Eating a serving of cranberries at breakfast is good for you. They may:
- protect your eyes, skin, hair, and nails
- help you lose weight
- provide steady levels of energy
- hydrate the body
- improve mood
- increase brain function and productivity
- boost the immune system
- improve digestive health
- protect your teeth
- support good health
Why should I eat cranberries at breakfast?
Protect the eyes, skin & hair
Above all, eating cranberries at breakfast has beneficial effects on eyesight and skin health. Cranberries are packed with antioxidant compounds that protect the eyes, skin, hair, and nails from dangerous oxidative stress!
They have a high antioxidant activity!
Cranberries are among the most antioxidant-dense foods you can eat every day.
They are rich in polyphenols such as phenolic acids, anthocyanins tannins, and flavonoids. It’s one of the few fruits that is high in proanthocyanidins, which are linked to many health benefits.
Also, they contain decent amounts of carotenoids. A serving of raw cranberries provides 52 mcg of beta-carotene, and 126 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are key compounds for a good eyesight.
Also, they protect the skin from sunburn. As they may retain skin moisture and skin elasticity!
Moreover, anthocyanins have potent antioxidant properties. They may protect from melanoma skin cancer!
They play a key role in eye health as well. Above all, they protect the eyes from oxidative stress due to exposure to blue light.
Sunlight is the largest source of blue light. But, all screens emit it as well. Monitors of computers, TVs, and smartphones emit blue light. Fluorescent and LED bulbs emit it as well. So, we should consume foods high in anthocyanins first thing in the morning in order to protect our eyes!
Additionally, anthocyanins help focus on objects, relieve eye fatigue, improve contrast sensitivity, and improve tear fluid quality!
Berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are the richest common dietary sources of anthocyanins. Black elderberries and aronia berries have the highest concentrations of anthocyanins, though.
Furthermore, a cup of cranberries provides 21% of the Daily Value of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is one of the key vitamins for good eyesight. Due to its potent antioxidant activity, vitamin C protects the eyes from sun radiation-induced oxidative stress. In fact, vitamin C is highly concentrated in all eye tissues.
Also, high vitamin C intakes are crucial for elastic skin and strong, shiny hair!
Most noteworthy, cranberries are among the richest common foods in vitamin E. A cup provides 12% of the DV.
Cranberries have the highest vitamin E concentration per calorie! Most fruits and vegetables contain negligible amounts of vitamin E. Only calorie-dense foods, like sunflower seeds, almonds, and certain vegetable oils, are great dietary sources.
Vitamin E is one of the most important vitamins for the skin. It protects from photoaging.
Vitamin E has powerful antioxidant activity! It’s one of the 5 most important nutrients for good eyesight.
Consuming foods high in vitamin E at breakfast is good for your hair as well. People who experience hair loss generally exhibit lower levels of antioxidants in their scalp area. Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin E is crucial for strong hair.
Moreover, inadequate vitamin E concentrations may cause brittle nails!
Most noteworthy, cranberries are the richest common food in melatonin!
Melatonin is a molecule which scavenges free radicals generated in ocular tissues. So, melatonin could protect the eyes against eye disorders like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts.
Also, melatonin retard skin aging. It protects from UV-induced solar damage. It may even have protective effects on androgenic alopecia.
Eating cranberries at breakfast supports weight loss!
Additionally, eating a cup of raw cranberries at breakfast promotes weight loss. Cranberries fight obesity, as they:
- manage appetite
- help burn belly fat
- have only a few calories
- control postprandial glucose responses
- hydrate the body
- prevent cravings for fattening foods
They keep you full until lunch
Above all, cranberries support weight loss because they promote the feeling of fullness for many hours.
They’re an excellent dietary source of fiber. A cup of whole raw cranberries provides 13% of the recommended daily intake on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Getting adequate amounts of fiber is crucial for weight loss. Fiber delays digestion, prevents spikes of blood sugar, and stimulates the synthesis of satiety hormones. As a high fiber intake prevents overeating, it helps us stick to a hypocaloric diet for a long time.
Cranberries are low in calories!
Moreover, cranberries are good for weight loss because they have only a few calories.
Cranberries have only 46 calories per 100g. A cup has fewer than 65 calories!
Consuming a wide variety of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods like cranberries is essential for weight loss. We lose weight only when we consume fewer calories than we burn.
Antioxidants fight obesity
The high antioxidant activity of cranberries helps lose weight and maintain a lean body year-round.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. In high amounts, free radicals can lead to oxidative stress. Chronic oxidative stress is a common cause of obesity.
In fact, a diet high in carotenoids, anthocyanins, melatonin and other antioxidants can decrease waist circumference, improve body composition, and lower body mass index.
Vitamins & minerals in cranberries burn belly fat
In addition, cranberries support weight loss because they contain various vitamins and minerals. A cup contains:
- vitamin C (21% DV). It helps burn belly fat and decrease waist circumference.
- vitamin E 12% DV). It improves insulin sensitivity.
- manganese (16% DV). Obese people are more likely to have low levels.
