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Cranberries Rank High in Antioxidants; The information fromTurkey Side Dish Contains Disease-Fighting Nutrients, New Research

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:58pm

There are over 4,000 known phenols in plants that help protect plants against oxidative damage from the sun and other environmental insults. In plant-based foods, phenols provide a characteristically bitter flavor. When eaten, phenols may help protect against heart disease, certain cancers and other diseases associated with aging.

Cranberries, pears, grapes, apples and blueberries are among those analyzed with the greatest phenol content, reports Joe Vinson, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in Scranton, Penn. in the November 19, 2001 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Vinson measured the quantity and quality of phenols, the most potent type of antioxidant isolated in foods.

“On both a gram-weight and serving size basis, cranberries were the richest source of antioxidant phenols. Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and should be eaten more often,” advises Vinson. The tiny, crimson berries are readily eaten over the holidays, but are under- consumed at other times of the year. Although fresh cranberries are not available year-round, the antioxidant content of cranberries is retained during freezing or processing into sauces, dried fruit or juice. Fresh and dried cranberries, followed by sauce have the most antioxidants. Cranberry juice drinks containing at least 27% cranberry juice also supply significant amounts of phenols when consumed regularly.

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