Cranberries: Best Food for Lyme, an Ulcer, Cancer and Brain

For brain and body health, enjoy fresh cranberry sauce all year long.

Posted Dec 01, 2015

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Source: source: google images, labelled for reuse

Cranberries don't just have to be enjoyed on Thanksgiving. Not only is fresh cranberry sauce delicious and easy to make, it is excellent for your body and brain.

If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you’ll know cranberry juice can be helpful for pain reduction. But cranberries are also helpful in keeping your brain sharp, eliminating the H. pylori bacteria associated with stomach ulcers, and helping reduce or eliminate pain from Lyme Disease.

Over the past few years, I’ve developed an ulcer from Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. Antibiotics are effective for treating this, but I have severe reactions to antibiotics. I did some research and discovered claims that cranberries are an effective alternative. There are numerous studies showing this, including this one that the New York Times covered, which found a significantly higher rate of eradication of H. pylori bacteria in test subjects compared with a control group.

While eating cranberries for my ulcer, I noticed my joint pain from Lyme disease also seemed reduced. To test this, I did research on myself. When my ulcer was not bothering me but my joints were in pain, I made a batch of fresh cranberry relish.

To make fresh cranberry relish, put a pound of cranberries into a saucepan. (As a person who has had brain injuries, I don’t use canned cranberries because of the sugar. Instead, I buy fresh cranberries in autumn and store them in my freezer.) Cover the cranberries with water and add raw, unprocessed honey. If possible, buy local honey, because it will have the pollen from your area and will be more effective for you, especially if you have allergies. How much honey you use is up to you. I like to use 2 to 3 tablespoons.

Boil the cranberries and honey until the cranberries have popped open. Then turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer a little longer. You can eat the cranberries hot or cool them down and store them in your refrigerator to eat cold. Enjoy the cranberries as a side dish, as a snack, or a healthy dessert.  

 google images, labelled for reuse
Source: source: google images, labelled for reuse

After one day of eating cranberries, I was shocked to find I no longer had pain in my joints from my Lyme disease. I was also thinking more clearly and had more energy. Another Psychology Today blogger, Linda Wasmer Andrews, wrote about this topic. She discusses the fact that cranberries are renowned for their antioxidant abilities and may help fight off vascular disease and stroke. They also contain a compound called ursolic acid that may protect brain cells from injury. 

I’ve encouraged all my patients to try making homemade cranberry relish. I do not advocate consuming cranberry juice or pills, because while doing research on nutrition for my book Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, several leading nutritionists told me that for maximum benefit, we need to chew our food. By chewing, saliva releases the necessary for your stomach to process food properly. On my Dr. Diane Brain Health Diet, we only recommend foods you can chew.

Thanksgiving may be over, but I hope you’ll consider enjoying delicious, nutritious homemade cranberry sauce throughout the year, for better body and brain health.

There is a Way!™

-Dr. Diane®

Copyright (c) 2015 Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D.