ATTRIBUTES: Native to North America and harvested in September and October, cranberries contain high levels of vitamins C and E, an abundant dose of potent antioxidants and plenty of fiber.
SUPER POWERS: Research on cranberries has found benefits, including slowing tumor growth in prostate, liver, breast, ovarian and colon cancer. Eating cranberries is also good for teeth and gums, inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the mouth. And cranberries may protect against cardiovascular disease.
WEAKNESSES: Although cranberry capsules do help with urinary tract infections, there's just not enough oomph in cranberry juice to have any effect. Be careful consuming cranberries if you take blood thinning medication or have a history of kidney stones.
HOW TO USE THEM: Steer clear of cranberry sauces and juices loaded with added sugar. To bring out their natural sweetness, try this Bon Appétit recipe for roasted cranberries. Toss 2 cups cranberries with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Roast in 400-degree oven until softened and slightly caramelized. Use as an accompaniment to roast pork, or add to rice pilaf.