Magazine article Work & Family Life

Why Cranberries, Figs and Rosemary Are Health Foods

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Why Cranberries, Figs and Rosemary Are Health Foods

Article excerpt

All three are rich in what plant scientists refer to as "unusual compounds" or "phytochemicals" and the rest of us call antioxidants. Of course, this makes them good for us to eat: researchers have found that foods with high antioxidant content may protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease and possibly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease as well.

Cranberries, it turns out, have even more going for them. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, eight scientific studies have found that cranberries keep E. coli from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract (between 80 and 90 percent of urinary tract infections are caused by this bacterium). Other research has found that cranberries may also inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers and gum disease.

The highest antioxidant levels are found in fresh cranberries and in 100 percent cranberry juice (available in some health food stores), but this native American berry is far too sour for most of us to eat or drink straight. …

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