Apart from keeping up with traditions on Christmas day – or clearing up pesky water infections – cranberries take a bit of a back seat when it comes to summer fruit snacking. They're not really the go-to berry of choice when there are juicy blackberries, blueberries and strawberries floating around.
But as the humble cranberry rises through the ranks from modest fruit to superfood powerhouse, you might want to quickly rethink your choice in berry picking.
The cranberry has been hailed the newest superfood. It not only works wonders on painful urinary tract infections, it can also boost your gut health, heart, immune system and your brainpower too.
It could also even help to boost your metabolism and help to manage diabetes.
The berries are rich in health-promoting polyphenols, which have been linked in previous studies to prevent heart disease and cancer.
But now, new evidence suggests that the bioactives found in cranberries could also help to strengthen the digestive system and protect the body against infection.
Researchers say cranberries could help to protect our guts from bacterial infections as well as boosting the heart, strengthening the immune system and speeding up metabolism.
Dr Jefferey Blumberg, from Tufts University in Boston, USA, said: 'It has been established that cranberries rank high among the berry fruits that are rich in health-promoting polyphenols.'
Dr Blumberg added: 'But now, recent investigations have shown that the cranberry polyphenols may interact with other bioactive compounds in cranberries that could protect the gut microbiota.
'[These could] provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions that benefit the cardiovascular system, metabolism and immune function .'
Evidence has also found that the gut microbiome not only helps to strengthen the immune system, it also boosts brainpower and helps the body's metabolism to balance energy and burn carbohydrates and fat.
It's even been linked to lowering blood pressure, as well as helping diabetics to monitor their glucose levels. It's suggested this is because the berries are rich in polyphenols, which have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
The authors of the study believe these humble berries could have a huge impact on our health.
Dr Blumberg said: 'The bioactives in cranberry juice, dried cranberries and a variety of other cranberry sources have been shown to promote an array of beneficial health effects.
'Given the complex nature and diversity of compounds found in berry fruits and how they interact with each other, I believe we have only scratched the surface when it comes to identifying the potential power of the cranberry.'
Cranberry juice anyone?