If you’ve been picking out the cranberries from your salad, maybe it’s time to stop doing it. Why? Because in case you haven’t heard, cranberries are a superfood.
They’ve earned every right to join this prestigious group. Just look at their repertoire. Small in size, yet strong in vigour, cranberries are 90 per cent water, so they’re super healthy and a great weight-loss snack.
Not only do they perk up any meal with their natural sweetness, cranberries also have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, plus they also slow down tumour progression.
If that’s not impressive enough, these amazing fruits can also help to boost a woman’s fertility naturally. Packed with antioxidants, they help to clean your urinary tract, including your kidneys.
Cranberries also have a unique combination of compounds including Type-A proanthocyanidins (or PACs), which provides an antibacterial effect by preventing bacteria from sticking.
This is especially important as urinary tract infection (or UTI) is very common amongst post-partum women.
"Women who have had a caesarean usually have a urinary catheter inserted and this increases the risk of infection. Post partum women also have to use pads for a while and this increases the risk of UTI," explains Dr Sam Peh Oon Hui, a urologist who practices at the PanAsia Surgery Group and Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
By the way, strong, healthy kidneys do not only reduce your risk of urinary track infection, but also have a profound effect on helping you increase your fertility.
Dr Peh suggests consuming cranberries on a daily basis. "The general guideline is to drink half a cup of pure cranberry juice with a high concentration of cranberries or eat a quarter cup of dried cranberries, also known as Craisins," he adds.
Not sure how to include these fantastic fruits into your daily diet? Read on for some easy recipe recommendations…
Chicken Cranberry Almond Salad
Makes 4 servings
- 1 bag (8oz) field greens
- 12oz refrigerated roast chicken breast, shredded
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup Ocean Spray Craisins Original Dried Cranberries
- 1 cup oven roasted nuts
- ½ cup raspberry vinaigrette (regular or light)
1) In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together, except the vinaigrette.
2) Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat.
Click through for a heart-healthy salmon recipe.
Grilled Salmon with Five-Spice Cranberry Relish
566g salmon fillet, 3cm thick
For the marinade
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp honey
For the relish
- 1 cup Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail
- ¾ cup Ocean Spray Craisins Original Dried Cranberries
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tsp orange peel
- ¾ tsp five-spice powder
1) Combine relish ingredients. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring occasionally.
2) Reduce heat, simmer six to eight minutes or until onion is tender and mixture thickens. Cool.
3) Combine soy sauce, orange juice and honey. Mix well. Add salmon, skin side up. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4) Heat the grill and oil it. Place salmon on the grill skin side down. Brush the top with the marinade.
5) Cook for five minutes over medium heat. Turn the fish around and cook another four to eight minutes until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Remove salmon and place on a serving platter.
6) Cut salmon into four pieces and serve with relish.
Up next, a healthy smoothie with chocolate!
Berry Chocolate Smoothie
Makes four servings
- 2 cups Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail, chilled
- 1 cup strawberry yogurt
- 2½ cups frozen whole strawberries
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar, if desired
- ¼ cup mini-chocolate chips
1) Put all the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a blender
2) Blend on high speed until smooth.
3) Add the chocolate chips and pulse until chopped.
4) Pour into a glass and serve immediately.
Photos: iStock and Ocean Spray
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