What are cranberries?

Cranberries are the fruits of plants of the genus Vaccinium, belonging to the family Ericaeae. Currently they are widespread in Northern Europe, Asia and America.


What are the nutritional properties of cranberries?

100 g of cranberries provide 46 calories in the form of:

  • 12.2 g carbohydrates
  • 0.4 g of protein
  • 0.13 g of lipids


100 g of cranberries contain approximately:

  • 4.6 g of fibers
  • 13.3 mg of vitamin C
  • 1.2 mg of vitamin E
  • 0.3 mg of pantothenic acid
  • 0.1 mg niacin
  • 0.06 mg of pyridoxine
  • 0.02 mg of riboflavin
  • 5.1 micrograms of vitamin K
  • 1 micrograms of folate
  • 60 IU of vitamin A
  • 85 mg of potassium
  • 13 mg of phosphorus
  • 8 mg of calcium
  • 6 mg of magnesium
  • 2 mg of sodium
  • 0.36 mg of manganese
  • 0.25 mg of iron
  • 0.10 mg of zinc
  • 0.06 mg of copper
  • 0.1 micrograms of selenium

Cranberries are also rich in phytonutrients: beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, flavonoids and triterpenoids.


When should you NOT eat cranberries?

Cranberries may interfere with the action of warfarin and drugs metabolized by cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9).


Seasonality of cranberries

Cranberries will reach their peak of abundance on the market between October and December.


Possible benefits and drawbacks of cranberries

Cranberries are known primarily for their ability to fight infections of the urinary tract  and it seems that with similar mechanisms they will also protect the stomach from ulcers. They also exert an anti-inflammatory effect both at the level of the cardiovascular system and in the digestive tract. In particular, an association between their consumption and a reduced risk of inflammation of the stomach, the heart and blood vessels has been noticed.

More recent studies suggest that cranberries may help reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good one. Other preliminary research hypothesizes benefits in the event of a stroke, in oral health, in the prevention of cancer and the immune system.

Cranberries are a source of oxalates, molecules that can promote the formation of stones. Available data on the association between their consumption and kidney stones however, is still contradicting.