Cranberry Juice and its Health Benefits: Something You Should Know
Heart disease, lung inflammation, respiratory infections, urinary tract infection, kidney stones, ulcer, tooth cavities and gum disease, sore throat, and common colds—these are the illnesses and ailments that a lot of people suffer today. People spend way too much to cure themselves of these things. However, there is a particular fruit juice that can prevent and remedy all these health problems: The cranberry juice.
Nutrition Facts of Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice contains Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), which is a vital nutrient needed by the body to help boost one’s immune system from harmful free radicals. This drink is also rich in Vitamin E, which protects the cells from damages caused by these free radicals, and Vitamin K, which helps develop blood clotting. It is a good source of fiber which aids digestion and reduces the risks of different health conditions. Aside from these nutrients, it also contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, iron, and phosphorus.
The Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice
This fruity drink does not just quench thirsts and soothe parched throats. In addition to its role in detoxifying and dieting, it also prevents and cures various illnesses such as the following:
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
This refers to the presence of microorganisms in the urine that is beyond the normal level. Research has discovered that a phytonutrient present in cranberries called proanthocyanidins (PACs) prevent certain types of bacteria from latching themselves to the bladder and urethra. These PACs then flush these bacteria out of the body through urination. But long before researchers knew this, cranberries have been used as prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections.
Stomach ulcer is due to the abundance and overlinking of a particular type of bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, to the walls of the stomach. In the same way cranberries work wonders on urinary tract infections, these little red berries also prevent the bacteria from attaching themselves to the stomach lining. Flavonoids, which are present in some foods like cranberries, reduces risk of having stomach disorders.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
A lot of people are diagnosed of heart diseases every year. Atherosclerosis is a condition where the arteries narrow due to fat and cholesterol. There are also others who have high cholesterol levels that lead to the blockage of blood vessels. But through regular intake of the juice, the thickening of the walls of the arteries can be prevented and the overall cholesterol level of a person can be lowered.
Cranberries prevent flu infection caused by influenza virus. These tart berries contain a substance called nondialyzable material (NDM) which prevents the influenza virus from damaging the cells of the lungs.
The acid components found in cranberries help reduces the risk of formation of some types of kidney stones like struvite stones and brushite stones.
Tooth cavities and gum disease
The phytochemical proanthocyanidins (PACs) of cranberries is not just effective in preventing UTI. They also help prevent tooth-decaying bacteria from sticking to the surface of the tooth. These chemical compound reduces the risk of having perideontal disease or the inflammation of the gums that results to the damage of the tissues that surrounds the teeth. By drinking this juice, the possibility of dental plaque, which can cause various gum diseases, are lowered.
Sore throat and cold
Sore throats and common colds are infections which can be prevented by drinking fresh cranberry juice. Not only does the juice cures them, it also prevents the frequency of these ailments by improving our immune system.
Other Things You Need to Know about CRANBERRIES:
People who have history of kidney stones should consult a medical professional before taking huge amounts of cranberries and its juice. Cranberries contain oxalate and calcium. They increase the amount of oxalate and calcium in the urine which can result in kidney stone formation.
For those who take Warfarin, a coagulant drug used to prevent blood clotting, it is recommended that they consult with their physicians before taking cranberries in huge amounts. There have been cases in the past where cranberries interfered with the efficacy of warfarin.
Aside from eating cranberries raw, frozen, or dried, you can also try to:
- Make homemade granola bars with dried cranberries in it.
- Add dried cranberries to your oatmeal or cereal.
- Use cranberries instead of raisins when you make bread or muffins.
- Add some cranberries to your fruit smoothie.
The wonders of cranberry juice does not stop here. There are still a lot of ongoing researches regarding the health benefits that cranberries and its juice provide. Try the juice now and see what it does for your health!