A Little Berry with a Long History and Big Health Benefits!
The cranberry is one of only three commercially cultivated native North American fruits. Native Americans used cranberries in cooking and as medicines, a food preservative and dyes. They passed their knowledge about cranberries to colonial settlers in the early 1600s and later, during the early years of the United States, sea captains used cranberries to prevent scurvy on long ocean voyages.
Research shows convincing evidence that the tiny cranberry provides big health benefits. A serving of fresh cranberries is a good source of vitamin C and fiber; provides antioxidant polyphenols; and contains only 1 mg of sodium.1,2 According to the Food and Drug Administration, a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some cancers.3 Cranberries also may help maintain urinary tract health.4,5,6 For these reasons, putting cranberries on your foodservice menu makes great nutritional sense!
Download our school foodservice toolkit for recipes that fit the National School Lunch Program guidelines!
Crosby the cranberry wants you to learn more about America’s Original Superfruit!
Most cranberries are harvested by flooding the bogs and marshes where they grow,
causing the vibrant berries to float and be easily scooped up.
Where Cranberries Grow
Cranberries are grown predominantly in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island.
1) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2014. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page
2) Halvorsen, BL, Carlsen MH, Phillips KM, Bohn, SK, Holte K, Jacobs DR, and Blomho R. Content of redox-active compounds (ie, antioxidants) in foods consumed in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84:95-135.
3) U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2014, April 1). Code of Federal Regulations; FDA health Claims. Retrieved here.
4) Howell AB. Cranberry proanthocyanidins and the maintenance of urinary tract health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2002;42(3 Suppl):273-8.
5) Howell AB, Foxman B. Cranberry juice and adhesion of antibiotic resistant uropathogens. JAMA. 2002;287(23):3082-3.
6) Howell AB. Bioactive compounds in cranberries and their role in prevention of urinary tract infections. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007;51(6):732-7.