I like dried cranberries for the sweet sourish taste hence you find me using them a lot in my baking, especially granola and scones. Also, I add them to my morning oatmeal or muesli. Dried fruits are somehow processed food and can be loaded with added sugar. So, you ask, are dried cranberries good for health then. Well, I question myself too. I’ve found the answer and sharing with you. Read on to know the health benefits dried cranberries provide. Or rather the harm they give.
Dried Cranberry Nutrition Facts in Brief
Firstly, let’s take a quick look at the nutrients in dried cranberries.
Really, there aren’t any significant amount or values to shout about but you must be curious to know, don’t you?
Based on a 1-ounce (28g) serving of dried cranberries, you’re getting
- Total Fat: 0.3g → 15% Daily Value* (DV) of which 80% are unsaturated fats
- Total Carbohydrate: 23g → 8% DV out of which 1.5g (5%DV) is fibre
- Protein: 0.1g → 0% DV
*The Daily Value (DV) percentage tells you how much a nutrient contributes to your daily diet in a serving.
The minerals and vitamins content is
- Copper → 2% DV
- Iron → 1% DV
- Vitamin E → 3% DV
- Vitamin K → 2% DV
As you can see, the nutritional values are not that impressive. Would you still be eating them? I will and let me tell you why as I get to the bottom.
benefits of Eating Dried Cranberries
Dried cranberries contribute 3% DV of Vitamin E and 5% DV of fibre in a 28g serving. Not huge but you can include them in your daily diet along with other food. A little here and there add up.
So, what does Vitamin E and fibre do to your body?
Vitamin E → Antioxidant → Fight Oxidative Damage
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals (1).
A high level of free radicals cause oxidative stress and this can damage your body cells. Ultimately, may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
In addition, antioxidants help reduce the overabundance of inflammation in your body.
Inflammation is your body’s response to injury and works to heal the wound which is good but prolonged inflammation, also known as chronic inflammation is not what you want.
Chronic inflammation has been associated with certain diseases such as heart disease or stroke, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disorders.
Fibre → Digestive System → Promote Gut Health
Fibre plays an important role in your digestive health, keeping the digestive tract flowing and smooth bowel movement.
Fibre increases the weight and size of stools while retaining water to soften them. This decreases the chance of constipation as bulky and soft stool is easier to pass.
In addition, fibre feeds your gut bacteria. If your gut microbiome (microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and archaea) is not fed properly, they forage on the mucus layer which covers the intestinal barrier, a kind of defensive wall. When this happens, there is a risk of potentially harmful bacteria spread all over your body causing infection or disease.
On the whole, a healthy gut helps maintain general health and well-being.
So Then Is It Good to Eat Dried Cranberries?
Dried cranberries give you additional fibre in case you’re not getting enough from other food sources. The same goes for other nutrients that are Vitamin E and K, copper and iron.
The daily recommended fibre intake for adult men range from 30g to 38g depending on age while women should aim for 21g – 25g. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to consume a variety of high fibre food choices and dried cranberries can be one of them.
Eating a wide array of high fibre food such as vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains like wheat, oats, barley and quinoa help build diverse populations of bacteria. In short, add variety to your diet to maintain microbial balance in your gut.
But Then Eating Too Many Dried Cranberries Can Be Bad For You
Why? Instantly, you’ll think of the sugar content. As with any dried fruits, sugar content and calories are rather high. Even in raw or fresh form, fruits contain significant amounts of sugar.
During the drying process, water is removed from the fruits and this concentrates all the sugars and calories in a smaller lot. Simply put, dried fruits contain higher sugar and calories.
If you know how dried cranberries are made, which I’ll briefly explain below, you may want to think twice before digging in.
And in dried form, people tend to eat more hence consuming more sugar and calories without realising. Is that you?
Conversely, under the same condition where water is removed, all nutrients of fresh fruits are condensed in a smaller lot. This means a serving of dried fruits can provide a larger percentage of many vitamins and minerals than raw or fresh.
Did you know eating too much fibre can be bad for you? That’s true. Eating too much fibre can cause digestive distress, bloating and constipation.
However, I doubt the fibre from eating dried cranberries gives you the effect as the amount is not much. Anyhow, you can easily relieve the said discomfort by increasing fluid intake, exercising and adjusting your diet.
it is not advisable to increase fibre intake drastically. Slowing increase the amount and listen to your body. Adjust as you go along and this can avoid the above problems.
Now, do you still think dried cranberries is bad for you? Let us know in the comments section below. Share your thoughts.
How Are Dried Cranberries Made
Here is a piece of brief information on how dried cranberries are made according to cranberryinstitute.org.
