Gaining greater and greater popularity past the holiday season, cranberries have now gone well beyond their yearly appearance in Thanksgiving and other seasonal meals. Their tangy flavor and bright red color make them a favorite throughout the year (yet they’re most plentiful in fall, as their peak season runs from October to December).
But flavor and color aside, there’s another reason to enjoy cranberries (and even make them part of your diet year-round)–they’re incredibly nutritious and great for your health.
Cranberries and Your Heart
Studies have found that cranberries reduce the risk of heart disease. Most recently, a study presented at the annual congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences in March/April 2005 found pigs with atherosclerosis (a primary cause of heart disease) that received a daily dose of cranberry powder had restored blood vessel health.
Other studies have also found that people who drink cranberry juice have higher levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and may have improved blood vessel function.