Health Benefits of Cranberries

Posted by Wen Dan Jiang on

Health Benefits of Cranberries

Cranberries are delicious, but they are not just a beautiful plant. They are loaded with health benefits that improve your overall health. Experts believe that the extents of their benefits are growing as more and more study is done. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines indicate cranberry for the USA as a nutrient-dense fruit. Just a 7-ounce glass of cranberry juice comprises 136% of the daily value of vitamin C.

A recent study highlights that about 9 ounces of cranberry are required on a daily basis to get the bacteria-blocking advantages that get rid of UTIs, ulcers, and gum disorder. You may achieve these potential benefits in an array of cranberry products. You can also use it in a weight loss diet because they contain low calories. Cranberries are also rich in antioxidants and reduce inflammation.

In this article, we will talk about cranberries, nutritional facts, and health benefits. So, let's get started!

What are Cranberries?

They are little, tough, round, red fruits having a unique flavor that you can describe as both bitter and sour. Cranberries grow or develop on vines in freshwater bogs, most in the northern United States and Canada. They are associated with blueberries and even with wintergreen.

The North American specific type (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is one of the commercial fruits native to North America. These Americans initially used them for food purposes, fabric dye, and drugs. Sailors utilized to consume them for prevention against scurvy while at sea. In fact, the captain was the first person to grow them effectively. Nowadays, they develop on approximately 30,000 acres in the United States every year.

They may aid in gut health. One recent research has indicated that cranberries can enhance gut bacteria in individuals who consume an animal-based diet. In fact, if you eat plenty of meat, dairy, and sugar, consuming cranberries may help keep good bacteria into your digestive system. They also minimize bile acids in your gut that have a relation to gastrointestinal or colon cancers.

Cranberries also maintain your oral health. Just like in your digestive system, they aid in controlling dangerous acids in your mouth. They decrease the quantity of acid your form and prevent it from sticking to your teeth. It may also help prevent cavities, gum disorder, tooth decay, and even oral cancer.

When you are sick of mainlining oranges during the cold season, go for cranberries. One cup has approximately 20 percent of your daily suggested consumption of vitamin C. Vitamin C is significant for immune health and may also decrease the duration of the common cold.

Nutrition Facts

Cranberries are 90% water, and the remaining portion is carbs and dietary fiber. The key nutrients in one cup (100 g) of unsweetened raw cranberries are;

  • Calories: 45
  • Water: 90%
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams
  • Carbs: 12 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams

Carbs and Fiber

Cranberries are mainly made of carbs and dietary fiber. These are primarily simple sugars like sucrose, glucose, and fructose. The remaining portion is composed of insoluble fiber, for example, pectin, cellulose, and hemicellulose. They travel through your gut almost intact.

They also consist of soluble fiber. For this purpose, excessive intake of cranberries may lead to digestive symptoms like diarrhea. Furthermore, cranberry juice comprises no fiber and is typically diluted with other fruit juices and sweetened with additional sugar.

Vitamins and Minerals

They are a good source of a lot of essential vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C.

  • Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid. It is one of the incredibly essential antioxidants in cranberries. Vitamin C is significant for the maintenance of your skin, bones, and muscles.

  • Manganese

Manganese is present in many foods and highly crucial for growth, metabolism, maintenance, and your body's antioxidant system.

  • Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a class of significant fat-soluble antioxidants.

  • Vitamin K1

Also, contain vitamin K1 that is known as phylloquinone. It is crucial for blood clotting.

  • Copper

Copper is a trace element and low in the Western diet. Inappropriate copper consumption may have severe effects on your heart health.

Other Plant Compounds

Cranberries are rich in bioactive plant compounds or antioxidants, especially flavanols, or polyphenols. The majority of these plant compounds may concentrate in the skin and are highly decreased in cranberry juice.

  • Quercetin

Quercetin, an antioxidant polyphenol, is packed in cranberries. On the other hand, cranberries are the key fruit source of quercetin.

  • Myricetin

It is also the primary antioxidant polyphenol in cranberry. It may have a lot of advantageous health effects on your body.

  • Peonidin

Peonidin is the reason behind their excellent red color of cranberries and some of their health effects. Cranberries are among the highest dietary sources of Peonidin.

