Gobble Up That Cranberry Sauce! (It’s GREAT for the Brain)

November 26, 2009 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Cranberries: Good For The Brain!  Image by Keira on Stock.XchngCranberries: a staple of American holiday meals, they find their way onto the table  as gelled sauces & relishes, in muffins, stuffing, juices, fruit salads and pretty much anything else we can throw them into to add bit of tart , festive redness.

And as it turns out, we probably *should* be throwing them into as many dishes as possible;  cranberries are ridiculously healthy for us, and especially, excitingly, enticingly good for the brain.

Like many other highly touted berries, cranberries are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, helping to build, nourish, protect and even repair our brains (along with other parts of the body, of course).  But cranberries seem to possess special brain-repairing properties – research done on animals suggest that they may help preserve a variety of cognitive functions, and even help to restore age related declines in motor skills, working memory, and more.  In fact, their neuro-protective properties are so great that (according to studies on animal brains) cranberries have the potential to minimize brain damage associated with strokes by as much as 50%.

The exact chemicals involved in the brain-protective effects of cranberries aren’t completely understood yet, but the studies on their impact on the brain are extremely promising.  And if that’s not enough of a reason to indulge in the tart little fruit, cranberries are believed to help prevent and recover from urinary tract infections, reduce the risk of gum disease, raise “good” cholesterol levels, and are being investigated for cancer-fighting properties.

For best results, avoid the overly-sugared cranberry cocktails (which contain very little actual cranberry juice) and stick to pure juices, or go with home-made relishes that are lower in sugars and higher in concentrations of fruits. (My mom always makes a cranberry relish that also contains those brain-boosting walnuts, as well as bits of oranges, which have their own nutritional benefits)

But whatever form they take on your Thanksgiving table, help yourself to an extra serving of cranberries – they’re a brain-healthy holiday tradition that shouldn’t just be limited to holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Entry filed under: Nutrition & Diet. Tags: , , , .

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About This Blog

A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Cognitive Training
  • Stress Management
  • Social Interaction
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • A Sense of Purpose & Connection
Authored by Tori Deaux
Sponsored by Dakim Brain Fitness



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