Cranberry Juice Benefits

Debopriya Bose Sep 29, 2018
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Cranberry juice benefits range from preventing urinary tract infections to improving the general health of skin. Recent studies have shown this juice to be effective in preventing the formation of kidney stones and improving oral health. To know more about its benefits, read on...
Cranberries are evergreen dwarf shrubs that grow in the acidic bogs in the cooler regions of the Northern hemisphere.
These shrubs bear small berries that are initially white but turn red once they become ripe. These berries are edible and are used to make cranberry juice which is bitter in its pure form.
However, most of the commercially available varieties of the juice are sweetened by adding artificial flavors. Besides being tasty and refreshing, it has a number of benefits, although purer the juice the greater are its health benefits.

Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is effective against the following health problems:

Urinary Tract Infection

One of its important health benefits is its ability to combat urinary tract infections. The high levels of oligomeric proanthocyanidin minerals in cranberry juice help it to flush out the harmful E.coli bacteria from urinary tract that can cause a number of painful infections. These minerals are powerful antioxidants.
The anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-microbial properties add to its benefits. The acids in the juice make the urine acidic that does not allow sticking of bacteria to the walls of the bladder. This eliminates the chances of infection.
A strain of Staphylococcus aureus, or S. aureus is responsible for urinary tract infections that lead to skin rash and may result in bloodstream infections. Cranberry juice protects your body from STAPH infections.

Stomach Ulcers

Besides fighting the E.coli bacteria, cranberry juice has the ability of destroying the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. This strain of bacteria causes painful stomach ulcers by damaging the protective mucous coating of the stomach. In severe cases of infection, this may lead to stomach cancer.

Cancer

Cranberries help destroy and inhibit the growth of tumors that can cause cancer. Studies show that the drugs used in ovarian cancer chemotherapy were more effective when the patient consumed cranberry juice regularly. More studies are required to prove its benefits for cancer patients.

Respiratory Infection

Studies have shown that it helps to fight certain strains of the Haemophilus Influenzae bacteria which is a type of bacteria found in the nose and throat of most of the healthy children and adults. This bacteria is responsible for causing painful respiratory and ear infections in children.
The juice inhibits the bacteria from infecting the cells by not allowing their hair like structure (called pili) to attach themselves to the cell surface. Thus, it helps prevent health problems like the common flu, cough, sore throats and colds.

Cardiovascular Diseases

The polyphenols present in cranberry juice help improve the health of the cardiovascular system. These chemicals are believed to increase the levels of good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol levels in blood, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Oral Health

It is very effective in reducing harmful bacteria in mouth. Drinking a single glass of this juice is known to inhibit bacterial growth in gums, prevent plaque formation and improve oral hygiene. The anti-inflammatory properties of cranberries help reduce the risk of periodontal diseases.

Other Benefits

♦ The high amounts of acids and other useful components in cranberry juice help it in breaking down and preventing the formation of kidney stones.
♦ The phytochemicals present in it slow the aging process. They also help break down breast cancer cells.
♦ The juice is rich in organic acids that emulsify the fat deposits in our body and aid in weight loss. Hence, for those who want to shed those extra kilos, this is another reason to drink this juice.
♦ As it is a good source of calcium, it strengthens teeth and bones and prevents osteoporosis.
♦ It is known to decrease the problem of cellulite and improve overall skin health. Faster healing of rashes and boils is one of its significant benefits.
♦ As cranberries are packed with vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants, regular consumption helps strengthen the immune system.
♦ The juice helps improve your digestive health. The proanthocyanidins compounds present in cranberries help prevent various life-threatening diseases including colon cancer.
♦ The high nutritional value of cranberries is helpful in preventing diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The berries also aid in recovery from stroke.
♦ Cranberries carry anti-inflammatory properties and hence consumption of juice helps lower the symptoms of arthritis, especially gout.
The numerous cranberry health benefits may tempt one to drink a lot of this juice. However, an overdose of cranberry juice can cause obesity due to high sugar content, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, gastrointestinal problems, and tooth cavities. Two glasses for adults and one glass for children in a day is recommended by most health experts.
If you want to make the most of its benefits, buy organic unsweetened cranberry juice made from whole berries. It is available in most health or natural food stores. You could also make one at home and mix it with some other pure fruit juice to dilute its strong taste.
The health benefits are almost completely lost if one drinks the sugary versions of this juice that are most commonly available in stores.