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A lot of buzz from one little berry – by Emma Stirling APD

We are really excited to have Ocean Spray back with us this month as a Scoop Supporter.  They were the first company to come on board when we launched our  Sub of the Month mentoring program and continue to support credible, nutrition information and bloggers.   So we wanted to update you on the Sub of the Month program and share some bright, berry buzz.

About Sub of the Month

We are passionate about supporting dietitians and nutritionists to be strong communicators. Ultimately this helps our cause to see credible nutrition information in the media and online. Once a month a dietitian joins us as a guest sub editor. Usually this is final year nutrition or dietetics student, new graduate or someone with experience, but not in the digital world. The sub of the month gets their hands dirty in the newsroom, manages our Scoop Nutrition Facebook Page and learns the ropes of blogging.  We are now into our 15th month with Natalie Edwards APD doing a fab job.  Check out our honour roll here.

Blog on

There are so many reasons we are happy to have Ocean Spray on board. While we support local produce, cranberries hail from North America and can’t be grown here, so juice, sauce or dried fruit products are the perfect way to get our fill in Australia. Ocean Spray also appreciate that bloggers do things well and have teamed up recently with the crème de la crème in the Australia food scene to develop a gorgeous, new recipe book. Download your free copy of Delightful Blogger Bites by clicking the image at the left of our sidebar.  You’ll love the highly creative and original recipes by Christie from Fig and Cherry, Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella and many more.

Perhaps best known as a key ingredient in a Cosmopolitan Cocktail during Sex and the City hey days, the unique, tart flavour of cranberries gives an added dimension to sweet and savoury recipes.  You can juice it or pick up a pack of Craisins, now in two new flavours, blueberry and pomegranate.

Water works and more

Cranberries naturally contain phytochemicals called proanthocyanidins (PACS) which prevent bacteria from attaching to the cell lining of the bladder. It is this anti-adhesion effect that makes cranberries so unique. While other fruits such as grapes and green tea contain these PACs, the unique molecular structure of the cranberry means it is one of the few fruits that offers this additional anti-adhesion benefit.  You can read more on the science and research in our archive post – Cranberry Crusader.  But we also wanted to update you on new, nutrition news:

Juice it? Interesting new news indicates that dried cranberries (Craisins®) may offer the same benefits attributed to the reduction of recurring UTIs in women as juice. In this pilot study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, women consuming one serving of dried cranberries per day for two weeks reported reduced urinary tract infections up to six months after the study.(1)  You can review the nutrition information panels for Craisins here.

Immunity? Plus the complex story around foods, nutrients and immunity is being explored with cranberries.  “There is significant evidence surrounding the cranberry’s unique health properties and contribution to total body health,” said Susan Percival, Ph.D., Professor, Food Science & Human Nutrition, University of Florida, Gainesville. “While many people associate cranberry juice with improved urinary tract health, a growing number of new studies point to the cranberry’s exceptional ability to support immunity.”

Dr. Percival and her research team examined immunity in a cell culture model to understand the mechanisms of how cranberries may improve immunity. A previous human interventional study found immune cell enhancement was evident after ten weeks of consuming cranberry beverages. (2) In the current study, they found that compounds in cranberries may help prime the immune system for activity, which may help protect the body’s cells from a challenge. This is correlated with the amount of cranberry compounds used in the study. (3)

So make sure you click through now and grab your free Delightful Blogger Bites book. We’d also really love to hear what you think about our Sub of the Month and Scoop Supporter program? Be honest, your feedback helps shape our future. Or perhaps you have a cranberry tip or a Cosmopolitan night-out story? If you’d like to be considered as a Sub of the Month or a Scoop Supporter, we’d love to hear from you too.


1. Burleigh AE, Benck SM, McAchran SE, et al. Clinical Trial of Dried Cranberry Consumption to Reduce Urinary Tract Infection Incidence in Susceptible Women. FASEB J March 29, 2012 26:lb326. 2. Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Muller CE, et al. Cranberry phytochemicals modify human immune function and appear to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. FASEB J April 6, 2010 24:326. 3. Creasy RA, Khoo C, Percival SS. Cranberry bioactives augment the activation status of THP-1 monocytes/macrophages. FASEB J March 29, 2012 26:115.7.                          

  • Samantha

    Thank you for the link to the ‘Delightful Blogger Bites’ recipe book. I love cranberry craisins and now have many more uses for them in my cooking. Can’t wait to try the blueberry and pomegranate flavours! Are they available in all supermarkets?

  • Harriet

    Wow, so many benefits from such a little berry. I never knew about the link between cranberries and immunity, so thank you. Now I have another reason to eat them! Ottolenghi has a delish white chocolate and cranberry biscuit recipe that I just have to share:

  • Stephanie

    Hi Samantha, Stephanie from Undertow Media here (on behalf of Ocean Spray). Glad you like the blogger recipe book! Both blueberry and pomegranate Craisins are available in Coles and Woolworths. Happy cooking 🙂

  • Jenna

    Thanks to Ocean Spray’s support with Scoop Nutrition. I had the opportunity to be a Scoop Sub of the month at the end of last year and learnt so much!

    I love a good handful of cranberries in the afternoon when I am craving something sweet but don’t want to ruin my appetite for dinner.

    Also excited to try some of these recipes!

    – Jenna

  • Hannah

    Our family love craisins. They’re a good alternative to sultanas in muffins.

    Congrats Emma on the Sub of the Month program. It’s great to see people giving back to their profession.

  • Thanks Sam, Harriet, Jenna and Hannah, plus Stephanie for the info. I so appreciate your feedback on Craisins and Sub of the Month.

  • Amy Bowe

    Thanks for the link to the ‘Delightful Blogger Bites’ recipe book Emma. Raisins and Cranberries are little gems! I use them a lot in salads. I make a salmon and quinoa salad, and add raisins and pomegranate for texture and sweetness. YUM.

    Your Sub of the Month and Scoop Supporter program is a divine intervention Emma! Guest blogging and mentoring for students and recent graduates is a great way to improve their social media skills (since social media plays such a big role in networking and communicating with both individuals and your colleagues).


  • Oh I never realised we couldn’t grow cranberries here in Australia! Why is that? I did wonder why we never have the pleasure of fresh ones.

    Sounds like they pack a good health punch. Must work at incorporating them into my diet in something other than cosmo’s and pistachio, white choc & cranberry cookies..

    Tiff 🙂

  • Hi Tiff and others

    Despite many attempts, cranberries can still only be grown commercially in North America, parts of Europe and Chile due to the fruit’s unique growing conditions. To produce a good yield of quality berries, sandy soil is required, as well as access to significant amounts of water and a long cold winter, where the fruit lies dormant under snow for several months.


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