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Cranberries: Pack a Punch of Antioxidants

Here is one item on the Thanksgiving menu that you can indulge in guilt-free!

cranberry_sauce

Photo: dgblitwin (flickr)

Find out why you should serve up plenty of cranberries this holiday season.

One of our favorite Thanksgiving staples may be healthier than you think!

Phenol-ly, An Excuse to Go Back for Seconds!

Cranberries top the list for an important group of antioxidants.

A study looked at 20 commonly-eaten fruits. Cranberries turned out to be champion for the highest level of phenols. Phenols are an important type of disease-fighting antioxidants. They are even more potent than the antioxidants found in most vitamins.

So you may have heard a lot of talk from health and nutrition experts about antioxidants. But why exactly are they good for us?

Antioxidants, So What?

Antioxidants protect your cells against free radicals. Free radicals can enter the body in your food or by environmental toxins and radiation. These harmful molecules may be linked to heart disease, cancer, and other disorders. Antioxidants are also known to boost the immune system, so it can resist cold and flu viruses.

Studies have shown a strong link between having antioxidants in your diet and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

Not only that, but antioxidants also help in digestion and metabolism, which might come in handy when you are gobbling down turkey and stuffing!

The list of health benefits goes on and on…

Getting the Best Bite

Want the most antioxidants for your bite? Try eating uncooked cranberries or pure cranberry juice. Next on the list should be cranberry sauce. And cranberry cocktail works too as a last resort.

So this Thanksgiving, when you are loading up your plate, don’t be afraid to take an extra scoop of cranberries.

You may even want to go back for seconds!

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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