Berries come and go and fads, like disco, can leave their mark on you forever, yet somehow you look back at them nostalgically, sighing in wonder. Where did I go wrong? What shall I DO with my glittering disco ball? Will it ever, ever come back?
Antioxidants, the disco of my young adulthood when it came to fads and health, were supposed to do everything from curing to preventing cancer, rejuvenating your skin, and allowing you to breathe. I'm not saying they don't, either. The general understanding is that berries contain such enormous amounts of powerful antioxidants (sound familiar) that eating handfuls of them, sprinkling them in your cereal and using them in desserts and smoothies is not only a good idea, but vital to your well being.
Blueberries, especially, have a particularly large amount of goodness associated with them. Nowadays, you can barely turn past the coco puffs in your local supermarket without seeing an ad for the miraculous Acai berry, the "one", the cure all for everything from cancer to bad hair but, most importantly, weight loss.
Yet one, tiny berry has been the friend of humankind, especially womenkind, since pre-fad berry ads and rainforest sloganizing. This lovely little package of goodness and health is none other than the cranberry.
Cranberry cocktails, cranberry spritzers, cranberries in muffins, in cereal, in pill form and in bread. During the holidays, we pour eighteen cups of sugar into them to ameliorate their bitter goodness and eat them with potatoes, stuffing, turkey and nuts.
For all the research that's been done (and there's been an exhuastive amount) we can tell that women love cranberries because they help promote urinary tract health. This is not only true for women - men can reap rewards equally - however women seem to be more vulnerable to urinary tract infections or complications and this is why a cranberry, truly, is a girl's best friend. Cranberries can also treat e.coli and help to prevent strokes, as well as protect against heart disease and cancer.