Today, we’re covering another superfood: the cranberry! Cranberry juice has many amazing health benefits. It is an excellent antioxidant and keeps the urinary tract in good health. It also helps with weight loss and keeping your heart healthy.
Cranberries contain nutrients such as phytonutrients, dietary fiber, calcium, flavonoids, amino acid, iron, and vitamins (C, E & K). Cranberry juice is rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties that help in improving immunity.
Because of its many health benefits, you can add cranberry juice to your daily diet. However, people with acid reflux disease should be careful when consuming cranberry juice because cranberries are mildly acidic in nature.
Benefits of Cranberry Juice
There are many health benefits of cranberry juice, and we will cover some of the most important ones. Along with that, we will also cover some of the possible risks associated with it when used with particular prescription drugs.
Excellent Remedy for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
According to a study performed in 2017, cranberry juice reportedly reduced UTIs in mice. The proanthocyanins in cranberries supposedly have antibacterial properties. They prevent bacteria from attaching to the lining of the urinary tract. They also stop the colonization of E. coli bacteria, which cause UTIs, in the bladder.
However, we still need more research on the effectiveness of cranberry juice for treating UTIs. Dr. Manisha Juthani performed a study in 2016 to examine the effects of cranberries on bacteria in the urinary tract. Women from nursing homes were chosen to take part in the study because they are at high risk of getting the infection. They took 2 capsules of cranberry every day. After six months the women in the study were tested for the bacteria, and there was a noticeable decrease in the bacteria levels in their urine. The study concluded that cranberry extract might prevention the growth of pathogens.
Maintaining Heart Health
Cranberries contain phytonutrients, which have anti-inflammatory properties. The phytonutrients aid with heart health as they protect against inflammation. Cranberries also reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also called bad cholesterol.
People with coronary artery disease showed improvement when tested for stiffness of arteries. It was reduced among those who drank double-strength laboratory preparations of cranberry juice.
Another study undertaken in 2011 at Oklahoma State University found that cranberry juice helps reduce free radicals, which cause oxidative stress.
For a Healthy Digestive System
Cranberry juice works wonders for stomach and gut health because of its anti-bacterial properties. The flavones, proanthocyanidins, and anthocyanins play an essential role in combating gastrointestinal infections. Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori is a bacteria that sticks to the stomach walls and causes peptic ulcers. Cranberry juice, if consumed regularly, can inhibit the production of H. pylori and promote digestive health.
Cranberries are also rich in fiber that is great for a healthy stomach and gut. They maintain regular bowel movements and healthy digestion. They also keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Cranberry juice is packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals. These components fight the bacteria and viruses in your body and increase immunity. As we age, we become more prone to diseases and infections. Cranberry juice helps in fighting those infections. As we discussed, cranberry plays a vital part in digestive health, and it has the ability to decolonize H. pylori bacteria in the stomach and E. coli bacteria in the urinary tract.
A study conducted in 2010 concluded that cranberries can inhibit the growth of several bacteria in humans. Another study confirmed that cranberries can fight viruses as well, such as norovirus that causes foodborne disease, though more research is still needed.
Exceptional Anti-aging Properties
Oxidative damage causes many health issues in our body, such as heart diseases, diabetes, urinary tract infections, cancer, and digestive disorders. The antioxidants and vitamin C present in cranberry juice can fight the free radicals and carcinogenic cells that cause oxidative damage and tumor development.
Drinking cranberry juice daily keeps your body clean as it helps the kidneys to flush out all the toxins. Vitamins present in cranberries keep your skin hydrated and eliminate wrinkles by boosting collagen production. They naturally remove dead skin cells, which is why many people use organic cranberry juice as a skin toner.
Keeps the Bones Stronger
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become weak and damaged, most often because of a lack of calcium. Postmenopausal women are at high risk of having porous bones. Cranberries are naturally full of calcium, and the regular consumption of cranberry juice can help strengthen the bones and keep your teeth and nails healthy. Cranberries can also help in reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
Quinic acid found in cranberry juice also prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Interaction with Other Drugs
Cranberries are full of beneficial nutrients, but some moderation is required while consuming cranberry juice. It can intensify the effect of blood-thinning medicines like warfarin and Aspirin. People who are use heart medications should not use cranberry extract in any form before consulting their physician.
The physician might guide you to take the medications and observe the effects without completely eliminating cranberries from your diet.
Cranberries are a perfect remedy for many ailments, and they have many potential benefits. Fresh juice from cranberries without added sugar is the best way to get the most out of this berry. These sturdy little berries have enormous health benefits, so enjoy them in whichever way you like.
Though more research needs to be done on the benefits of cranberries, many researchers have confirmed their antioxidant and antibacterial properties. You can safely include cranberry juice in your diet, but be cautious, especially if you are on medication.
Avoid giving it to toddlers and young children or at least try to limit the intake. We advise parents to include the juice in their children’s diets in small quantities.