Cranberries are a Super food

Cranberries are typically associated with Christmas or Thanksgiving, but you might consider eating them throughout the year, as they are a rich source of several vitamins and minerals, including;

  • Vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the predominant antioxidants in cranberries. (antioxidants fight free radicals (compounds that can cause harm if their levels become too high in your body).
  • Manganese. Found in most foods, manganese is essential for growth, metabolism, and your body’s antioxidant system.
  • Vitamin E. A class of essential fat-soluble antioxidants.
  • Vitamin K1. Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is essential for blood clotting.
  • Copper. A trace element, often low in the Western diet. Inadequate copper intake may have adverse effects on heart health
  • Quercetin. Linked to improved exercise performance and reduced inflammation, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, and may have brain-protective, anti-allergy, and anticancer properties. Cranberries are among the main fruit sources of quercetin.
  • Myricetin. A major antioxidant polyphenol in cranberries, myricetin may have a number of beneficial health effects.
  • Peonidin. Alongside cyanidin, peonidin is responsible for the rich red color of cranberries and some of their health effects. Cranberries are among the richest dietary sources of peonidin.
  • Ursolic acid. Concentrated in the skin, ursolic acid is a triterpene compound. It’s an ingredient in many traditional herbal medicines and has strong.
  • A-type proanthocyanidins. Also called condensed tannins, these polyphenols are believed to be effective against UTIs

Indigenous Peoples use of Cranberries

Cranberries were historically used by North American Indigenous People to treat UTIs. The Algonquin, Chippewa, and Cree, among others, gathered wild cranberries where they could find them in what is now Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, all the way west to Oregon and Washington, and north to areas of British Columbia and Quebec. A recent, randomized controlled trial demonstrate evidence of cranberry’s utility in urinary tract infection prophylaxis.

Bladder infections

It was first hypothesized that acidification of the urine contributed to an antibacterial effect. The current proposed mechanism of action focuses primarily on cranberry’s ability to prevent bacterial binding to host cell surface membranes, demonstrating that cranberry juice could decrease E. coli adhesion up to 8 hours after consumption. A 2014 study of 516 participants found that taking a capsule of cranberry extract twice per day reduced the incidence of UTIs.

The Business of Cranberries

Cranberries were one of the only commercially grown fruits native to America. It is said they have been consumed at Thanksgiving dinners since the first feast prepared by the Pilgrim Fathers. Their Christmas casting was a later add-on. The combination of turkey and cranberries has held the test of time as 400 million pounds of cranberries are consumed by Americans each year.

I had assumed the brand Ocean Spray to be a mega-corporation. Actually, it is one of the US’s first and most successful co-operatives, founded in 1930 by three cranberry growers who decided they could command better deals if they joined together. Members (and there is a waiting list) are guaranteed a superior market price for their cranberry crop.

What’s in a name?

American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is one of only three species of fruit native to North America {The other two species are blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolia) and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)}. Cranberry is a term derived from the contraction of “crane berry.” This name is derived from the nickname of the bilberry flower, which, when it withers, is similar in appearance to the head and neck of the sand crane, a bird that often feeds on the berries of this plant

Ericaceae botanical family & homeopathy

Cranberries belong to the Ericaceae family, a family of plants that often grow in poor soil such as sandy fields, containing large amounts of silicates. Well known homeopathic remedies from this family include Ledum, Kalmia and Rhododendron. Ledum is best known as a first aid remedy especially for puncture wounds. Kalmia is known for neuralgic pains that shift rapidly, especially after suppression of shingles. Rhodo is indicated for gout in people who are highly sensitive to windy, stormy wet weather, always worse before a storm and better after the storm has passed.

According to Jan Scholten, author of the book Wonderful Plants, people who need a remedy from this family tend to avoid the center of attention and feel better doing their job in a quiet and practical way. Though they long for recognition and compliment, they don’t get that easily due to the fact that they work in silence and away from the public. In the end they can become bitter about it. An expression of them could be: “I try to do my best, I take little for myself, I give so much, I’m not arrogant, I’m quiet and earnest, work hard and good, overexert myself, try to be good to everyone in my own quiet way and still it’s not good enough, I don’t succeed, I’m not loved or respected.”

Prevention of Stomach Cancer and Ulcers

Infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is considered a major cause of stomach cancer, stomach inflammation, and ulcers. Cranberries contain unique plant compounds known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which may cut your risk of stomach cancer by preventing H. pylori from attaching to the lining of your stomach, especially after the use of antibiotics.


You don’t need to wait for Christmas or Thanksgiving to enjoy this superfood.  For more inspiration or information on my holistic health care and healthy weight loss and lifestyle services, please visit my website at Full Circle Healing Ottawa, or contact me at 613-234-5151.

Wishing you all the best for the Holiday Season.