Cranberries are small, red berries, and mainly grow in the cooler regions of the world such as Canada, the United States and Europe. They have a tart taste to them, but they are loaded with antioxidants and many essential nutrients. There are many health benefits of cranberries, and you can make them a part of your daily diet by eating the whole berry or drinking the juice.
Here are the top ten health benefits of cranberries:
#1. Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Cranberry juice can help block urinary tract infections. It contains proanthocyanidins, which help to prevent E. coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of the uterus and bladder. One glass of juice a day is all you need to prevent and heal urinary tract infections.
#2. Fights Cancers
Laboratory studies have shown that cranberry extracts can prevent breast cancer cells from multiplying. Other studies showed that cranberries helped to inhibit the development of cancerous cells in lab animals. Other cancers that may be prevented by using cranberries are colon, prostate and lung.
#3. Fights Heart Disease
Cranberries are very good for the heart in several different ways. They help to lower the bad cholesterol levels which can clog the arterial walls. They also help to prevent plaque from forming on the arterial walls, which can lead to atherosclerosis, (the hardening of the arteries). As a result, your chances of a stroke are reduced, and if you have suffered from a stroke, cranberries can help you to recover from it.
#4. Helps Kidney and Bladder Problems
Cranberries contain citric acid and other nutrients that can prevent kidney stones, and other kidney and bladder problems.
#5. Prevents dental problems
Consuming cranberries on a regular basis can help you to avoid dental problems such as gingivitis, um disease, cavities and plaque build-up. Compounds within the cranberry disrupt enzymes known as glucosyltransferases that bacteria use to build glucans. Without its glucans, S. mutans and other bad bacteria in plaque becomes vulnerable.
#6. Promote Weight Loss
Cranberries are high in antioxidants, which help to flush out your system. This in turn improves your metabolism and digestive system so that you can begin to lose weight quicker.
#7. Anti-Aging Properties
The antioxidants contained in cranberries will help your body to get rid of all the free radicals which contribute to the aging process. They will not only help your skin to look young, but your internal organs will also be able to function longer without problems.
#8. Improves Mental Health
Cranberries can also help to lift your moods by relieving stress, anxiety and depression. Studies show that they are good for the brain and can help to improve your memory.
#9. Strengthens the Immune System
The antioxidants work hard to flush out the harmful toxins which suppress the immune system. Once these are removed, your immune system will be strong so that you can ward off just about any sickness or disease.
#10. Relieves Skin Conditions
Skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema can all be healed with the use of cranberries.
Health tip: For optimum health benefits, consume fresh cranberries and make your own juice at home with a juicer, or opt for unsweetened, 100 percent pure cranberry juice. Fresh cranberries are harvested in September and October, so fall is the best time to get them in season. They can be refrigerated for up to two months before using and can also be frozen for later use. Choose cranberries that are firm to the touch and unwrinkled.
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- Jennifer McCall, Gabriela Hidalgo, Bahareh Asadishad, Nathalie Tufenkji. “Cranberry impairs selected behaviors essential for virulence in Proteus mirabilis” published in The Canadian Journal of Microbiology, June 5, 2013. Accessed November 20th 2013.
- Michelle Chan, et al. “Inhibition of bacterial motility and spreading via release of cranberry derived materials from silicone substrates” Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, Volume 110, 1 October 2013, Pages 275–280. Accessed November 20th 2013.