The benefits and harms of cranberries, grated with sugar

Cranberries are a tasty and very useful product for the body, but, unfortunately, the time period when you can enjoy fresh berries is short. To preserve the harvest for the winter, the fruits are frozen, dried, prefabricated (jam, juice, fruit drink) or ground with sugar. How the calorie content, vitamin composition and benefits of cranberries in case of using the last recipe, sometimes called “live jam”, will be discussed in the article.

Berry Characteristics

From the point of view of botany, cranberries (lat.Oxycoccus) are several varieties of creeping evergreen shrubs belonging to the heather family, and all plants of this group are edible.

The beneficial properties of any product, as well as the harm that its use can cause to the body, are determined by the list of biologically active substances that make up its composition.

The nutritional value

  • Cranberries are the source of:
  • vitamins (the berry contains a lot of vitamin C, there are retinol and beta carotene, thiamine, folic, nicotinic and pantothenic acids, riboflavin, pyridoxine, choline, tocopherol, phylloquinone, biotin);
  • minerals (a significant amount in cranberries are potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus and silicon, in smaller ones - boron, iron, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, copper, selenium, zinc);
  • organic acids (citric, benzoic, quinic, malic, oxalic, succinic);
  • essential and essential amino acids (threonine, leucine, lysine, methionine, tryptophan, isoleucine, valine, histidine, cystine, arginine, glutamic and aspartic acid, alanine, phenylalanine, proline, tyrosine, glycine, serine).

In addition, a large number of pectins, catechins, anthocyanins, phytoncides, as well as wax-like substances that protect the skin of the berry from penetration of excessive moisture and pathogenic microorganisms are present in cranberries.

Energy value of raw and frozen berries

Despite the presence of sugar in the berry, cranberries are low-calorie foods. So, in 100 g of fresh fruits contains an average of 25–28 kcal (depending on the variety, degree of ripeness, growing conditions). The energy value:

  • proteins - 0.5 g;
  • fats - 0.2 g;
  • carbohydrates - 6.8 g.

Drying and freezing change the calorie content and nutritional value of berries, but the degree of this change in the first and second case is different:

The indicator per 100 g of productFrozen cranberriesDried cranberries
Calories, kcal17295
Proteins, g0.50.8
Fats, g0.20.7
Carbohydrates, g3, 770

Thus, dried berry is more than 10 times caloric than fresh, while freezing, on the contrary, slightly reduces the calorie content of the product. This is simply explained: during drying, water evaporates, which makes up about 89% of the composition of the pulp of fresh fruits. As a result, from 1 kg of fresh berries, approximately 100 g of dried berries are obtained, but they retain the entire amount of calories that was present in the starting material.

When freezing, completely different chemical processes occur . Some carbohydrates undergo severe changes under the influence of low temperatures, associated with the breaking of macro-molecular bonds, which leads to the destruction of the substance. As a result, the carbohydrate content in the frozen product is reduced, as is the overall caloric value.

Did you know? Studies conducted by scientists of the Voronezh Technological Institute, suggest that the calorie content of bread can be reduced by freezing the finished product and keeping it in this state for more than 10 days.

Healing properties

Due to the rich vitamin and mineral composition, cranberries have long been used by healers and traditional healers to treat a variety of diseases.

  • In particular, it was noted that the fruits have the property:
  • stop inflammatory processes in the body, regardless of their nature;
  • prevent the atypical transformation of cells (anti-cancer effect), especially for organs such as the intestines, mammary glands and prostate;
  • stimulate the genitourinary system (diuretic effect), inhibit the development of pathogens in the kidneys and reproductive organs;
  • stop bleeding (astringent effect);
  • promote healing of wounds and burns, eliminate the symptoms of certain skin diseases, as well as infectious lesions of the oral cavity;
  • relieve pain, in particular, headache (analgesic effect);
  • stimulate the production of food enzymes, which is manifested in increasing appetite and improving the digestive system (especially against the background of reduced acidity of gastric juice);
  • normalize blood cholesterol;
  • strengthen the walls of blood vessels and stimulate the work of the heart muscle, making cranberries considered a very useful product for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes;
  • quench thirst (indicated for edema, when the amount of fluid in the body needs to be reduced);
  • relieve fever (antipyretic effect);
  • cause a feeling of freshness, vitality and activity (tonic effect);
  • block or inhibit the development of bacteria and parasites (antiseptic, bactericidal and anthelmintic effects);
  • increase the body's overall resistance to diseases and infections (immunostimulating effect);
  • increase the effect of certain medications, in particular antibiotics.