  • Ursolic acid

Ursolic acid is concentrated in the skin. It is a triterpene compound and a unique element in many conventional herbal medicines. Ursolic acid has potent anti-inflammatory effects.

  • A-type proanthocyanidins

They are also known as condensed tannins. These polyphenols are particularly beneficial against UTIs.

Health Benefits of Cranberry

  1. Heart Health

The heart is one of the most common diseases in the world. Many people suffer from heart-related diseases. The active elements in cranberry juice contain vasorelaxing properties. It has the ability to lessen the stiffness of blood vessels in your body.

It controls hypertension and blood pressure because of this effect. Some studies show that cranberry juice can turn down the cardiometabolic risk in your blood. it consists of several antioxidants such as quercetin, anthocyanins, and proathocyanidins. These crucial antioxidants are useful for heart-related issues. It may also minimize the LDL cholesterol and enlarge the HDL cholesterol.

  1. Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are severe issues of both men and women. Most of the women face these severe problems. These infections are the type of bacterial infections. These infections occur due to the attachment of Escherichia coli in your inner surface of the urinary tract and bladder. Cranberries consist of a specific amount of phytonutrients.

The other name of phytonutrients is A-type proanthocyanidins. It can block Escherichia coli from fixing to your inner side of the bladder and urinary tract. It has terpenoids, catechin, flavonoids, and organic acids, such as quinic, malic, and benzoic acid. Benzoic acid controls the acidic pH of urine. The development of bacteria is decreased due to the balance of acidic pH.

  1. Inflammation

Inflammation is a common health issue. It is a condition when your parts of the body are swollen, and you feel extreme pain. Cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties. They have the acceptability to tackle this serious issue. Some studies show that cranberry juice can lessen the chance of inflammation. It minimizes the amount of C-reactive protein in your body.

The accumulation of C-reactive protein enlarges in your blood is an inflammation condition. It may reduce the chances of acute and chronic inflammatory problems such as colitis, periodontitis, and Crohn's disease. Polyphenols in cranberry juice enhance anti-inflammatory enzymes such as terminal kinase and glutathione peroxidase.

  1. Cranberries-High Fiber Content May Help Against Weight Loss

One cup of cranberries comprises 15 percent of the suggested regular amount of fiber (approximately grams. So, you can say cranberries are the rich source of dietary fiber.

This dietary fiber may aid you in staying fuller for a longer duration and stop considerable swings in your blood sugar that in turn may facilitate prevention from overeating. Additionally, fiber usually keeps things travel through your digestive tract. That will help you in prevention from bloating or constipation.

  1. Improve Kidney Infection

Cranberries play a vital role in the treatment of kidney infection. Cranberry juice is sufficient for the solution to kidney-related issues. The pathogen is a harmful virus that enhances the production of disease. The active components in cranberry block the activity of pathogens. Some studies show that cranberry juice lessens the number of oxalate ions. The interactivity of oxalate ions with calcium causes the growth of kidney stones. Phosphate, oxalate, and citrate in cranberry can manage the calcification of kidneys. Cranberry juice may tackle other kidney issues such as nephritis and chronic kidney disease. It has the capability to prevent bacteria from affecting the kidney.

  1. Cranberries may help control your blood sugar

Cranberries are lowest sugar fruit, with only 4 g per cup of whole berries with the rich dietary fiber count. You have a fruit that can control your sugar level.

Furthermore, they may actually help control your blood sugar. Cranberries provide the mineral manganese that aids control blood sugar levels. One study in the Journal of Research in Medical Science discovered that one cup of cranberry juice on a daily basis helped maintain blood sugar in type 2 diabetic people.

But further study is required to highlight whether cranberries contain the same influence on healthy populations, and they might aid get rid of colds.

  1. Cranberries fight antibiotic resistance

In recent research from McGill University in Canada, experts choose bacteria responsible for urinary tract diseases, gastroenteritis, and pneumonia. When bacteria are treated with antibiotics, they usually become resistant to their influences. However, in this experiment, professionals found that the extra cranberry extract stopped resistance from establishing or developing.

The extract composed of the bacterial cell wall is more permeable to the antibiotic. It is the leading trigger for the bacteria to have a difficult time pumping out the antibiotic.

The experimental result is vital as the overuse of antibiotics, mainly in animal agriculture, has caused diseases that are more difficult to cure in humans. It may boost physicians to suggest cranberry juice or extract when antibiotics are recommended to use!

