Cranberries - a traditional holiday side dish in North America - are more than just a tart and tasty meal accompaniment. A rich source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, cranberries are packed with healthy antioxidants and are used traditionally to help prevent urinary tract infections. Recent studies have also linked consumption of cranberries and cranberry juice with healthy cholesterol levels, improved gastrointestinal health, and the prevention of kidney stones - all good reasons to increase your intake no matter what the season.
Fresh cranberries provide the most antioxidants and are in season from October through December. When purchasing fresh cranberries, look for those that are a deep red color and firm to the touch. They can be used in a variety of ways, including in breads and muffins or as a cold or warm relish.
For more information on healthful foods, visit Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.