Whole dried Cranberries
This type of blueberry has a high nutritional value, along with some great characteristics that make them an ideal fruit for all seasons. In addition to being highly appreciated for their sweetness, albeit with a acidic aftertaste , dried cranberries are a natural solution to increase our well-being, let's see how.
Dehydrated cranberries: properties and benefits.
These fruits were already known and used from the mid-nineteenth century for their ability to prevent urinary tract infections. At the time it was believed to depend on the presence of hippuric acid in blueberries - believed to be the cause of the antibacterial action of blueberries.
It was around 1960 that new research was carried out to understand that acidification was useful with some bacterial species and not with others, and that instead cranberry juice contains many other chemicals beneficial to our body, some pharmacologically active.
It is malic, benzoic, citric acid, some oligosaccharides considered important for their purifying properties .
Furthermore, in cranberries there are considerable quantities of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins , substances with an excellent antioxidant power.
For this reason, cranberry is a great fruit to keep your skin glowing and healthy , even when acne or dandruff conditions arise. The properties of the fruit, in fact, prevent drying of the scalp, which is the main cause of dandruff and oily hair.
These optimal characteristics for the skin are also due to amino acids and hydroxyproline, necessary for the body to form collagen. The latter is a fundamental component to keep the skin soft and young. A help in this regard also comes from the good quantities of vitamins A and C contained in dried cranberries.
Dehydrated cranberries as we have said have polyphenols that do not increase hypertension, protect the well-being of the heart and arteries - they promote microcirculation and blood circulation.
The tradition that cranberries or cranberries are useful against urinary system disorders, is due to the fact that they have an important nutrient called PAC proanthocyanidins, the antioxidants that could prevent "unwanted" and harmful bacteria from attaching themselves to the walls of the urinary tract - such as Eschirichia Coli. The action of Cranberry on the urine also manifests itself in the improvement of odors.
Likewise, also for oral hygiene, the properties of PACs in dried cranberries hinder tooth decay bacteria. This improves the oral cavity, preventing problems such as bad breath and gum bleeding.
The fact that cranberries, dehydrated cranberries are rich in citric acid, can also be a source of well-being against kidney and bladder related complications.
In the diet, a snack with cranberries contains fiber that keeps you full longer, and can be useful for getting antioxidants and vitamins, without excessive fat.
Origins and History of cultivation
Blueberry is a berry typical of the American undergrowth, derived from a perennial dwarf shrub native to the United States and Canada.
Ancient Mediterranean civilizations did not know it in the common diet, therefore, and it is only with the arrival of Europeans in the Americas that it has been known and appreciated.
Native Americans, on the other hand, have been picking cranberries for ages and using them for beneficial recipes such as pemmican, which saw cranberries along with meat and other fats, used as preservatives. Already the American Indians used it in natural medicine to treat urinary infections, oral hygiene, heal wounds, swellings and to create a red dye for carpets and bodies.
In the diet of North American Indians, blueberries were eaten fresh in the summer and dried in the winter.
Then spread throughout the world through jams and cranberry juice, as well as for the famous cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving Day and at Christmas, cranberry has also been recommended as a food rich in vitamin C and for the prevention of scurvy (dehydrated cranberry for sailors). In the eighteenth century it was also used in pharmacology to calm inflamed bile.
Today it is also cultivated in Europe and other countries of the Northern Hemisphere, including Italy, Germany, Sweden.
The countries where the plant is most widespread are the United States, Canada and Chile (98% of the world production of cranberries), and the fruits are processed into juices, sauces, jams and sugared dehydrated whole cranberries.i.
The European version we know, the cranberry Vaccinium vitis idaea, has instead been widespread in our territory for centuries and has taken different popular names (mountain grape, vine from Mount Ida in Greece where Zeus was born, bear vineyard , murella, marsh berry).
Plant and Fruit
The cranberry plant may derive from evergreen dwarf shrubs that are part of the Oxycoccus subgenus of the genus Vaccinium: Vaccinium microcarpum or Oxycoccus microcarpus, Vaccinium oxycoccos or Oxycoccus palustris found in North America and Chile , in Northern Europe and Northern Asia.
They differ on some characteristics, such as the leaves of more or less small size, their triangular shape and other botanical properties. As a rule, cranberry cranberry in North America refers to Vaccinium macrocarpon.
In any case, cranberries are low shrubs, which can reach a height of about 60 centimeters and a length of up to 1.5 meters.
The flowers are dark pink, pollinated by bees, and their fruit, cranberries, is a berry larger than the plant's leaves. It is born with a light green color, and tends to red when ripe.
The fruits are sweet but also sour, but with a sour taste that usually dominates the sweetness.
Nutritional values of whole Cranberries - Cranberry
We have seen that the cranberry contains several antioxidant substances, which are preserved despite the dehydration process.
This version of dried cranberries contains several sugars and not excessive calories (357 per 100 grams), as well as a good content of minerals, fiber (about 5 g / 100 g) and very little fat (0.37%).
The cranberry fruit contains vitamin C (0.2 mg / 100 g) and Vitamin A (RAE about 2 mcg / 100 g), beta-carotene (about 27 mcg / 100 g), lutein and zeaxanthin (about 130 mcg / 100 g), Vitamin E (about 2 mg / 100 g) and Vitamin K (about 3 mcg / 100 g).
Among the various minerals present there are magnesium, good levels of copper (0.063 mg), phosphorus, zinc. < / p>
How to consume or use dehydrated cranberries in the kitchen
Like other dried fruit specialties, a dose of dried whole Cranberry blueberries can be an excellent energy snack for athletes, rich in antioxidants. It is a berry with high nutritional value indicated in low-calorie diets as a hunger-breaker, for the fibers that satiate and the beneficial substances it brings.
A handful of dehydrated blueberries can be added to dried fruit mixes, for breakfast or as a snack, in yogurt, fruit salads, and as top decorations on ice cream, muffins, cupcakes and cakes.
Whole dehydrated cranberries can be used as ingredients for desserts and energy bars - tasty when paired with cocoa.
As we have seen, blueberries are often used for the sauce used in Anglo-Saxon countries for the holidays. In addition, cranberry can be mixed with sauces and vinagrettes to dress the salad or with smoothies for a more intense flavor.
Dehydrated cranberries: side effects and contraindications
There are few contraindications to taking dried blueberries in the correct quantities, unless there is an intolerance or allergy to the food.
People who suffer from kidney stones, or who are prone to manifestations of renal-ureteral colic, should avoid excessive use of cranberries, and consider inclusion in the diet together with a doctor.
Furthermore, cranberry may be able to increase bleeding risk for patients on anticoagulant treatment.
Excessive use is also not recommended for those suffering from diabetes, due to the possibility of an increase in blood sugar, due to the sugars included in the dehydrated fruit.