Native to North America, the Cranberry grows on vines that bloom with light pink petals that give way to this delicious, ruby red tart berry. A staple in the diet of Native Americans, wild cranberries were harvested for food, drinks and various remedies. They were even used to make a kind of energy bar known as "pemmican" which served as a vital source of nutrition for traders in the winter months.
With a generous supply of vitamin C, cranberries were consumed by American sailors to prevent scurvy. They were also used as an important source of nutrition for the American troops in World War II, with around 1 million pounds of dehydrated cranberries per year required as part of the army rations.
As well as the vitamin C content, cranberries are rich in antioxidants, in particular oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s), which are known for their powerful free radical scavenging activity.