Move over turkey, cranberries deserve to be the star at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. At the 2015 International Conference on Polyphenols and Health, scientists reported on growing evidence that indicates cranberries may prevent recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). The prevalence of UTIs (they are the second most common type of infection in the body), coupled with the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, makes this research more important than ever. Here are the facts:
Most UTIs are treated with antibiotics. However, when antibiotics are widely used, bacteria become resistant to them. In the US alone, 2 million people develop antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Unfortunately, treatment options can be limited for these types of resistant infections.
Fortunately, research shows that polyphenols, like those in cranberries, help inhibit bacteria from attaching to cells, which could prevent UTIs and reduce the need for antibiotics.
Along with cranberries’ bacteria-fighting properties, research at the conference also linked cranberries to better blood flow, which could translate to cardiovascular and cognitive health benefits. So, since this is the time of year when cranberries magically appear in the produce section, it might be worth picking up a few bags.