Table of Contents
- 1 Useful Information About Cranberry & Cranberry Juice
- 2 Benefits and Uses of Cranberry & Cranberry Juice
- 2.1 1. Prevents Urinary Tract Infection
- 2.2 2. Improves Cardiovascular Health
- 2.3 3. Prevents Tooth Decay
- 2.4 4. Fights Viral Infections
- 2.5 5. Controls Obesity
- 2.6 6. Makes Your Immune System Stronger
- 2.7 7. Prevents Kidney Stones
- 2.8 8. Acts as an Anti-Ageing Agent
- 2.9 9. Treats Acne
- 2.10 10. Promotes Hair Growth
- 3 Nutritional Value Of Cranberry And Cranberry Juice
- 4 Risks And Precautions When Consuming Cranberry & Cranberry Juice
- 5 How To Consume Cranberry Or Cranberry Juice?
- 6 Some Fun Facts About Cranberry Or Cranberry Juice
Cranberry is a super fruit. Experts believe that it is a magic potion that improves heart, brain and colon health. Super rich in antioxidants, the cranberries have the ability to fight various diseases. The fruit is also abundant in vitamin C and fiber. This fall and winter fruit is available in frozen form throughout the year. Slightly bitter in taste, this fruit is traditionally sweetened to reduce its tartness and to make it more edible. It is a low-calorie fruit which is generally processed into jams, juice, sauce and candies.
Despite its bitter taste, Cranberry juice offers a myriad of health and beauty benefits owing to its high nutritional value. It nourishes the body with carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, magnesium and potassium. According to a study published in US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, ripe and juicy cranberries have high antioxidant levels.
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Useful Information About Cranberry & Cranberry Juice
- Cranberries are native to North America and generally harvested in the months of October till December.
- The dwarf evergreen shrub that grows up to 2 meters in height is grown in trailing vines, sandy bogs or marshes.
- These crimson berries are processed to form a dark red, unsweetened tart juice.
- Cranberries are packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin E, K and B 6 and minerals like sodium, magnesium, zinc and more.
Benefits and Uses of Cranberry & Cranberry Juice
1. Prevents Urinary Tract Infection
According to a study conducted in 2012 titled “Cranberries and Lower Urinary Tract Infection Prevention” published in the Clinics journal, in US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, cranberry juice contains proanthocyanins. The proanthocyanins prevent bacterial growth and also prevent bacteria from binding to the cells of the urinary bladder.
2. Improves Cardiovascular Health
The flavonoids and anti-oxidants present in cranberry help lower the risk of developing heart-related problems. Also, the daily consumption of cranberry juice encourages the formation of blood platelets in your body. According to a 2002 study by Dr. Jess Reed published in the journal ‘Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition’ in, cranberry juice reduces atherosclerosis which is a condition where the arteries get constricted due to fat accumulation.
3. Prevents Tooth Decay
Proanthocyanins present in cranberry juice inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay. According to a 2010 study that was published by the Canadian Dental Association, it is evident that moderate consumption of cranberry juice disturbs the mechanism of pathogenesis and promotes good dental health.
4. Fights Viral Infections
According to a 2013 study published in Nutrition Journal of US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, cranberry and cranberry juice contain polyphenols that prevent symptoms associated with cold, influenza and viral fever. Daily consumption of cranberry juice helps reduce Haemophilus Influenzae that prevent respiratory and ear infections in children.
5. Controls Obesity
Cranberry juice has a high fibre and low sugar content which helps to keep weight in check. It also has emulsifying effects on fat deposition in the body. For consumption, you can make cranberry sauce or juice and dilute it with water to reduce its bitter taste.
6. Makes Your Immune System Stronger
Cranberries are rich in anti-oxidative properties that fight inflammation and reduces the formation of free radicals in the body. It also has phytochemicals that help strengthen the immune system. According to a 2001 study by Dr. Kevin P. High (Wake Forest University School of Medicine, North Carolina) published in the book Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 33, cranberry juice regulates the oxidation of free radicals in your body.
7. Prevents Kidney Stones
The presence of quinic acid in cranberry juice prevents the formation of kidney stones. Consume cranberry juice in moderate quantities to reduce or prevent the formation of kidney stones. You can consume it with water if its bitter taste is a matter of concern for you.
