These super little berries have a myriad of health benefits, including an ’emulsifying’ effect on body fat and therefore aiding the body to rid itself of any excess – yey – I will have another mince pie then, swiftly followed by a glass of cranberry juice 🙂

Rich in phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, cranberries are an ever-green shrub native to North America. Studies have shown the potential health benefits of the humble cranberry to be multiple; from anti-ageing to cancer fighting; preventing plaque formation in the arteries, thereby lowering cholesterol and impacting positively on our neurological health; protection against urinary tract infection by inhibiting attachment  of E-coli bacteria to bladder wall; preventing the formation of kidney stones; inhibiting tumour growth;combating tooth decay; reducing risk of stomach complaints such as peptic ulcer and H-pylori; stimulating collagen production; anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties; boosts immunity; good for flu related symptoms such as lung inflammation; inhibits yeast overgrowth; and is packed full of vitamins C, A, B6, K, E, and minerals and amino acids such as niacin, magnesium, manganese, zinc, folate, potassium, salicylic acid, lutein, phosphorus, calcium, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin.

Remember – Fresh is best!

It’s best to buy fresh and juice them yourself or add them to a healthy muffin or cake recipe, but if you do want to buy ‘ready-made’ cranberry juice, make sure it contains no sugar or other nasties and then mix it with a little water, as it will likely be a concentrate and taste quite tart. Dried is also good, but again, check the label for sulphite information.

And Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the cranberry sauce of course – here’s a really easy recipe for cranberry sauce – just replace the muscavado sugar with coconut palm sugar and consider using a little less 🙂

Berry nice…