After harvest, fresh cranberry fruits are frozen to retain their natural goodness. This also helps break down their internal structure and release the vibrant red colouring from the cranberry skin.
After which, the fruits are sliced to release and enhance the natural tart flavour of the cranberry.
Next, the cranberries are sweetened. Why do the fruits need to be sweetened? Unlike other berries, cranberries are low in sugar and high in acidity. The additional sweetness helps to balance their natural tartness so that they are more pleasant-tasting.
The final step is the drying process where moisture is removed for easy handling and packaging.
From fresh to dried, this is how you and I get to enjoy cranberries all year round.
In a Nutshell
Many of you, including me, assume dried fruits are not so healthy because they are much higher in sugar and calories. Or perhaps, there is some sort of preservatives added in the making. True or not, more research I need to do in order to share with you (another day).
In this topic on dried cranberries, sugar is added during the drying process to bring down the tartness level. Personally, I like dried cranberries because they are not overly sweet, giving me a sweet sourish taste and the texture ideal for my morning oatmeal.
The nutrients in dried cranberries aren’t fantastic but they make a rather good alternative food source for fibre and antioxidant. Both are important nutrients for your general health.
Antioxidants help prevent cell damages caused by free radicals by neutralising them and fibre keeps your gut bacteria happy and healthy.
Dried cranberries are one of my favourite dried fruits besides apricot and raisins. I usually use them for baking bread, scones and muffins. And a lot goes into my homemade muesli and granola. This was the reason why I wanted to find out if there are any benefits eating dried cranberries or the effects of eating too many.
Hope the information I shared here is useful to you.
I understand and believe too much of anything is bad. Moderation is the key to healthy living.
In this case, eating too many dried cranberries can be bad for you because of the added sweetener. Having said so, controlled portions help. If you like snacking on dried fruits, consider including nuts and seeds. Build your own trail mix. This way, you get to enjoy a little sweetness with other nutrients your bag of trail mix gives.
Tell us in the comments section below what you think of dried cranberries. Will you continue eating them even though they provide only a minimal amount of nutritional value. How do you eat them?
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Learn more: from me Nuttylog
- How healthy is granola bars
- How healthy is overnight oats
- What is trail mix and how healthy is it
- What health benefits do almonds have
- How healthy is muesli? What’s the best way to eat muesli
Now, Let’s Get Started:
For US Shoppers, Shop on Amazon (Affiliate link*) → there are plenty of choices to choose from but do so carefully avoiding those with a long list of ingredients.
I found a few which you may want to take a closer look.
Unsweetened dried cranberries can be very tart for certain people but if you like to try,
Buy on Amazon.
50% less sugar, you get to enjoy a balanced sweet sourish taste of the dried cranberries.
Take a look on Amazon.
Something different. Dried cranberries sweetened naturally by apple juice.
Try this, buy on Amazon.
My fellow Malaysians, would you like to try out consuming dried cranberries? Yes, buy on Shopee or Lazada using my affiliate links*. While there is a wide range on Shopee to choose from, I found on Lazada – Whole Dried Cranberries from Signature Market worth taking a closer look. Go on!
*I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to enjoy a cup of coffee while writing and share more articles like this one.
Happy shopping and thanks for reading.
Me YourHealthy Corner – Healthy Snacking is Possible
Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon.com Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that meyourhealthycorner.com receives a small commission by linking to amazon.com and other sites at no extra cost to the readers.
Medical Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, and this post should not be taken as medical advice. Please do your own research. The material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.
4 thoughts on “What Are Dried Cranberries Good For. Or bad.”
I was wondering how many cranberries could eat a day. I have been hearing about dried cranberries’ benefits. So my conclusion is that to see these benefits in action, we need to take at least one tablespoon every day. For example, 15 g, would be great to take alone as raisins, or add to yogurt, salads or cakes.
One 28g (about 3 tablespoons) serving of dried cranberries gives you 5% daily value of fibre which isn’t much. But adding them to your diet gives you variety. I found out getting fibre from different food sources is better for our gut bacteria. I usually add dried cranberries to my morning oatmeal or muesli and later munch on them, in the form of granola, in the late afternoon. That is about 1-2 tablespoons.
Like you, I find that cranberries add a nice tart taste without adding too much sweetness to a dish. They are perfect additions to granolas and scones (mmm!), and I think they could work well as a substitute (or addition) to blueberries in muffins as well. Thanks for sharing how they are made and noting the way that sugar is added. It’s helpful to know the nutritional values in order to better understand the overall health benefits of dried cranberries.
Hi Aly. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Cranberry muffins are tasty, yes, and I like blueberry muffins too. With cranberries, they give you a chewy texture. Try them and let us know how you like them.