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The fruits of the cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) are not only popular with birds, but in recent decades this berry has developed into an absolute power berry. Cranberries, the close relatives of lingonberries and blueberries, can definitely enrich the diet. They are very healthy because of their ingredients. Even the natives of America valued its healing properties. The evergreen bushes can be cultivated in the home garden. Can the fruit be eaten raw?

Eat cranberries raw

These berries are often sold commercially as Large fruited cranberry or cranberry offered. They are also known as craneberries. The fruits of the heather family (Ericaceae) are similar in appearance to cranberries, but are much larger. The cranberries are so-called autumn berries. They are harvested from September to early November. These evergreen shrubs can also be grown very well in your own garden. They can reach a size between 20 and 200 centimeters here. The advantage of such cultivation is that the large-fruited cranberry can be harvested fresh from the bush and nibbled on the side. The fruits are

  • 1 to 2 cm tall
  • initially colored white
  • shiny red with increasing maturity
  • firm, white flesh
  • divided into small chambers inside
  • it contains seeds
  • Seed is edible

notice: The fruits of the form owe their name to their blossoms. They are reminiscent of a crane's head.

The cranberry is also widely considered a health berry because it is rich in many ingredients:

  • Vitamins C, A and K
  • tannins
  • Potassium and sodium in large quantities
  • Phosphorus, iron and various antioxidants

Eating raw cranberries can have positive effects on health and well-being. The content of the ingredients is of course highest in raw berries. They are retained even after drying, but in a lower composition. Furthermore contains the power berry also a share oxalic acid. This can only be dangerous if eaten raw in people who tend to form kidney stones and suffer from calcium deficiency. You should therefore refrain from eating the berries. Otherwise, the existing content of oxalic acid is not harmful to health. The less fresh fruit eaten, the lower the intake of oxalic acid.

notice: Oxalic acid is found in many foods, mainly in fruit and vegetables. However, the concentrations here are not so high that damage to health occurs. Only a concentration of 50 milligrams of oxalic acid per 100 grams becomes dangerous.

Are Raw Cranberries Toxic?

Due to the high amounts of vitamin C and tannins, the taste of cranberries is sour and relatively bitter, but they are not poisonous. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, and cranberries contain it at higher levels than lemons, at 7.5 to 10 milligrams per 100 grams. Dried fruits or processed into jam, jelly and juice have a significantly milder taste.

Raw cranberries can be used alongside other fruits in morning muesli. They are also very tasty raw in fruit salads. They give it a pleasant tart note. In addition, they can be raw or slightly unripe, halved and infused with vodka and sweetened with candy sugar and processed into a delicate, tart liqueur. Fresh berries will keep in the fridge for a week. But they can also be frozen raw.

tip: The sour and bitter taste can be mitigated somewhat by tossing the raw berries in sugar or honey. However, the mixture should then simmer for some time.

Possible problems encountered

Large amounts of berries eaten raw can cause flatulence and constipation, even in healthy people. However, it becomes more dangerous for people who already have health problems or maybe just suffer from an intolerance to one of the ingredients. The contained tannins can certainly

  • stomach pain
  • heartburn
  • bloating
  • Stomach and intestinal complaints or
  • cause irritation of the mucous membranes.

Such reactions usually occur when large quantities of raw berries have been consumed. In this case, you should limit yourself to eating smaller amounts. However, if these symptoms occur after every meal of cranberries, it is advisable to avoid eating them raw altogether.

Furthermore, the oxalic acid contained can promote the formation of kidney stones and at the same time calcium levels affect the body negatively. It is important that there is always enough calcium in the body. The acid binds to the calcium and is excreted from the body together. This prevents calcium deposits in the kidneys. A calcium-rich diet can balance this out. So you can eat raw cranberries well with different dairy products such as ice cream, yoghurt or milk. The calcium level then remains at a high level.

Eating cranberries can also be dangerous if you take them medication is necessary and these are absorbed through the intestinal mucosa. The ingredients of the fruit can sometimes prevent the absorption and effect of various medicines. An example would be the drug Wafarin. It is an anticoagulant that affects bleeding times. The consumption of fresh cranberries should definitely be discussed with a doctor.

Questions also always arise about the consumption of large-fruited cranberries during the pregnancy on. Usually, the berries are not poisonous, nor are they harmful to health. To protect the unborn child, however, you should refrain from consuming fresh and processed berries during this time out of concern.

notice: Vaccinium macrocarpon are known for an antibacterial and diuretic effect. The berries are often used to strengthen the immune system, treat urinary tract diseases, heart and circulatory problems, prevent tooth decay and the aging process.

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