Superbugs are no match for this super fruit.

A new study published in Food & Function suggests that cranberries may be the key to fighting new “superbugs.”  In order for bacteria to cause an infection and wreak havoc on your body, it has to be able to latch onto cells within your body, like the lining of your urinary tract to cause a Urinary Tract infection (UTI). If it can’t stick, it can’t infect you.

It turns out that the key to cranberry’s infection fighting power is that it contains compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to the surfaces in YOUR BODY! Specifically, it’s the flavonols in cranberries that prevent bacteria like E. coli (which cause lots of infections, including in the urinary tract) from bonding to cells. What’s more? These flavonols worked entirely on their own, not needing any other cranberry compound to be present. Flavonols are present in plants like the cranberry shrub to protect them under stressful situations.

With a surge in drug resistant bacterial strains that affect nearly two million Americans each year, this discovery could help researchers find new antibacterial treatments that can actually wipe out superbugs (NOT antibiotics, which only contribute to the problem).