- copper (9% DV). Its deficiency has been linked to a higher fat percentage.
- pantothenic acid (8% DV). It helps burn belly fat, as it activates brown adipose tissue, which greatly increases energy expenditure.
- vitamin B6 (6% DV). It helps decrease body mass index and improve insulin sensitivity.
Cranberries contains smaller amounts of many other vitamins and minerals. A serving of raw cranberries provides phosphorus (2% DV), riboflavin (2% DV), magnesium (2% DV), iron (2% DV), thiamine (1% DV), zinc (1% DV), and many more!
They provide energy for hours
Cranberries regulate postprandial glucose responses. It’s the ideal food to eat at breakfast. Especially when combined with carbohydrate-rich foods like oatmeal.
Antioxidants and fiber of cranberries prevent spikes of blood sugar.
Moreover, raw cranberries are among the fruits with the lowest sugar content. A serving provides less than 6 grams of sugar!
Thus, fresh cranberries have a pretty low glycemic index. It’s substantially lower than 55!
Foods with a glycemic index lower than 55 are ideal for weight loss and good health. We should consume them at breakfast. They provide steady levels of energy for many hours!
Even people on keto and people with diabetes can regularly consume reasonable amounts of cranberries as part of a balanced diet.
They hydrate the body!
In addition, eating cranberries at breakfast is good for you because they hydrate the body.
The body is slightly dehydrated in the morning. During sleep, the body continues to perform essential functions, such as breathing and maintaining organ function, which can lead to the loss of water through respiration and sweating.
As most people don’t drink water during the night, it further contributes to mild dehydration upon waking up.
Therefore, it’s vital to drink 1–2 glasses of water in the morning. Proper hydration is necessary for burning belly fat as well as many other functions of the body, like lowering high blood pressure and protecting kidney function.
They’re mainly purified water
Raw cranberries are 87% water. A cup provides 120 mL of high-quality, purified water. Fruits are natural water filters!
They replenish electrolytes
Besides the daily replenishment of fluids, we have to replenish electrolytes as well. Cranberries are excellent dietary sources of the main electrolytes. A cup contains 3 essential electrolytes:
- potassium, 110 mg, 3.2% DV
- magnesium, 8.3 mg, 2% DV
- calcium, 11 mg, 1.1% DV
Eat cranberries in the morning for better mood & increased productivity!
How to improve memory & brain function?
Eating cranberries at breakfast appears to improve memory and cognitive function!
In fact, promising data shows that cranberries could help reduce age-related neurodegeneration.
According to a recent study, the daily consumption of a small cup of raw cranberries a day improves episodic memory performance and neural functioning over 3 months.
How eating cranberries in the morning can affect your mood?
Cranberries could also improve your mood due to their high antioxidant content.
Antioxidants play an important role in the prevention and clinical treatment of depression. Diets high in fresh vegetables and fruits have been associated with a lower risk of depression or depressive symptoms, as well as anxiety.
Moderate exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight are also beneficial for a good mood.
Therefore, people with stressful jobs could incorporate a serving of raw cranberries into their breakfast routine.
Cranberries boost the immune system!
Moreover, we should eat cranberries at breakfast for better immunity.
Vitamins, antioxidants, and other health-promoting phytonutrients in cranberries boost the immune system.
In fact, cranberries may protect from infectious diseases. They contain compounds that have high antiviral activity.
May improve digestive health
Cranberries also improve gut microbiota! A healthy gut microbiota is essential for good health. It promotes natural defense against infection. Otherwise, harmful bacteria may cause inflammation, leading to disease and obesity.
Cranberries as well as cranberry juice have been shown to inhibit the colonization of certain dangerous bacteria and improve digestive health.
Figs also play a beneficial role in gut health. In fact, overnight-soaked dried figs are among the best fruits you can eat at breakfast. The combination with cranberries can skyrocket the antioxidant capacity of the meal.
May protect your teeth
Moreover, eating cranberries at breakfast or brunch is good for your teeth. They contain certain bioactive compounds that inhibit the development of tooth decay and periodontal diseases. These components inhibit acid production, as well as attachment, and biofilm formation by harmful bacteria.
Other health benefits of cranberries
As cranberries have a superior nutritional value, they have many health benefits, no matter what time of the day we consume them.
For instance, cranberries have protective effects against:
- urinary tract inflammation
- cardiovascular disease
- type 2 diabetes
- metabolic syndrome
- rheumatoid arthritis
- and many other degenerative diseases
All cranberry products have health benefits!
All cranberry products have antibacterial and anti-viral properties.
Besides fresh or frozen raw cranberries, you can take advantage of cranberry’s health benefits by consuming juice, powder, capsules, tablets, or other cranberry supplements.
You can find a wide variety of cranberry products at the most competitive prices on iHerb.
Do dried cranberries or cranberry juice have health benefits?
Only about 5% of cranberries produced in the U.S. are sold fresh. The remaining 95% are processed into products such as dried cranberries, juices, and sauces.
All cranberry products have health benefits. Most antioxidant compounds are resistant to processing methods.