Cranberries, grated with sugar

All of the above applies to fresh cranberries. However, it is known that any processing can significantly change the initial properties of the raw materials . Moreover, in some cases, the difference between the initial and final product is so significant that the expected benefit from the dish is turned into a direct contraindication.

Learn how to cook cranberries with sugar and orange.

For example, during prolonged heat treatment, a large amount of vitamins contained in fruits and berries decomposes, other biologically active substances are converted and completely lose their original value. If artificial stabilizers (for example, acetylsalicylic acid) and other chemical additives are added to jams or jams to improve the quality and extend the shelf life, the finished product can hardly be used as a folk medicine.

Grate freshly picked berries with sugar and store the resulting mixture in the refrigerator without exposing it to heating - this is one of the most common ways to preserve the value of natural fruits.

Important! Nutritionists calculated that the loss of ascorbic acid in freshly prepared "live" jam, if you chop the berries with a wooden mortar, amounted to only 10.5%. However, during the storage of the product, the amount of vitamin C in it continued to decrease. Whether "live jam" in its composition and healing properties is a complete analogue of fresh cranberries is a moot point. Let's try to figure it out.

Calorie, nutritional value

The problem is that sugar is used as a preservative in the preparation of live jam, and in order for the product to be stored for a long time, even in the refrigerator, the ratio of berries to granulated sugar should be equal, and even better - 1: 2 (in favor of the second ingredient).

Sugar, unlike cranberries, is a product rather harmful than healthy, moreover, there are a number of conditions in which its use is a contraindication.

Thus, “live” cranberry jam is a dish 50% consisting of almost retaining the original healing properties of cranberries, but the remaining 50% is a very dangerous ingredient that can be consumed in limited quantities.

Learn also: how to make cranberry tincture with vodka.

If we neglect the insignificant loss of vitamins, then the chemical composition of cranberries, grated with sugar, differs from fresh berries only as much as a sweet preservative is added to the dish. There are no vitamins in sugar itself, although some minerals may be present in small doses. In particular, this applies to potassium, calcium, sodium and iron. But sugar can compete with cranberries only in the content of sodium, which is not very valuable for health, otherwise the amount of minerals present in both products is little comparable:

MineralContent in cranberries, mg per 100 gSugar content, mg per 100 g

If cranberry itself is not a high-calorie berry, then in the state rubbed with sugar, the energy value of the finished product changes dramatically. So, in 100 g of "live jam" contains:

  • calories - 201.42 kcal (which corresponds to 843 kJ);
  • proteins - 0.09 g;
  • fat - 0.2 g;
  • carbohydrates - 49.97 g.

From the above data it is seen that the additional calories for the dish are provided exclusively by carbohydrates, which, in its pure form, is sugar.

Important! 100 g of sugar contains 387 kcal. There are no proteins and fats in the product, carbohydrates make up 99.98% of its chemical composition, the remaining 0.02% is water and ash.

Healing properties

In terms of healing properties, “living jam” from cranberries loses to fresh berries. Even in the winter period, it is more advisable to use dried, dried or dried fruits as a medicinal raw material (in the latter case, they must first be thawed).

If we compare the "live" jam with the usual, past the cooking process, the first option is preferred. On the other hand, jams prepared using the “five-minute” technology - short-term heat treatment and subsequent rolling - require the use of much less sugar (enough 700 g per kilogram of berries), while there are many vitamins and minerals in such a workpiece.

One way or another, grated cranberries with sugar have the same healing properties as freshly picked berries, but these qualities are expressed at least half as much.

An exception is the ability of cranberries to stabilize blood glucose. Due to this quality, the fruits are recommended for inclusion in the diet of patients with diabetes, while any jam with such a disease is contraindicated.

The benefits of cranberries, mashed with sugar

After familiarizing yourself with the composition and healing properties of the product, find out exactly how “live” cranberry jam can help with some painful conditions.

For colds and flu

Seasonal acute respiratory infections of a viral nature are perhaps the most common direction for the therapeutic use of cranberries, grated with sugar. In addition to the “shock dose” of ascorbic acid, the antipyretic effect possessed by berries is very useful in such conditions.

Did you know? Until the beginning of the XIX century. Cranberries were harvested from wild bushes. In 1816, an American farmer, Henry Hall, discovered that a plant sprinkled with sand brought from the dunes began to bear fruit better - this was how professional berry cultivation started. Influenza is accompanied by a critical increase in body temperature, while chemical preparations against hyperthermia should be used with great caution, since fever is one of the effective methods by which our body fights the virus.

At the same time, too high a temperature suggests a multiple increase in the load on the heart, which can be dangerous. That is why it is impossible to ignore heat, and cranberries as a natural antipyretic in this case may be more effective than potent “chemistry”.

