And the unsung healthy hero of Thanksgiving dinner is...

Are you full yet?

I know you’re probably busy with Thanksgiving details, so I’ll get right to it…

When you’re gathered around the dinner table with family and friends today, if someone offers you cranberry sauce, or cranberry ANYthing — don’t even think about it. Say, “Yes.”

That’s because the cranberry is the unsung healthy hero of Thanksgiving dinner.

Modest but mighty

Well…maybe not cranberry “anything.”But anything that you can see actual cranberries in. And here are seven reasons why the cranberry is probably the healthiest item on your dinner plate today…

1) Cranberries are loaded with vitamin C and other antioxidants. On the list of best antioxidant sources, cranberries are ranked sixth — right behind blueberries.

2) The cranberry is an excellent source of resveratrol. That’s the anti-inflammatory compound that’s been shown to protect heart and nerve cells. It also assists in DNA repair — one of the keys to fighting cancer.

3) Cranberry bioflavonoids have been linked to prevention of several cancers. Research shows that cranberry components play a role in five different anti-cancer mechanisms.

4) Cranberry juice helps prevent gum disease by killing bacteria that promotes dental plaque.

5) Cranberry juice also prevents Helicobacter pylori from attaching to the gastric wall. H. pylori is the cause of nearly all gastric ulcers.

6) Cranberry juice relieves urinary tract infections. That’s well known. Less known is that cranberry juice can also help prevent the infection in the first place. It stops E. coli from attaching to the bladder wall.

7) Cranberries reduce risk of kidney stones.

Every year, my sister brings the cranberry sauce. Hers is the best I’ve ever had. And now I don’t even feel guilty for taking seconds — and maybe thirds.

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