8. Acts as an Anti-Ageing Agent
With its high content of anti-oxidants, Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties, cranberry juice acts as an anti-ageing agent. It prevents further oxidation of cells, the formation of wrinkles, redness and fine lines on your skin. It enhances the regeneration of cells in your skin and shields your skin from damage-causing environmental factors.
9. Treats Acne
Cranberry juice consists of anti-fungal and antiseptic properties that help treat acne and boils on the skin. You can make a cranberry mask by adding 3-4 drops of cranberry in a mixture of orange peel and honey. Apply it on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse your face thoroughly with warm water.
10. Promotes Hair Growth
Vitamin A and Vitamin C are responsible for promoting healthy hair growth. Cranberry juice contains these vitamins in abundance and hence, prevents hair fall and reduces dandruff. It also helps reduce microbial growth in your head.
Also Read: Cantaloupe Benefits | Benefits Of Pears
Nutritional Value Of Cranberry And Cranberry Juice
Now that you know how beneficial a cranberry fruit can be, here’s a look at its nutritional values. Nutrition Data lists these values for 55 g of Cranberry:
|Total Carbohydrate||6.6 g|
|Dietary Fibre||2 g|
|Total Fat||0.07 g|
|Vitamin A||35 IU (International Unit)|
|Vitamin C||7.7 mg|
Source: American Journal of Public Health, Nutritive Values of Cranberries, Massachusetts State College
Cranberry has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic as well as anti-bacterial properties which help cure several diseases and improve human health.
It has a low-calorie content and high dietary fibre that aids in weight loss and controls obesity. According to a study titled ‘Nutritive Values of Cranberries’ by Dr. Carl R. Fellers that was published in the American Journal of Public Health, Cranberry contains 87.13 g of water per 100 g of cranberry juice. Also, it helps nourish the body with several vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, Vitamin B 6, E and K.
Also Read: Pomegranate Nutrition
Risks And Precautions When Consuming Cranberry & Cranberry Juice
Cranberry is 100% natural and it does not pose any potential risks or harm to your body. However, you can keep the following things in mind when starting to consume cranberry or cranberry juice on a regular basis:
- People who are suffering from interstitial cystitis should completely avoid the consumption of cranberry juice or cranberry. Interstitial Cystitis is a painful bladder disease which occurs when the lining of the bladder gets damaged. Consumption of Cranberry juice worsens the condition and hence, you should not consume cranberry or cranberry juice.
- Over-consumption of this juice may disrupt your digestion, blood sugar levels and may cause diarrhea. This fruit should be consumed in quantities specified by your physician.
- If you’re a heart patient, then you should consult your doctor before starting the regular consumption of cranberry or cranberry juice as it interferes with the heart medication and causes internal bleeding.
How To Consume Cranberry Or Cranberry Juice?
A red colour cranberry fruit which is ripe is known to provide several health benefits. These are generally shiny, plump and firm. Fresh cranberries can last up to 2 months in a tightly sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. If you wish to add cranberries to your diet to reap its benefits, then you can consume it in the following ways:
- You can make a cranberry-apple pie by tossing 3-4 cranberries into your apple pie before adding the top crust. Surprise your taste buds with this delicious twist!
- Grab 3-4 cranberries and add them to your oatmeal or cold cereal to kickstart your mornings.
- A fruit salad that includes cranberry can bring a multitude of health benefits and improve immunity. A strong immune system prevents the onset of various diseases like cold, cough, flu, fever and much more.
Some Fun Facts About Cranberry Or Cranberry Juice
- Cranberries do not grow in water and still, they contain around 90% of water.
- They have small pockets where air seeps into them and allows these berries to float.
- Cranberries can be used to make fabric dyes.
- Only 5% of cranberries are sold fresh and rest are converted into cranberry juice or sauce.
- To Eastern Indians, cranberry is referred to as “Sassamanesh.” It is also known as ‘Ibimi’ among Cape Cod Pequots and South Jersey Leni-Lenape tribes.
It is evident from the above-mentioned benefits that cranberry is that wonder fruit which is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants as well as other nutrients that accord myriad of health benefits. From treating skin issues such as acne and boils to promoting cardiovascular health and enhancing immunity, cranberry is a highly beneficial fruit that you should include in your diet in order to lead a healthy life. So, indulge in some juicy cranberry today!