Sugar, which is present in “live” jam, is also useful for acute viral infection, because the body urgently needs fast energy at this moment.

Read: How to treat raspberries for colds and flu.

It is better for flu and colds to take cranberries with sugar not in their pure form, but after diluting it with water to the state of lemonade. Such a drink should not be hot or even warm, so as not to further warm the patient’s body from the inside. However, liquid is the best way to increase heat transfer, so it is important to prevent dehydration at high temperatures. By mixing water, cranberries and sugar, you get a folk remedy that will help the body defeat a dangerous virus.

With hypertension

The ability of cranberries to lower blood pressure is due to the presence of ellagic acid in the berry. It provides a hemostatic and wound healing effect from the use of berries, and has the ability to expand blood vessels. The same effect, but with respect to the coronary vessels of the heart, is exerted by another organic acid found in the fruits of cranberries - ursolic.

Thus, it is useful for people suffering from hypertension to eat a few tablespoons of “live” cranberry jam per day, although freshly squeezed juice from cranberries and red beets (both components are taken in equal proportions) is a more effective way to prevent the disease. Also, hypertensive folk medicine recommends using mashed potatoes from fresh or frozen cranberry berries with the addition of crushed garlic and honey.

With angina

The bactericidal properties of cranberries are often used in the treatment of tonsillitis. Sugar, which gives the berries a viscosity, will allow them to hold the substance longer in the oral cavity, slowly absorbing the treat and trying to envelop the sore throat.

Did you know? Cranberries immortalized in rock music. This is how the name known in the 90s is translated from English. of the last century, the group “Cranberries”, which became popular thanks to the hit “Zombie”. However, it is important to remember that angina, unlike flu, in most cases has a bacterial nature, and therefore effective treatment for this disease involves taking antibiotics. In this situation, “live” cranberry jam can be used as adjuvant therapy, as a way to enhance the antibacterial effect of drugs, including at the local level.

With cystitis

Cystitis is another unpleasant bacterial infection. It affects the bladder. Cranberries, grated with sugar, are useful for inflammation of the bladder, due to the diuretic and bactericidal properties of the berry: together with the liquid, the microflora is also expelled from the affected organ and, as a result, the patient's condition improves markedly.

As in the case of angina, cranberries can not be considered as the only cure for cystitis, especially if the disease is severe. Modern drugs are more effective.

Did you know? In the Swiss canton of Argau, Muri district, there is a small commune Bezenbüren. Despite the fact that less than 600 people live in it, the territorial unit has its own emblem, and a flowering cranberry bush is depicted on it. Better than grated berries with sugar, cystitis will help a glass of freshly squeezed cranberry juice, drunk in the morning and evening before eating.

Laxative effect

In addition to the properties described above, cranberries also have a mild laxative effect. People who have problems with regular bowel movements, it is useful to eat a small amount of these berries at the end of the day, as an option - in the form of "live" jam.

Harm and contraindications for use

Contraindications and possible harm from eating “live” cranberry jam are determined by the presence of a large amount of sugar in it.

  • For this reason, a sweet treat should be excluded from the diet or significantly limited to people:
  • prone to fullness;
  • psychologically dependent on sweets (there is such a pathology);
  • leading an inactive lifestyle (sugar not only represents “fast energy”, stored in the form of fat if it is not wasted, but also can cause a false feeling of hunger);
  • weakened after illness or psychological stress (insulin jumps in the blood are accompanied by depression, apathy, fatigue, in addition, sugar in large quantities negatively affects the metabolic processes);
  • experiencing a deficiency in vitamins of group B (a lot of these substances are spent in the process of assimilation of sugar);
  • who have a history of heart and vascular dysfunction (vitamin deficiency can exacerbate a chronic condition and cause its exacerbation);
  • with weakened bone tissues, including dental tissue, because sugar “leaches” calcium from bones and teeth (a special risk group is the period of menopause);
  • patients with diabetes;
  • having problems with teeth and oral cavity, in particular, caries (sugar can violate the acidity of saliva and as a result destroy tooth enamel);
  • concerned about the condition of their skin (sugar destroys collagen, resulting in premature wrinkles, and the skin becomes flabby).

Important! Due to the pronounced allergenicity, cranberries, like other red fruits, are contraindicated in children under three years of age.

"Live jam" made from cranberries is a source of valuable components, due to which the product is used to treat many diseases in winter. However, the long shelf life of this dish ensures the addition of a significant amount of sugar, which casts doubt on the useful properties of the workpiece. Pounded cranberries with sugar can be used as a medicine not for all and in limited quantities, but it is better to choose “neutral” berries as a way of long-term storage, namely, drying, drying or freezing.

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