Packed with nutrients like antioxidants and other natural compounds, cranberries are a great choice for the health conscious consumer. Cranberries are available in a wide variety of forms including fresh fruit, juice, sauce, and dried. Among the fruits and vegetables richest in health-promoting antioxidants, cranberries rank right up there at the top of the list. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. Choose fresh, plump cranberries, deep red in color, and quite firm to the touch. The deeper red their color, the more highly concentrated are cranberries' beneficial anthocyanin compounds. The red berries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants which promotes urinary tract health, boosts immune system, reduces risk of heart diseases by keeping inflammation at bay and aids in digestion by balancing stomach bacteria. Before using cranberries in any recipe, rinse berries by pouring them into a bowl of cold water. Ripe berries sink and unripe berries will float to the top.