Cranberries are a type of berry that grows in the cooler regions of the world such as North America and Europe. They are quite tart and bitter compared to other berries which are generally sweet. Even though they might not taste the best to some people, cranberries are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. You can consume cranberries in many forms, such as juice, consuming the whole berry, taking a supplement, or eating cranberry jam. Here are some health benefits of cranberries.
• Cranberries can treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). In addition to treating urinary tract infections, they also help to block and prevent them from happening in the first place. The reason why is because they contain proanthocyanidins. These help to prevent E. coli (the bacteria that often causes UTIs) from sticking to the walls of the uterus and the bladder. Drinking just one cup of pure cranberry juice a day has the potential to prevent and heal UTIs.
• Cranberries fight heart disease. There are several ways that cranberries benefit the heart. Since they are naturally cholesterol free, they help to lower the bad cholesterol in the body which prevents the artery walls from getting clogged. Cranberries also prevent plaque from forming on the arterial walls (which can lead to atherosclerosis). Therefore, your chance of getting a stroke is automatically reduced. If you have recently suffered from a stroke, consuming cranberries can aid with the recovery process.
• Cranberries are very strengthening for the immune system. Since they are extremely high in antioxidants, these antioxidants flush out any harmful toxins that suppress the immune system. Once the toxins are removed from your system, your immune system automatically strengthens and can fight off sickness and bacteria better.
• In terms of antioxidants, cranberries outrank almost every other fruit and vegetable. One cup of whole cranberries has an antioxidant capacity of 8,983. The only fruit that can top that is blueberries (wild blueberries have 13,427 and cultivated blueberries have an antioxidant capacity of 9,019).
• Cranberries contain a flavonoid called quercetin. This flavonoid has been proven to inhibit the development of certain cancers in the body, specifically breast and colon cancer.
• Cranberries also promote gum and overall mouth health. They can decrease the production of both cavity and plaque producing bacteria in your mouth. Cranberries also prevent other dental problems such as gingivitis and gum disease.
• Did you know that cranberries have anti-aging properties? All of the antioxidants in cranberries help your body to get rid of the free radicals that can contribute to your body’s aging process. Not only will this prevent wrinkles and help keep your skin looking young and healthy, but it also assists your internal organs. It helps them function properly for longer periods of time without having any problems.
• Finally, cranberries can also help with kidney and bladder problems. They contain a substance in them called citric acid (along with many other nutrients) that can prevent kidney stones, and other related kidney and bladder issues.