chapter  16
14 Pages

The Health Benefits of Cranberries and Related Fruits

It is one of the very few native American fruits; there are reports of its use by American Indians to dress wounds and prevent inflammation. Cranber-

ries were later used aboard ship to help prevent scurvy, although their level of vitamin C is well below that of most citrus fruits. In the early 20

century, cranberries were thought to help relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infections, or perhaps even prevent their occurrence. Much anecdotal information was generated on this issue, and was responsible for the “medical mystique” that surrounded the fruit and its products through much of the century. It was only in the late 1980s that science began to uncover what much of the population had long suspected — consumption of cranberry juice could help maintain a healthy urinary tract.