Cranberries are a low calorie food that pack a highly-nutritious punch, with high antioxidant properties and lots of vitamins. Here’s what you can get from fresh, raw, unsweetened cranberry juice — and why you should consider adding it to your daily diet.
1. It can prevent urinary tract infection.
If you have recurrent infections, then drinking cranberry juice every day might be the solution to your problem. According to a study published in the Journal of Urology, researchers found out that cranberry juice changes the structure of E coli, a bacteria responsible for UTI.
It has been determined that although the cranberries don’t kill the E. coli bacteria, they limit their ability to swim as the whip-like appendages called flagella stop growing. Hence, it is safe to say that cranberry juice could reduce potentially harmful bacteria in your bladder, thereby minimizing the risk of UTI. However, cranberry juice for UTI is merely a preventive measure, not a treatment for an existing infection.
2. It promotes better digestive health.
The antioxidants proanthocyanidins found in cranberry juice are the main attraction. Based on a 2008 study published in Nutrition Journal, cranberry juice inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers and a risk factor for gastric cancer. This is because the antioxidants found in cranberry juice have anti-adhesion ability that stops bacteria from living in your stomach walls. It maintains a healthy balance of good bacteria in your stomach too.
3. It promotes dental health.
Aside from your stomach, did you know that cranberry juice is good for your oral health too? Proanthocyanidin prevents harmful bacteria from thriving on your teeth, which could lead to various oral health problems such as gum disease. It also hinders acid production and plaque growth, thereafter protecting you against periodontal disease.
4. It's heart-healthy.
We all know that apart from cancers, cardiovascular diseases are among the top killers in the world. The good news is adding cranberry juice to your diet might help you to maintain a healthy heart. At the 2003 American Chemical Society meeting, experts reported that cranberry juice boosts high-density lipoprotein, aka good cholesterol. It also contains high levels of flavonoids that promote circulation and prevent heart disease.
5. It has anti-aging benefits.
If you could find the fountain of youth, would you line up for it? Why not, right? Fortunately for you, the search is over. All you need is a glass of cranberry juice and you are good to go. USDA scientists at the Human Research Center revealed that the high levels of antioxidants found in cranberries offers protection against aging symptoms such as lack of coordination and memory loss. It also protects your cells against free radicals that contribute to aging and it keeps your skin look younger too.
A Word Of Caution
Despite these benefits, you have to be careful especially when you are taking a blood-thinning drug known as Warfarin (Coumadin). A number of studies reported an increase in bleeding due to the interaction between the drug and cranberries.
Further, cranberry products increase urine oxalate excretion, which could lead to formation of kidney stones. If this runs in your genes, then take it easy on cranberries.
Above all this, keep in mind that natural cranberry juice is better than bottled cranberry juice sold in shops. This ensures you that cranberry is not stripped off its essential components, particularly proanthocyanidins. At the same time, you know that what you are drinking is not just sugar and cranberry flavouring which is often the case for many cranberry juice brands sold in the supermarkets.