Can I eat dried cranberries for weight loss?
However, it’s preferred to consume fresh or frozen raw cranberries rather than other sugar-rich products.
Dried cranberries or cranberry juice have significantly more sugar. We should consume low amounts of sugar if we want to lose weight. In fact, the maximum safe amount of sugar a day is 25 grams on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Moreover, juices and sauces contain negligible amounts of fiber. Hence, they don’t reduce hunger! You should reduce the consumption of these products to the minimum while dieting.
How to eat cranberries in the morning for weight loss?
Firstly, you could eat raw or dried cranberries with yogurt for breakfast.
Combining a protein-rich food like yogurt with a fiber-rich food like cranberries enhances satiety. Meals high in fiber and protein stimulate the synthesis of satiety hormones.
Eating Greek yogurt with cranberries and other berries promotes the feeling of fullness for many hours.
You could add muesli or granola to your yogurt. They support weight loss, as they’re packed with various bioactive compounds that are involved in energy metabolism.
Consuming yogurt for breakfast supports weight loss. It’s one of the healthiest foods you can eat at breakfast.
Also, you could add cranberries to your favorite oatmeal. Oatmeal is one of the healthiest, nutrient-dense foods you can eat in the morning. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, and it provides steady energy levels for hours.
You could add 1–2 scoops of protein powder to your oatmeal for increased satiety.
Actually, a high-protein diet is beneficial for weight loss. Above all, protein protects precious muscle mass, which is necessary for increased energy metabolism and a lean body. Furthermore, about 30% of calories of protein are burned during digestion!
You should add cinnamon to your oatmeal as well. Cinnamon controls postprandial glucose responses!
Another great way to enjoy cranberries in the morning is by eating a cup of fruit salad for breakfast with various berries and other nutrient-dense fruits. It supports weight loss and boosts the immune system.
Fruit salad is the healthiest dessert as well.
How to incorporate cranberries to your breakfast?
There are countless ways to incorporate cranberries into your daily breakfast routine. Here are 11 favorite, easy, and quick recipe ideas.
Dried cranberry breakfast recipes
- Cranberry Oatmeal
- Cook a bowl of oatmeal and stir in dried cranberries, along with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Top it off with some chopped nuts for added crunch.
- Cranberry Pancakes
- Prepare your favorite pancake batter. Add a handful of dried cranberries. Cook the pancakes as usual and serve them with maple syrup.
- Cranberry Yogurt Parfait
- Layer Greek yogurt, dried cranberries, and granola in a glass or bowl. Repeat the layers. Top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of honey.
- Cranberry Chia Pudding
- In a jar or bowl, combine chia seeds, milk (dairy or plant-based), and dried cranberries. Let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top it with fresh fruit or nuts.
- Cranberry Smoothie Bowl
- Blend frozen berries, a ripe banana, a splash of milk, and a handful of dried cranberries until smooth. Pour it into a bowl and top it with granola, sliced fruits, and a drizzle of nut butter.
- Cranberry Orange Cake
- Preheat the oven and grease a cake pan. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by orange zest and juice. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Add fresh or dried cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool before serving.
- Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
- Preheat the oven and prepare a cake pan. Melt butter in the bottom of the pan and sprinkle brown sugar evenly. Arrange fresh or frozen cranberries on top of the sugar mixture. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with milk. Pour the batter over the cranberries in the pan. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool for a few minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.
- Classic Cranberry Bread
- Preheat the oven and grease a loaf pan. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, orange zest, and orange juice. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Add fresh or dried cranberries and chopped nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow it to cool before slicing and serving.
- Cranberry Banana Bread
- Preheat the oven and grease a loaf pan. In a bowl, mash ripe bananas and mix in sugar, melted butter, and an egg. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, stirring until just combined. Add fresh or dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow it to cool before slicing and serving.
- Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, cream together softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in rolled oats and dried cranberries. Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown, then let them cool before enjoying.
- Classic Cranberry Muffins
- Preheat the oven and line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with milk, mixing until just combined. Gently fold in fresh or dried cranberries. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
How many cranberries should I eat at breakfast?
You can enjoy a serving of cranberries at breakfast. A serving is considered a cup of raw whole cranberries, which is 100 grams.
Otherwise, you could consume a cranberry concentrate capsule. 1 gram of concentrate cranberry equals 36 grams of cranberries.
Always consult your healthcare provider before changing your diet or taking any dietary supplement.
What’s the best time to eat cranberries?
The best time of the day to eat a serving of raw cranberries is at breakfast. Antioxidants in berries protect the body from oxidative stress, due to air pollution, sun radiation, smoking etc.
Moreover, we could eat raw cranberries between meals to regulate hunger until the next meal. As cranberries don’t spike blood sugar, we can consume them on an empty stomach as a healthy snack.
Also, we can enjoy them as a healthy dessert. Especially after dinner. As they’re particularly high in melatonin, cranberries may support a good night’s sleep!
Additionally, athletes could eat cranberries after strenuous exercise. Their high antioxidant activity supports fast recovery! They may even alleviate acute muscle soreness!