Posted by Eric Hofmann on Sunday, August 18, 2013 Under: Health and Fitness blog
Hard to believe it is late August already. The summer is just flying by and before you know it we will be heading into the cooler weather and preparing for the winter months and activities. This week I would like to take the opportunity and discuss the health benefits of another over-looked fruit - which will be coming into season shorty as we move into those cooler months, cranberries.

Cranberries are refreshing, tangy and tart, fresh cranberries add nutrients and a little zip to any meal. Native to North America, cranberries grow in northern swampy areas from the east coast to the mid-west. Deep red with a spicy aroma, fresh cranberries are available in season from October to December, but can be purchased frozen year round - frozen berries are a great choice because they're frozen immediately after harvest, which preserves most of the healthy nutrients. Avoid canned berries because they usually contain too much sugar and have poor texture. When buying fresh berries. check the box or bag for dampness or stains, indications that the fruit may be decaying. All berries should be plump, dry, firm, well shaped and of uniform color. One 12oz bag of cranberries equals 3 cups.

Numerous studies have shown that cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) That's because cranberries which contain hippuric acid (an antibacterial agent) and proanthocyanidins (powerful free-radical scavengers and antioxidants that give the berries their red color) - inhibit E. coli from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. These berries are one of our best sources of antioxidants; they can help prevent cancer, tooth decay, kidney stones and macular degeneration. In addition, they improve gastrointestinal health, as well as blood-vessel function. On top of all that, there rich in Vitamin C.

Cranberries are great when added to breakfast plates and desserts. Before adding cranberries to a dish, coarsley chop them fresh or frozen - with a knife or by pulsing them in a food processor. These small bites of cranberries are less that than the whole berry, which reduces the need to add sugar. Add diced cranberries to your favorite salsa recipe to create a zippy topping for grilled seafood or poultry entrees. Toss sliced raw cranberries in salad greens along with extra-virgin olive oil. There's no need for vinegar or lemon, since the cranberries will balance out the flavors with a burst of tartness and crunchy texture.

Few tricks around the kitchen when purchasing cranberries. After purchasing fresh cranberries, discard any that are shriveled or discolored. Because of their high acidity and antimicrobial properties, cranberries store well - about a month in the refrigerator and up to a year when frozen. To freeze berries, lay them flat on a baking sheet, place in freezer for two to three hours, then store in freezer bags. This ensures that the berries freeze thoroughly and quickly without sticking together.

There you have it a little extra knowledge on a fruit coming to season, cranberries! Enjoy. As always for more information on Health & Fitness, Online personal training, and Sports training feel free to contact us at Performance Training.  Have a great rest of your summer!

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