Cranberry fruit (or cranberries) is a fruit of the low-growing evergreen dwarf shrubs / trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium in the family Ericaceae. The name cranberry derives from "craneberry", first named by early European settlers in America who felt the expanding flower, calyx, stem, and petals resembled the head, neck, and bill of a crane. The fruit of Cranberries is larger than the cranberry leaves of the cranberry plant. The edible fruit is white at first, but turns a deep red when cranberry is fully ripe. Cranberry is also called moss-berry (name used in northeastern Canada), or moor-berry, as it grows only on peat-bogs or swampy land. In North America, Native Americans were the first to use cranberries as food. Calling the red berries Sassamanash, natives may have introduced cranberries to starving English settlers in Massachusetts who incorporated the berries into traditional Thanksgiving feasts. Cranberries have also been called "bounceberries," because ripe ones bounce. In 17th century New England cranberries were sometimes called "bearberries" as bears were often seen feeding on them. The traditional English name for Vaccinium oxycoccos, fenberry, originated from plants found growing in fen (marsh) lands.
What does cranberry fruit taste like?
Cranberries taste? Raw cranberry has an unique acidic taste that can overwhelm its sweetness, often taste too tart. The raw red berries are normally considered too sharp to be eaten fresh, as cranberries are sour and bitter. Because of this, most of the cranberries are generally processed into products such as juice drinks, cranberry sauce, and sweetened dried cranberries. A relatively small percentage of the cranberries are sold fresh to consumers.
Growing Cranberries. Historically, cranberry beds were constructed in wetlands. Currently cranberry beds are constructed in upland areas that have a shallow water table. Cranberry vines are propagated by moving vines from an established bed. The cranberries vines are spread on the surface of the sand of the new bed and pushed into the sand with a blunt disk. The cranberry vines are watered frequently during the first few weeks until roots form and new shoots grow. Cranberry beds are given frequent light application of nitrogen fertilizer during the first year. The cost of establishment for new cranberry beds is estimated to be about US$70,000 per hectare. Water-harvested Cranberries (cranberry plant) are grown in bogs and floated in water to allow for easy harvesting.
Cranberry nutrition facts. Fresh raw cranberries are an excellent source of of vitamin C, a very good source of dietary fiber, and a good source of the essential dietary mineral, manganese, vitamin K, as well as other essential micronutrients. Cranberries also contain phytonutrients that work as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer. Most of the phytonutrients in cranberry are phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins (especially epicatechins), anthocyanins, flavonoids (including quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol), and triterpenoids (especially ursolic acid). The deeper red their color, the more highly concentrated are cranberries' beneficial anthocyanin compounds. There is potential benefit of cranberry juice consumption against bacterial infections in the urinary system. Study shows that an effect occurs from a component of the juice inhibiting bacterial attachment to the bladder and urethra. Recent studies suggest that native American berry may also lower LDL while raising HDL cholesterol, promote gastrointestinal and oral health, help prevent cancer, and even aid in recovery from stroke. Cranberries have been shown to provide essential anti-inflammatory benefits for the cardiovascular system (especially blood vessel linings) and for many parts of the digestive tract including the mouth and gums, colon, and stomach.
Cranberries to help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
According to several studies by American scientists in the early 1920s, it was discovered that people who consume large amounts of cranberries have more acid in their urine than those people who do not eat high amounts of the cranberry. Because bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment, the researchers speculated that a diet rich in cranberries may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are commonly caused by bacteria known as Escherichia coli. Recent research has shown that it's not the acidity of the cranberries, but the unusual nature of their proanthocyanidins (PACs) that is related to prevention of UTIs. The special structure of these PACs (involving A-type linkages between their components) acts as a barrier to bacteria that might otherwise latch on to the urinary tract lining. In many studies, the UTI-preventing benefits of cranberries are somewhat modest and limited to women who have recurrent UTIs.
Cranberry Calories - How Many Calories in Cranberry
Cranberry calories 1 cup?
> There are approximately 51 calories in 1 cup of chopped Cranberries.
> There are approximately 13 calories in 1 ounce (28g) of Cranberries.
> There are approximately 124 calories in 1 cup of Unsweetened Cranberry Juice.
> There are approximately 136 calories in 1 cup of Cranberry Juice.
> There are approximately 340 calories in 1 cup of Dried Cranberries.
How to ripen Cranberries?
Cranberry ripe? After harvest, cranberries do not ripen. Just like strawberries, this red berry do not ripen after they have been picked. However, ethylene may also be used when you want to accelerate ripening. You can place cranberries with an apple fruit in bag. The ethylene from the apple fruit will cause the cranberries to ripen faster, so you'll get the early ripe cranberries. The cranberry when ripe is red, and of the size of a small cherry or of the hawthorn berry. These cranberries form a sauce of exquisite flavor, and are used for tarts.
Cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly is a sauce or relish made out of cranberries. Cranberry sauce is commonly associated with Christmas dinner in the U.K and Thanksgiving dinner in North America or Canada. The most basic cranberry sauce consists of cranberries boiled in sugar water until the berries pop and the mixture thickens. Some cranberry recipes include other ingredients such as zest, orange juice, slivered almonds, ginger, maple syrup, port, or cinnamon.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
+ antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
+ protect cardiovascular system and liver
+ reduce LDL while raising HDL cholesterol
+ prevent cancers of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer
+ antioxidants give protection from heart disease
+ lower the frequency of cold and flu symptoms
+ Digestive tract benefits. It's said to help optimize the balance of bacteria in digestive tract
+ Cranberry extract inhibits an enzyme associated with a reduction in cancer risk
+ polyphenol antioxidants give health benefits to the cardiovascular system
+ also boost immune system
+ may be anti-cancer agents e.g. on in-vitro prostate cancer cells
+ may help prevent bacteria from adhering to gums and around the teeth (inhibit and even reverse the formation of plaque by Streptococcus mutans pathogens that cause tooth decay)
+ Cranberry juice components also show efficacy against formation of kidney stones
+ may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women, which are commonly caused by bacteria known as Escherichia coli
+ may prevent stomach ulcers, which are commonly caused by microorganism known as Helicobacter pylori (Cranberry's proanthocyanidins decrease adherence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori to stomach)
+ cranberry juice has a relaxing effect, and reducing stress
Cons of Cranberry
- Cranberries Oxalates. Cranberries contain measurable amounts of oxalates (5-7 milligrams per 3.5 ounces). Some health professionals believe that oxalates contribute the formation of kidney stones. Oxalates should not be eaten in high concentration as they can crystallize and cause kidney or gallbladder problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating cranberries. Oxalates are naturally-occurring chemicals in nature which are found in plants, animals, human beings, most common in fruits and vegetables. High oxalate fruits include many berries, including raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. For some other, less common types of kidney stones - including struvite stones (containing magnesium sulfate) and brushite stones (one form of stones containing calcium phosphate), intake of cranberry juice may actually help lower a person's risk. The relationship between cranberry juice and kidney stones can sometimes be confusing, so it's recommended that individuals at risk of calcium oxalate kidney stone formation consult with their doctor / healthcare provider before consuming cranberries.
- Cranberries Warfarin. There have been a small number of published case studies reporting cranberry juice-related problems by persons taking warfarin. The connection between cranberry juice and warfarin treatment has been shown to involve the detoxification enzyme family CYP2C9. However, in a recent study on health human volunteers who consumed three 8.5-ounce glasses of double-strength cranberry juice along with a single dose of warfarin, the inhibiting of CYP29C enzymes failed to occur. A couple of possible cases of Warfarin interaction with cranberry have been reported, while the research results seem somewhat confusing, so it's recommended that individuals taking warfarin consult with their doctor / healthcare provider before consuming cranberries.
How to enjoy a cranberry? It's not common to consume cranberries raw, as the taste is sour and bitter. However, the fresh red berries contain the highest levels of beneficial nutrients when they are not prepared in a cooked recipe. Cranberry juice is a major use of cranberries which is usually either sweetened to make "cranberry juice cocktail" or blended with other fruit juices to reduce its natural severe tartness. This form of cranberry cannot provide you with cranberry's full phytonutrient benefits.
+ How to enjoy fresh cranberries with reducing tartness, you can combine the red berries with other fruits such as pineapple, pears, oranges, or apples. Do not forget to rinse under cool running water before enjoying eating the fruits.
+ Cranberries were enjoyed by the American Indians, cooked and sweetened with honey or maple syrup
+ Fresh cranberries can be frozen at home, and will keep up to 9 months. The red berries can be used directly in recipes without defrosting. Once thawed, frozen berries will be quite soft and should be used immediately.
+ Most cranberries are also processed into products such as cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly, sweetened dried cranberries (sold in many groceries), cranberry pills, cranberry tablets, and cranberry relish.
+ Cranberry wine is also made in the U.S. from either whole cranberries, cranberry juice or cranberry juice concentrate.
+ Can be served with roast turkey, and also used in baking (cranberry muffins, cranberry scones and cranberry cakes).
In addition to Cranberries, you might also want to try other healthy berries such as blueberries with its super antioxidants, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.