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes occurs due to the enlargement of the blood sugar glucose. Cranberry juice has the ability to control the level of the blood sugar glucose. Some studies show that it is useful for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. It can reduce serum glucose in your blood. People who have diabetes have a high LDL cholesterol level. It may turn down the extremeness of diabetes. It minimizes the chance of metabolic issues such as cardiovascular disease and obesity.

  1. May Decrease Risk of Cancer

Cancer becomes a hazardous disease in the world. Many people suffer from this unfortunate disease day by day. Cranberries are very important for the treatment of cancer. They have the capability to stop the growth of cancer cells. They consist of ursolic acid, epicatechins, and quecitin. These elements are known as cancer-fighting agents. They play a vital role in the treatment of cancer. They contain plant chemicals. These chemicals control the movement of enzymes. They block the development of cancer cells. They have a specific amount of quinone reductase, ornithine decarboxylase, and matrix metalloproteinase.

Phytochemicals in cranberries enhance the growth of apoptosis and regular cell cycling. Apoptosis is the barrier for the enhancement of cancer cells. They also tackle some specific types of cancers such as stomach, prostate, bladder, lymphoma, and esophagus cancer.

  1. May Improve Gut Health

It is indispensable to maintain gut health. A healthy gut enhances your immune system. There are several advantages, such as perfect sleep, brain health, heart health, and the digestive system's improvement. Cranberries have the ability to tackle with the gut-related issues. Some studies show that they turn down the outcomes of animal-based and a low-fiber diet. These diets minimize the effectiveness of gut in your body.

These diets also enlarge the number of bile acids, which lead to gastrointestinal and colon cancers. The cranberry juice lessens the number of bile acids and balances gut health. It also raises the potency of short-chain fatty acids. These acids may help in improving gastrointestinal health. It may also bring useful bacteria for the development of your digestive system.

  1. Dried Cranberries High in Antioxidants

Dried cranberries consist of a high amount of antioxidants such as vitamin C. There are some other essential antioxidants such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins. These antioxidants save your cells from damaging and lessen the activity of free radicals in your body.

Antioxidants in dried cranberries have the capability to tackle cancer and balance the amount of cholesterol in your body. The specific amount of proanthocyanidins can turn down bacteria's sticking to the urinary tract walls and prevent them against acute infections.

Cranberries contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that maintain brain health and develop your memory. They also balance the oral health by blocking bacteria and gum disease. They may boost up your immune system and minimize the chances of sickness.

  1. Cranberries boost circulation

Cranberries may help improve artery flexibility. It means that they may maximize circulation and blood flow that takes the pressure off your heart. And can assist lower blood pressure. Better circulation may even increase your energy and cognitive function.

  1. Cranberries offer disease protection

There are still some scientific pieces of evidence present to show that cranberry juice saves your heart health by decreasing "bad" LDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, and triglycerides (blood fats). Moreover, specific compounds in cranberries have been discovered to decrease the growth or development of tumors involving colon, breast, lung, and prostate cancer cells.

  1. May Boost Your Immunity

Cranberries can maximize your immune system. The vitamin C content in them helps immunity. It is also needed to form collagen; therefore, it plays a vital role in skin and joint health or overall healing. You may have heard that they may stop or treat urinary tract diseases.

That's true; Cranberry may help by interacting with the ability of bacteria to attach to the walls of the urinary tract. This exact kind of natural defense also occurs in the stomach for the prevention of ulcers and in the mouth to combat gum disease.

When you experience the sniffles coming on, you may reach particular old orange juice to boost vitamin C and deliver your immune system a kick. However, cranberry is rich in vital nutrients, as well. Only one cup of them comprises 20 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.

Therefore, if you feel under the weather, use cranberries to aid your body combat against them. Avoid depending on cranberries alone because focused sleep, regular exercise, and healthy foods are also significant for marinating your immune system strong.

  1. May Improve Oral Health

Oral health is based on the growth of teeth. People face many problems with oral health. Cranberries have some qualities that are sufficient for the solutions for oral health-related issues. They consist of a high amount of proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins enlarge the development of oral health. They can prevent harmful bacteria that affect the teeth badly.

