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FRUITS & VEGETABLE

Cranberries highly underrated, nutritious berries with low calorie count
Saturday, 27 July, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Cranberries are the underrated stars of the berry family. In fact, they are often referred to as super foods for its high nutritional contents and extremely low-calorie count - 25 calories per cup.

Due to their very sharp and sour taste, cranberries are rarely eaten raw and are mostly consumed as juice, which is either sweetened or mixed with other juices. Other cranberry-based products include sauces, dried cranberries, and powders and extracts used in supplements.

Cure for monsoon ailments
Along with the monsoon relief comes a plethora of infections and diseases. A good portion of cranberries in your diet can keep you safe from UTI (urinary tract infection), which is predominant during the monsoons. Studies show they also increase the efficiency of antibiotics in certain cases, therefore a win-win.

Health benefits
Studies have linked it to lower risk of UTI, improve immune function, and decrease blood pressure. Clinical trials have shown positive benefits for daily single servings of cranberry juice or dried encapsulated powder in preventing the overall incidence of UTI and significantly reducing recurrent infections.

Whole cranberries contain high-soluble fibre which helps and supports digestion and improves metabolism. They help keep the gut bacterial microbiome balanced by promoting beneficial bacteria and decreasing the harmful ones.

Consuming cranberry products regularly is reported to have increased the immunity of the individual. It helps in increasing the count of white blood cells, that aid in overcoming infection by secreting signals that help activate other cell types to fight against infections.

The ideal summer fruit
Come summer, home cooks look for light food which packs a powerful punch. Cranberries are super-rich in antioxidants, packing in more of this punch than even spinach and green tea. They are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, minerals, Vitamin B and C.

A good portion of cranberries can help replenish these vitamins during the harsh sun of the summer. Cranberry juice makes a refreshing drink on its own or mixed with sparkling water and served on ice.

The fruits can either be eaten whole at breakfast or added to breakfast cereal, desserts or ice cream or use cranberry sauce as a sweet topping on crackers, cakes and pies. Adding dried cranberries to a veggie or fruit salad gives it an extra pop of flavour.
 
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