Cranberries are not just holiday berries!
Cranberries, as well as blueberries have many cancer fighting properties. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (my
favorite cancer nutrition research organization!), cranberries may be
small but they contain a wealth of health protection.
Phytochemicals in Cranberries
For those of you who need a reminder, phytochemicals are the chemicals in plants that help our bodies fight disease and keep our immune systems strong. There are more than 900 different types and each plant food has a unique combination of phytochemicals along with vitamins and minerals.
Cranberries contains many different phytochemicals including:
- Quinic Acid
- Hippuric Acid
Results from a 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that extracts from cranberries slow the growth of breast, colon, prostate, lung, and other tumors, as do other components identified in the fruit (flavonols, proanthocyanidin oligomers, and triterpenoids).
Keep in mind that this study was done in a lab, not in humans so further research is needed to know for sure how this interacts with an active tumor. However, there is certainly no risk in adding more cranberries to your diet!
This study also reported that the unique combination of phytochemicals found in cranberry fruit may produce synergistic health benefits. Possible cancer fighting mechanisms of action by cranberry phytochemicals include:
- death of tumor cells
- reduced spreading of prostate tumor
- anti inflammatory activities
Cranberry Muffins (Recipe from www.aicr.org)
I made these muffins over the weekend, below is picture proof that I did it! Unfortunately, my dog stole 3 muffins this morning and threw them up. My taste buds and stomach loved them but DON’T FEED THEM TO YOUR DOGS, haha!
- Non-stick canola oil spray
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 4 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
- In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, milk, oil, egg and vanilla extract.
- Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. (Don’t overmix.)
- Stir in cranberries. (Note: I added crushed walnuts – about 1 cup – at this point).Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.