Like all other berries that are very nutritional, cranberries are also anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and have cancer-preventing properties. Theses incredible small, red berries are juicy and have a tart and tangy taste. They mainly grow in the cold regions of the world. Aside from having low calories (80% water and 10% carbo), they contain vitamins C, K, B6 and E, along with calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Among other constituents are dietary fiber, protein, salicylic acid, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and triterpenoids. Superfood yeah?
Either you eat this raw, or can incorporate these berries into your juices, this for sure will benefit you. Try adding them in your baking this week, or sprinkle some in your salad and yogurt.
To convince you on starting to get some of this berries, if you’re not fond of trying tangy taste at all, we gather these 10 benefits for you.
1. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
There are scientific studies found that cranberry juice can be effective in preventing UTIs, especially for women with recurrent infections. Plus it even fight this effective if they experience early onset of UTI. Cranberries contain a high-molecular-weight compound known as proanthocyanidin with anti-adherence properties that prevent fimbriated E.coli bacteria from adhering to uroepithelial cells in the urinary tract.
Cranberries are also effective in fighting leucorrhea, commonly known as vaginal discharge.
TRY: To prevent the recurrence of UTIs, drink a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice daily. If cranberry juice is unavailable, you may opt to take cranberry tablets. Better to consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
2. Combat Oral Problems
Did you know that other than UTI, cranberries can also boost oral health and help prevent dental problems like gingivitis, gum disease, cavities and plaque buildup? According to a study published in the Canadian Dental Association journal, the polyphenols in cranberries have potential benefits for dental caries and periodontal disease. These potential anti-caries agents inhibit the production of organic acids and the formation of bio-films by cariogenic bacteria on the gums and teeth. In addition, the high vitamin C content in cranberries helps fight gum disease and infections.
TRY: Drink one-half glass of unsweetened cranberry juice daily to help prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
3. Improves Heart Health
Another benefit of cranberries include lowering the risk of heart-related problems and sustain cardiovascular health. According to a 2010 study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, cranberries are a rich source flavonols, vitamins, and fiber, that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The phytochemicals in these berries help increase the resistance of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol) to oxidation, inhibiting platelet aggregation, reducing blood pressure and other anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Another study indicates that consuming flavonoid-rich foods like cranberries helps decrease the risk of atherosclerosis. These berries can also reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
TRY: To improve cardiovascular health, drink 1 – 2 glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice regularly.
4. Lowers Cancer Risk
A 2012 study published in the journal Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry concluded that cranberries are a promising natural source of potential anticancer agents. Cranberry extracts have positive anti-proliferative effects against prostate, liver, breast, ovarian, colon and oral cancer. The cancer-related benefits of cranberries come from their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties.
Chronic excessive oxidative stress and chronic excessive inflammation are the two most common causes that increase the risk of cancer. However, while cranberry helps prevent cancer, it is not effective in treating it.
Include cranberries in your diet in raw or juice form if you are at a higher risk of cancer.
5. Makes Bones Strong
Cranberries are a good source of calcium that helps strengthen your bones, teeth and nails. It also reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis. The fruit is a good source of vitamin K, another important vitamin for overall bone health. Vitamin K helps retain calcium in the bone matrix, gives the bones higher resilience and prevents bone density loss. This in turn reduces the risk of fractures.
TRY: One cup of raw cranberries or a glass of cranberry juice daily can play a key role in keeping your bones healthy and strong.
6. Aids in Digestion
According to the University of Kentucky’s Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program, a high-fiber diet lowers the risks for indigestion and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Cranberries are also a rich source of fiber and hence promote digestive health. The fiber gives bulk to stool and facilitates quicker elimination of waste products from the gut, thus preventing constipation.
In addition, the anti-inflammatory benefits of cranberries reduce the risk of chronic inflammation in the stomach and large intestine.
TRY: Eat cranberries raw to get the best results for aiding digestion.
7. Fights Aging
Because of its antioxidants, this fruit help combat the effects of aging. Antioxidants like vitamins C, B3 and B5 help the body get rid of free radicals that contribute to the aging process, as well as provide protection against damage caused by environmental factors. Regular consumption of cranberries can delay the degeneration of brain cells, skin cells and even organ tissue. Thus, it is helpful in delaying age-related memory loss and motor function decline.
Include cranberries in your diet to avoid problems that develop with age, such as memory loss and lack of coordination.