What are the health benefits of cranberries?

cranberry sauce benefits

When was the last time you tried new cranberry recipes?

I love cranberries, especially cranberry sauce (even if you don’t, keep reading and I might be able to convince you to start liking cranberries).

I don’t eat this tasty berry nearly enough. Sometimes I only get cranberries on Thanksgiving day. Pouring cranberry sauce onto my turkey and on leftovers the days after and…that’s it. I may not eat any more cranberries until next year. If you’re anything like me, that means you’re missing out on all the benefits these little, brightly colored berries have to offer throughout the year!

Have you thought about adding cranberries to your beverages?

cranberry recipes

Why cranberries are much more than sauce on Thanksgiving

Cranberries have so many bioactive compounds! These different compounds can give a wide range of health advantages. Studies have proven that the consumption of cranberry can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTI). This is because of the proanthocyanidins (PAC) that stop the bad bacteria from sticking to the cell walls in your urinary tract (causing a UTI).

cranberry recipes

Consumption can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease:

The polyphenols and flavonoids in cranberries prevent more LDL (bad) cholesterol from being produced while also improving HDL (good) cholesterol levels. This helps to reduce blood pressure and overall vascular functions.

cranberry bread

These berries are potentially cancer-fighting soldiers: 

A number of studies show cranberry is of the highest sources of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables. This means that they are awesome at destroying free radicals. Free radicals damage your DNA and cause inflammation. This damage or inflammation could lead to a higher risk of cancer or chronic diseases.

The benefits of cranberries can be reaped by drinking cranberry juice cocktails, eating dried cranberries or by adding them to your favorite recipes. 

Here are two tasty cranberry recipes to help incorporate into your cooking! 

Cranberry Orange Smoothie Bowl



Tart Cranberry Sauce Sweetened with Dates

homemade cranberry sauce

Chicken Thighs with Cranberries and Butternut Squash

Chicken Thighs with Cranberries and Butternut Squash

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

Delicata Squash Salad with Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

cranberry recipes

Cranberry and Goat Cheese Flatbread

cranberry recipes

Cranberry Orange Cheesecake Cups

thanksgiving recipes

Looking for more cranberry recipes?

For more recipes, take a look at our recipe collection! Recipes are organized by ingredient, cooking method, cuisine and even by specific medical condition.

For even more cranberry recipes:

Visit the cranberry institute website.

Cranberry Bread recipe.


We hope you enjoy these cranberry recipes!

An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.