruits still being produced today, with nearly 600 million pounds harvested every October. If you strung together all the cranberries produced in North America last year, they would stretch from Boston to Los Angeles more than 565 times!
  • Cranberries are considered a "functional" food, meaning they provide natural health benefits far beyond basic nutrition.
  • Based on serving size, pure, unsweetened cranberry juice has the highest antioxidant level of cranberry any product.
  • Cranberry juice helps prevent a vitamin B¹² deficiency by increasing the body's absorption of this important nutrient.
All this information actually makes you look forward to eating them, doesn't it? And now that you can also find them in the freezer section where all the other frozen fruits are, there is no reason you don't incorporate them into your cooking year round...starting with your smoothies! And don't forget your morning Long Life Cocktail!