Cranberries – A Staple of Thanksgiving Dinner

cranberry sauce
cranberry sauce is a healthy addition to the Thanksgiving meal...

For some families, the Thanksgiving meal's main dish is a turkey - for others, it's a ham or perhaps a pork roast, but no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the side dishes. Whether your family enjoys baked sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, or green beans, the side dishes are an important part of Thanksgiving dinner. And – although, perhaps, one of the less prominent sides - the cranberry sauce may be one of the healthier additions to your Thanksgiving meal.

Cranberries are primarily water, carbohydrates, and fiber and a rich source of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, like vitamins C, E, and K, as well as manganese and copper, but these little superfruits have a complex chemical composition that includes being rich in A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) which are unique to cranberries when compared to other fruits (1) (2).

Studies have shown that these unique PACs in cranberries can protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs) (3). UTIs are primarily caused by the E. coli bacteria, a