Spiced Cranberry SauceThis holiday season, you may be planning to bring some homemade cranberry sauce on your table. But did you know that cranberries can benefit the brain?

Cranberries are not mentioned as often as those superstar brain foods like blueberries and pomegranates seeds, but they have been found to offer a host of brain benefits. Much of the research has focused on a compound in cranberries known as ursolic acid. Studies have shown that ursolic acid can protect the brain against stroke and counteract the negative cognitive effects brought on by high-fat diets, sugar, or other substances. It may also help with Parkinson’s disease and inhibit tumor growth. Other good sources of ursolic acid include apples (especially the peels,) basil, and some aromatic herbs like rosemary, lavender, and peppermint.

We have created a cranberry sauce recipe that includes some brain-boosting cinnamon and some of those tasty, tart pomegranate seeds, for good measure. Enjoy!

RECIPE FOR BRAIN HEALTH: Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 strip of orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  • Put cranberries in a saucepan with sugar and 2 Tablespoons water. Add orange zest and cinnamon and cook over low heat, until the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 10-15 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in pomegranate seeds. Remove zest strip and cinnamon stick. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.