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Are Dried Cranberries Good For You? The Complete Lowdown Here

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Dried cranberries, with their tangy-sweet flavor and chewy texture, are a popular snack and ingredient in a whole host of delicious dishes. They can transform the blandest of meals into something vibrant, giving your taste buds a real treat.

Are Dried Cranberries Good For You? The Complete Lowdown Here

But what is the nutritional profile of these dried fruits, and are they actually good for you? It is widely known that cranberries have some potential health benefits.

Their antioxidant content can positively affect heart health and digestion, and including them in your diet can have a positive impact on your overall well-being.

However, it’s important to explore the full picture and consider factors such as added sugars, calorie density, and portion sizes before adding cranberries to your diet. This is where we step in to help.

In today’s comprehensive article, we will dive into the world of dried cranberries and provide you with the complete lowdown on whether cranberries are good for you.

We will unravel the nutritional properties of dried cranberries, their health benefits, potential drawbacks, and how they can fit into a balanced diet. We will also offer some practical tips on incorporating them into your wholesome lifestyle.

What Are Dried Cranberries?

Dried cranberries are the result of dehydrating fresh cranberries, following a process similar to that of making raisins from grapes.

These dried berries are commonly known as craisins, and they often undergo additional processing, including the addition of sugar and a light coating of vegetable oil to promote stickiness.

Despite these modifications, dried cranberries still offer impressive nutritional value and come with a range of benefits. Versatile and delicious, dried cranberries can be easily incorporated into numerous dishes such as salads, cookies, oatmeal, and muffins.

Their appealing taste makes them a popular choice for various culinary creations. When it comes to purchasing dried cranberries, you can do so without hesitation, as they are readily available and require little consideration before adding them to your shopping cart.

Dried Cranberries Nutritional Value

To understand whether dried cranberries are good for us, we need to consider their nutritional content. In 40 grams of dried cranberries, you will discover the following nutritional values:

  • Calories – 123 Kcal
  • Fat – 0.6 g
  • Protein – 0 g
  • Total carbohydrates – 24 g
  • Dietary fiber – 2 g
  • Sodium – 1 mg
  • Sugars – 22 g

When examining these numbers, it’s quite clear to see that dried cranberries are good for our health. 40 grams of dried cranberries contain no saturated fats, trans fats, or cholesterol. In fact, dried cranberries have almost identical nutritional values as fresh cranberries.

Additionally, dried cranberries go well in many dishes, especially those that require fresh cranberries. So, if you’re already a fan of this fruit, you can add them to your diet immediately and start reaping the health benefits.

Dried Cranberries – Health Benefits

So, judging from the nutritional content of dried cranberries alone, it’s safe to assume that they are good for you.

But, to fully understand how healthy these fruits are, we need to take a look at a range of potential health benefits they are associated with. Here are the main health benefits when eating dried cranberries on a regular basis:

Reduces The Likelihood Of Cardiovascular Disease

One of the remarkable benefits of dried cranberries is their potential to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This can be attributed to the presence of polyphenols, which possess anti-inflammatory properties.

By reducing hypertension, preventing platelet buildup, and mitigating inflammation, dried cranberries play a role in safeguarding against cardiovascular issues, promoting heart health, and supporting overall well-being.

Potential Cancer-Fighting Properties

Dried cranberries offer a notable health advantage by potentially aiding in the prevention of cancer. These berries contain essential nutrients that contribute to the inhibition of tumor formation and the potential deceleration of existing tumor growth.

By incorporating dried cranberries into your diet, you may arm yourself of their potential cancer-fighting benefits and support your overall well-being.

Aids In Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

Dried cranberries contain a significant amount of proanthocyanidins, also known as PACs. These antioxidants play a crucial role in inhibiting the adherence of bacteria to the walls of the urinary tract.

When you add dried cranberries into your diet in appropriate quantities, you can potentially reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and promote better urinary health. As with all foods, though, it is important to consume them in the recommended amounts to achieve the desired results.

Low Calorie Content

Most of us love to enjoy something a little sweet after our meals. But, instead of reaching for the cookie jar or the ice cream, opt for dried cranberries.

Not only are they sweet, but they are also low in calories, meaning they won’t add any weight to you. Dried cranberries are also quite filling, so your cravings will be satisfied and reduce snacking.

Helps Oral Health

Another appealing aspect of dried cranberries is their ability to improve oral health. These berries contain proanthocyanidins, which can inhibit the growth of bacteria on teeth and combat tooth decay.

Furthermore, dried cranberries contribute to the prevention of various gum-related issues, promoting overall oral hygiene and supporting a healthier mouth.

Dried cranberries are not just flavorful, but also a great way to enhance your dental well-being and maintain a vibrant smile.

Excellent Source Of Fiber

Dried cranberries are a supreme source of fiber. Therefore, they can aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system, ensuring it is efficient at all times. This high fiber content can also help keep your heart healthy and maintain good blood pressure.

Contains Antioxidants

Dried cranberries are also an excellent source of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, anthocyanin, phenolic acids, and proanthocyanidins.

These antioxidants can help reduce or even prevent damage caused by free radicals in your body’s cells. Eat these berries daily, and your overall health can improve.

Completely Fat-Free

In a world struggling with an obesity crisis, the emphasis on low-fat foods is stronger than ever. For anyone looking to keep the weight off, dried cranberries can be a great asset to their diet. Snacking doesn’t have to be filled with guilt.

Dried cranberries can act as a great snack because they are fat-free. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about gaining excess weight when enjoying these fruity delights.