They also tackle the gum disease. Cranberries also have a high amount of polyphenols. Polyphenols are essential elements that help in boosting up the oral health. They also play an important in the treatment of mouth-related diseases. Cranberry juice also contains some essential components that terminate the pathogens. Pathogens are one of the main reasons for teeth decay.

  1. Cranberries- Low in Calories

People burn a specific amount of calories per day. This specific amount turns on people's age, physical activity, and gender. Unused calories cause the production of fat in your stomach. The property of having a low amount of calories makes it a perfect fruit for weight loss.

  1. Prevention of Ulcers/ Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is a leading trigger of cancer-related death around the globe. Disease by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori is taken as the primary cause of stomach cancer, inflammation of the stomach, and ulcers.

Cranberries comprise unusual plant compounds called A-type proanthocyanidins that minimize your risk of stomach cancer by stopping H. pylori from sticking to the lining of your stomach wall.

One recent research on 190 adults recommended that drinking 2 cups (500 ml) of cranberry juice per day may much minimize H. pylori diseases.

Another research on 290 kids discovered that regular intake of cranberry juice for 2 weeks inhibited the growth or development of H. pylori in approximately 16% of those infected people.

Risks Associated With Cranberry

Individuals who utilize the blood-thinning drug warfarin (Coumadin) must not suddenly boost their consumption of cranberries. Although there is not enough evidence about the potential for cranberries to enhance its anti-clotting effects, they could lead to increased bleeding.

Cranberry items may also cause excretion of oxalate in your urine. It may enhance the production of kidney stones in individuals who are vulnerable to calcium oxalate-type stones. People who have a history of kidney stones must speak to their doctors or healthcare providers before maximizing their cranberries' consumption.

Diet

Farmers may harvest cranberries in early September, and at the end of October, therefore, fall is the perfect time to buy them. They are also present frozen, canned, or dried form. An individual may refrigerate fresh cranberries for up to one month. And even freeze them or consume them in the future. They must be firm to your touch and unwrinkled.

On the other hand, certain cranberry items can comprise of added sugars. It is due to cranberries are tart and may be tough to eat without additional individual sweetener. It is incredibly significant to check the label (ingredients), and you should ensure to select the product with the lower amount of added sugar.

Cranberry juice mainly includes other fruit juices and additional sweeteners. Individuals searching for cranberry juice that offers the majority of advantages must take juice that lists cranberries as the primary ingredients. Cranberry sauce is a vital part of a beneficial and delicious meal, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy this beautiful fruit.

Below are some additional tips to add cranberries into your diet;

You can prepare a homemade trail combination with nuts without salts, seeds, or dried cranberries.

  • Include dried cranberries to whole-grain cereals like oat or oatmeal
  • Involve a little handful of frozen cranberries in a fruit smoothie.
  • Toss fresh or dried cranberries into a cookie or muffin dishes
  • Add dried cranberries to your favorite salad.
  • Involve fresh cranberries in a dessert with apple, like pie or cobbler, for additional flavor

How to Prepare and Eat Cranberries

A lot of individuals obtain their cranberry fix with juice. While cranberry maintains vitamin C or potassium, it loses other essential nutrients from the whole fruit like dietary fiber, iron, or calcium. Its juice cocktail is also rich in added sugar to maintain the "pucker factor."

There are many other techniques to include the whole fruit to your diet, and you have to wait for the weekend to do it. Take cranberries raw. You may munch on them whole such as blueberries, include them into a salad, include them to oat, or mix them into a delicious smoothie. If they are too much tart for you, chop them and sprinkle them with a minimum sugar or agave syrup.

You can make jelly or sauce from them. These tangy condiments are tasty all year long. Place some jelly or sauce on biscuits, pancakes, or even on a turkey sandwich. You can also toss cranberries in with apple crisp. These are not the lowest-calorie ways to consume this fruit, but they are yummy!

Summary

Cranberries are small round, red fruits, including a specific flavor that you may explain as both bitter and sour. They are extensively used as dried, a juice, or in supplements form. They are a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are remarkably high in a lot of incredible plant compounds. Some of these compounds are very helpful for our overall health as they can prevent UTIs, stomach cancer, and heart disorder.

The vitamin C content in them may improve their immune system, minimize inflammation, and get rid of gut diseases. They are also crucial for your skin, bones, and muscles. You can eat their products, but before going to them, you should speak to your doctor!

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