7 ways cranberry sauce can help you live longer

Whether you choose canned or homemade, cranberry sauce can deliver a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals that can mean a longer life.

Its sweet and tarty goodness is always welcome at the Thanksgiving table, but you'll want to find ways to sneak it in year around after reading these health benefits.

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Cranberry's cholesterol-lowering effects
The juice in cranberries appear to have benefits for those who want to lower their LDL "bad" cholesterol. In fact, a long-term study by the American Chemical Society found the antioxidants in cranberries also appeared to help raise HDL "good" cholesterol as well.

A sweet road to a healthy heart
The fiber and antioxidants found in cranberry sauce can also mean a stronger ticker. The same American Chemical Society study found a 40 percent reduction in heart disease risk for those who drank three servings of cranberry juice per day.

Cranberry as a cancer fighter
The antioxidants, again, are powerful agents for a healthy and long life, potentially protecting you from developing cancer. The compounds found in cranberry sauce can help shield you from free radical damage that can foster cancer growth, the National Cancer Institute says.

The secret sauce for regularity
Fiber acts like a speed train through your digestive system. A single half-cup serving of cranberry sauce has one gram of fiber. When added to a diet rich in fiber, cranberry sauce can help relieve constipation.

The Cleveland Clinic says adding fiber can also improve the way your intestines work, decreasing bloating, pain and other symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

A delicious immunity booster
Cranberry sauce offers the same Vitamin C nutrients that can mean less colds and flu this winter. A half-cup serving delivers about 4 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs, but every little bit helps!

Cranberries promote clearer skin
Believe it or not, cranberry sauce can help you look like a million bucks. The antiseptic properties of the cranberry juice and the antioxidant resveratrol pack a one-two punch against pimples and brightens the skin, StyleCrazy reports.

Lose weight while eating great
Cranberry sauce is naturally low in fat and has no saturated or trans fats, both of which have been linked to heart problems and high cholesterol. It also means it can protect you from packing on the pounds.

A word of caution: Canned cranberry sauce can have added calories, so check the label and control your portion sizes.

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