You can add dried cranberries to all sorts of meals, such as salads and even breakfast dishes. Enjoying a snack that is also healthy? We thought it was impossible too, but not with dried cranberries!

Dried Cranberries Side Effects

Are Dried Cranberries Good For You? The Complete Lowdown Here

Above are just some of the many health benefits associated with consuming dried cranberries. But, it’s important you don’t eat too many, as you may suffer some side effects. As with any food, you should only enjoy dried cranberries in moderation.

Moderation is crucial when consuming dried cranberries, especially if you want to fully enjoy their benefits. While a limited quantity can offer advantages, excessive consumption may lead to undesirable effects, such as diarrhea and stomach discomfort.

On top of this, if you do not keep check of your dried cranberries intake, you can heighten the risk of kidney stones forming. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution and be mindful of the amount of dried cranberries you include in your daily diet.

By practicing moderation, you can safely incorporate dried cranberries into your eating routine and maximize their positive impact on your overall well-being.

How Many Dried Cranberries Are Safe To Eat On A Daily Basis?

If you’re considering adding dried cranberries to your diet, it is recommended to consume about 1/4th cup per day. While consuming a smaller quantity is acceptable, exceeding the suggested amount may lead to potential side effects, like an upset stomach or diarrhea.

As we have discussed, it’s crucial to be mindful of the portion size of dried cranberries you consume in each serving. By incorporating them into your daily routine and observing their effects over a few days, you’ll be able to determine whether dried cranberries are good for you or not.

Can You Be Allergic To Dried Cranberries?

Just like with any other food, it is possible to be allergic to dried cranberries. Allergies to cranberries, whether fresh or dried, can occur in some individuals with reactions ranging from mild symptoms, such as itching and hives, to more severe, like difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis.

If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing, while consuming cranberries, seek immediate medical assistance.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and guidance on managing your specific allergies. Discontinue the use of cranberry and contact your healthcare provider promptly if you encounter any of the following:

  • Severe stomach pain accompanied by vomiting.
  • Persistent pain or burning sensation during urination.
  • Symptoms indicative of a kidney stone, including painful or challenging urination, red or pink urine, vomiting, nausea, and moments of sharp pain radiating from the back or side to the groin area and lower stomach.

It is crucial to address these symptoms promptly to ensure proper medical attention and guidance.

How To Dry Fresh Cranberries At Home?

Overall, we now know that dried cranberries are very good for us, in moderation. So, if you want to have a go at making some yourself at home, it couldn’t be simpler! You can do so using an oven or a dehydrator. Let’s take a look at both methods below.

Drying Cranberries In An Oven

Drying cranberries in an oven is arguably the easiest technique. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Once the oven has heated up, place a baking sheet on one of the racks and cover this with a couple of paper towel layers.
  3. Now, spread a layer of parchment paper on top of the paper towels.
  4. Get your cranberries and spread them over the top of the parchment paper.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and allow the cranberries to dry for approximately eight hours.
  6. Once the cranberries have fully dried, switch the oven off and place the tray aside for 20 to 30 minutes.

After half an hour, you can enjoy your dried cranberries!

Drying Cranberries With A Dehydrator

Another great way of drying cranberries is via a dehydrator. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Set up your dehydrator to around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Once heated up, spread your cranberries on the dehydrator’s tray or sheet.
  3. Once the cranberries are set out, you may have to rotate the dehydrator a little to ensure the cranberries dry evenly.
  4. Leave the cranberries dry and check on them after 10 hours.
  5. Once you have inspected your tray or sheet of cranberries, and you think they are completely dry, take them out of the dehydrator. Now, leave them to cool for just a few minutes.

Whilst this method usually works well, you may need to wait for up to 24 hours for the cranberries to dry fully.

Dried Cranberries Skin And Hair Benefits

As well as dried cranberries numerous health benefits, they can also help keep our skin and hair healthy. Dried cranberries contain a range of essential amino acids that help to increase the production of healthy skin cells.

These also alleviate redness and inflammation that may occur on the skin due to exposure to harsh environmental conditions. This is attributed to their abundant flavonoid content, which offers antioxidant properties that combat the detrimental effects of free radicals.

And, that’s not all. Dried cranberries have the potential to reduce acne, fade dark spots and scars, and alleviate skin irritation, contributing to a healthier and more vibrant complexion. The consumption of dried cranberries have also been shown to offer anti-aging benefits.

They contain spermidine, which can help slow down the aging process of skin cells. Additionally, the carotene class of flavonoid antioxidants present in dried cranberries plays a crucial part in diminishing the visibility of wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines.

Incorporating dried cranberries into your diet, whether by consuming the fruit itself or drinking cranberry juice, can also contribute to increased collagen production.

Collagen is a vital protein that promotes the elasticity and firmness of the skin, thereby supporting a smoother and more resilient complexion. When it comes to your hair, dried cranberries juice has been shown to support hair growth and its overall thickness.

These berries have a high antioxidant and vitamin C content and even when made into a juice form, these can have a profound effect on the follicles by strengthening them.

Dried cranberries can also help remove harmful free radicals that can cause brittle, weak hair, as well as hair loss. By consuming dried cranberries, you may be able to see the renewal of healthy hair growth in a short amount of time.

In Summary

The verdict is in – dried cranberries are very good for your overall health. Their nutritional content could aid the digestive system, fight off cancers, bring a youthfulness back to skin, and boost hair growth.

That being said, they should only be eaten in moderation (no more than a 1/4th cup a day). Stick to the recommended daily intake of dried cranberries, and you could start to reap the health benefits in no time.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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