Cranberries only for Christmas?
Well known for their association with Christmas and Thanksgiving, cranberries are a small bright red berry with a very sour taste. Usually cooked and sweetened to reduce the tart taste, these berries pack a punch with a very high antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables.
Cranberries and 100% pure cranberry juice is quite beneficial to the teeth due to the fact that it disrupts the enzymes that are the building blocks of plaque, resulting in preventing bacteria from attaching to the teeth. Bacteria need a sticky surface to adhere to the teeth. Especially in the case of Streptococcus Mutans, the bacteria which cause most dental decay, cranberry makes it very difficult for these bacteria to cling to the tooth surface and cause cavities. A 100 ml serving of cranberry juice or ¼ cup of cranberries per day is recommended to get tooth protecting benefits.
*In the dental field, we will advise patients that they should not consume too much fruit juice due to the acidic nature of most fruit juices. When consumed in excess fruit juice can erode tooth enamel resulting in tooth sensitivity. Consuming fruit juice is a healthy alternative to sodas but fruit juice should be consumed in moderation and followed up with a glass of water. Alternatively dilute 100ml cranberry juice with 100ml of water. If consuming dried cranberries, ensure they are unsweetened.
To add a pop of tooth-protecting colour into your meals check out the recipes below:
Almond, Apple and Cranberry Coleslaw
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (or sour cream for a healthier option)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 cups of shredded cabbage and carrots
- 2 gala apples, sliced into matchsticks
- ¾ cups almonds
- ¾ cups dried cranberries
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients and add salt and pepper.
- Toss together ingredients for the coleslaw and pour over dressing and toss again to coat evenly.
- Serve immediately.
Makes 20 bites
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup of madjool dates
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- In a food processor add cashews, almonds and pulse until finely ground.
- Add remaining ingredients and pulse till the mixture binds together.
- Scrape sides of blender and add some water.
- Form balls using a teaspoon.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
*Note: do not over pulse nuts as you may end up with nut butter!