Cranberry Health News
In this issue:
Crisper, cooler days are upon us, and it wouldn’t be fall without cranberries. In October, we were excited to have a virtual exhibit booth at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo™ (FNCE) where we shared the latest science on cranberries and gut health and chatted with over 900 registered dietitians (RDs).
Nostalgia was a recurring theme as RD attendees shared their *berry* favorite memories of cranberries. One attendee recalled her grandmother calling cranberries “berries of joy”. We couldn’t have said it better, as cranberries are included in so many joyful family celebrations while providing a multitude of health benefits.
In this issue, you’ll discover new ways to incorporate these “berries of joy” into your seasonal recipes, as well as the latest news on how consuming cranberries benefits gut health and increases fiber and fruit intake.
At FNCE, over 1900 participants visited the Cranberry Institute booth, with many coming back again to take a second look around and explore our Gut Health toolbox, nostalgic recipes, health research library and more. In addition, we hosted a fascinating presentation in the Expo Theater by Dr. Amy Howell, which was attended by nearly 800 participants. Dr. Howell shared the evidence on the worldwide rates of H. pylori infection, how consuming cranberry juice containing 44 mg of proanthocyanidins (or "PACs") per 240-mL serving twice daily for eight weeks resulted in a 20% reduction in the H. pylori infection rate and evidence on combining cranberries with antibiotics for eradication of the infection. Afterwards, Dr. Howell engaged with the RDs in a live chat where she explained the research further and answered many questions.
Back in the booth, participants had a lot to say about cranberries and their versatility. Here are a few of the highlights:
- One participant shared a festive idea for the Thanksgiving table. Simply slice the canned cranberry sauce into ½ inch slices and use a turkey-shaped cookie cutter to make fun cranberry cutouts to pair with your meal!
- This easy, tasty recipe was shared: Combine chopped apples with fresh cranberries, sprinkle it with cinnamon and bake at 350 for at least 30 minutes. Fragrant and flavorful!
- Several moms mentioned packaging baggies of nuts and dried cranberries for kids. They are filling, healthful and make a great post-sports snack.
Thank you to all the RDs who joined us at FNCE! In case you missed it, read on to explore our latest resources.
For many, just the mention of cranberries brings fond memories. Whether it’s preparing a traditional cranberry sauce with your grandmother as you anticipate hearing the familiar pop as the cranberries simmer on the stove, or trying a new cranberry dessert or cocktail recipe and realizing it’s an instant hit, you too can get started on making memories for years to come with these mouthwatering cranberry creations.
This elegant cranberry and apple baked brie recipe is a fall-favorite appetizer sure to please your guests at every celebration.
With just six ingredients, this festive cocktail is easy enough to tote along to a friend’s house, so you can spread the joy of the season!
With a hint of unexpected sweetness from cranberry sauce, this zesty chili is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Plus, it’s easy enough to make any day of the week for a healthful, satisfying dinner.
Whip up a batch of this simple, luscious dessert to have on hand for pop-in holiday guests. Save a few for a special dessert after a weekday family dinner.
Celebrating Friendsgiving this year? These easy cranberry thumbprint cookies provide a twist on a classic, and are the perfect creation to share with those most important to us.
Cranberries & Human Health: Introducing the Gut Health Toolbox!
Research continues to support the use of cranberries as an important part of a healthful diet to promote gut health. Our newest educational resource, the Gut Health Toolbox, summarizes the latest research about cranberries as a functional food that contribute fiber and other compounds to help nourish and modulate a healthy gut microbiota population. A healthful diet supports gut microbiota, and this offers protection against pathogens, improvements in gut barrier function and lowered levels of inflammation.1
These handouts help RDs explain the importance of gut health to both health care professionals and consumers. RDs are routinely asked about fad diets and other restrictive diets, and research shows that diets that restrict calories and dietary fiber might damage gut health.2 RDs need tools to help explain why it’s important to promote gut health and how diet can be beneficial. These handouts include basic details about the gut microbiome as well as how consuming cranberries improves fruit intake, what to look for in cranberry supplements and how fiber and A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) found in cranberries can benefit gut health. These handouts can be shared electronically or printed.
The Berry Best for Gut Health Handout includes a snapshot of the science behind the benefits of cranberry PACs for H. pylori suppression and gut health and details about how cranberries can boost fruit and fiber intakes to meet the goals of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The recipe section features four ways to use fresh berries, frozen berries, juice and dried cranberries in dishes that can be made any time of the year.
The Love Your Gut HCP-facing version features more details about the importance of maintaining gut health, how cranberry PACs benefit gut microbiota and information about how to choose cranberry supplements.
This user-friendly version of Love Your Gut is ideal for consumers and clients to promote healthy dietary changes to improve gut health and describe how cranberries can be beneficial.
Cranberries Can Help Fill the Berry Gap!
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines examine trends in what we eat and make recommendations to help Americans consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet. Fiber is a nutrient of concern since more than 90% of women and 97% of men ages 19 to 59 fall below the recommended intake.3
|Ages 19-30||Ages 31-50||Age 50+|
|Woman||28 grams||25 grams||22 grams|
|Men||34 grams||31 grams||28 grams|
These recommended amounts were developed to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.3 A 2021 systematic review of 30 articles found that whole-food dietary fiber, such as that found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, is beneficial to the microbiome. These improvements to the microbiome can help the body fight inflammation associated with certain chronic inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease but also type 2 diabetes and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.4
The Dietary Guidelines recommend replacing refined grains with whole grains and consuming more fruits and vegetables to meet this goal.3 Cranberries are a great way to increase fiber intake since one cup of whole cranberries supplies 5 grams fiber and ¼ cup of dried cranberries contains 2 grams of fiber.5
Cranberries can help meet these new Dietary Guideline recommendations while providing functional benefits for gut microbiota.
Our Health Research Library is updated regularly so you can examine more research on how cranberries benefit the body. Find studies on UTI prevention, cardiovascular health, glycemic response and more. Simply search on any keyword or year to see abstracts of the latest studies.
- Telle-Hansen, V.H., Holven, K.B, Ulven, S.M. Impact of a Healthy Dietary Pattern on Gut Microbiota and Systemic Inflammation in Humans. Nutrients 2018; 10:1783. doi:10.3390/nu10111783
- Rondanelli, M., Gasparri, C., Peroni, G., Faliva, M. A., Naso, M., Perna, S., Bazire, P., Sajuox, I., Maugeri, R., & Rigon, C. The Potential Roles of Very Low Calorie, Very Low Calorie Ketogenic Diets and Very Low Carbohydrate Diets on the Gut Microbiota Composition. Frontiers in endocrinology 2021; 12: 662591. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.662591
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
- Wagenaar, C. A., van de Put, M., Bisschops, M., Walrabenstein, W., de Jonge, C. S., Herrema, H., & van Schaardenburg, D. The Effect of Dietary Interventions on Chronic Inflammatory Diseases in Relation to the Microbiome: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2021; 13(9):3208. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093208
- FoodWorks 18, available at: http://www.nutritionco.com/foodworks.htm, accessed 10/31/2021