Cranberries are most closely related to blueberries, and the two contain a lot of the same health benefits, antioxidant properties and uses.
The word cranberry derives from “craneberry” because the early European settlers in American felt that the expanding flower, stem, calyx and petals resembled the neck, head and bill of a crane bird. In 17th century New England, cranberries were sometimes called “bearberries” because bears were often seen eating them.
In North America, Native Americans were the first to use cranberries as food. It’s believed that cranberries were commonly eaten for their digestive support and ability to keep people from developing infections and becoming sick.
They used a poultice made from cranberries to help heal wounds and tumors, according to the 1999 Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. Cranberries have a compound that prevents common bacteria like E. coli and Staph from attaching to the walls of tissue cells. This same property is one of the reasons that many women now drink unsweetened cranberry juice or take cranberry extract pills to ward off urinary tract and bladder infections, which are most commonly caused by E. coli.
Since the early 21st century, raw cranberries have been marketed as a “superfruit” because of their hefty nutrient content and antioxidant qualities.
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*This article is intended for informational purposes. The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.