Cranberries can easily be viewed as the superhero of the berry world. I know most people believe blueberries are the ultimate gold standard in terms of healthy and beneficial berries. But cranberries are just so good as well.
Most people know that one of the benefits of cranberry juice is treating urinary tract infections. But their benefits go well beyond that. Cranberries are a versatile fruit that can be used in many different medicinal products. In fact, they make their way into many products. A water-harvested fruit, cranberries are packed with healthy nutrients that help your body fight off infections and improve your overall health.
Cranberry juice contains just 45 calories per cup, making it a low-caloric drink. This is why cranberry juice is perfect for people who are trying to lose weight and follow strict dietary guidelines. At the same time, cranberry juice is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and salicylic acid—some of the healthiest ingredients you can find in food.
Per 100g, cranberry juice contains 87g of water. In addition to providing energy, carbs, and protein, cranberry juice contains small doses of calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and other minerals. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of cranberry juice.
Help with urinary tract infections
We mentioned at the beginning that the most common usage of cranberry juice is for UTIs (urinary tract infections). UTIs develop in the bladder and cause cystitis in the kidney, resulting in renal parenchyma, or in the prostate, where the end result is bacterial prostatitis. Studies show that cranberry juice contains compounds that prevent bacteria from binding to the cells on the walls of the bladder. Effectively, this prevents bacteria from entering your urinary tract and causing damage.
Because bacteria cannot bind to the urinary tract, they are flushed out through urination. In addition, cranberry juice is mostly water-based, meaning it promotes urination.
For pregnant women and middle-aged women, cranberry juice is a prevention therapy. Consuming the juice regularly will prevent recurring UTIs.
In hospitals, cranberry juice is part of the therapy for patients who need prevention against UTIs. For example, women undergoing elective benign gynecological surgery need cranberry juice.
Improve cardiovascular health
Another benefit of drinking cranberry juice is lowering the risk of heart related ailments. The juice promotes a healthy heart and helps you sustain your cardiovascular health. It all comes down to flavonoids, antioxidants present in the cranberries that decrease the threat of atherosclerosis. This is a disease in which the arteries are narrowed because of the accumulation of fat, calcium, and cholesterol. Narrowed arteries prevent the healthy flow of oxygen and oxygen-rich foods to parts of the body. The result can be fatal, as narrowed arteries often result in heart attack and stroke.
Improve bone health
Cranberry juice is a natural source of calcium. As we all know, calcium is one of the most important minerals for bone health and bone strength. Calcium effectively reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and drinking cranberry juice can up your consumption. You also need calcium to maintain the strength of your teeth.
Prevent tooth decay
Speaking of teeth and improving their health, cranberry juice helps in many different ways. One is by improving their strength, thanks to the calcium in the juice.
Another way cranberry juice helps is by preventing tooth decay. The juice contains proanthocyanidin, a compound that inhibits harmful bacteria from clinging to the teeth. The compound also protects your teeth from periodontal disease by preventing growth of plaque. Consumption of cranberries, paired with proper oral hygiene, will help you prevent dental caries and improve your overall oral health.
There are studies that show that consumption of cranberry juice will inhibit the development and spread of tumors to the lungs, breast, prostate, and colon. Cranberry juice contains polyphenolic compounds, which are responsible for the antitumor effect. In addition, we mentioned at the beginning that the juice is also a good source of salicylic acid, which prevents blood clots and eliminates tumors.
Help with respiratory infections
Compounds within the cranberry fruit can inhibit certain strains of the Haemophilus influenza, a common cause of respiratory and ear infections in children.
Just look at the ingredients of cranberry juice: antioxidants and vitamin C. Does that tell you something? Well, of course it does: those are some of the most important ingredients that help with the common cold. Fresh cranberry juice can fight off many infections, the common cold being one of them. The juice also helps with sore throats.
Prevent kidney stones
We mentioned at the beginning that cranberry juice promotes healthy urination. Kidney stones are usually a result of crystals that form in the bile. Cranberry juice prevents that. And it all comes down to the high amount of acid components.
We will not go as far as saying that cranberry juice can cure or prevent cancer. But it can definitely help. We mentioned previously that the juice contains proanthocyanidin. This compound inhibits harmful bacteria as well as cancer cells. Cranberry also contains flavonoids, compounds that play a vital role in reducing the risk of cancer and cancer mortality. The juice itself contains several other compounds that interfere with the growth of cancer cells, especially colon and prostate cancer.
Help with weight loss
Cranberry juice is perfect for fighting obesity. As we said earlier, it is a low caloric beverage. Because it is mostly water and just 45 calories, cranberry juice helps you follow strict dietary guidelines. As for weight loss, the juice is rich in organic acids like salicylic acid and others that help with breaking down fats in our body. Therefore, if you want to shed some pounds, pour yourself some cranberry juice.
As noted earlier, cranberry can fight off infections and inflammation illnesses, and lung inflammation is one of them. Because it has anti-inflammatory properties, the juice effectively not only prevents lung inflammation, but also treats it. As for flu infections, another form of lung inflammation, cranberry contains NDM (nondialyzable material), which prevents the virus from sticking to the cells.
The last of the cranberry juice benefits is the one most women love. Let’s be honest: we all want to look young forever. No magic ingredient will give us that. But cranberry juice can help us stave off the effects of aging as long as possible. We mentioned that cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants, compounds that fight free radicals. Anyone who knows anything about aging will tell you that free radicals are your biggest enemy.
In addition, cranberries play a role in protecting you from memory loss and lack of coordination, as well as other age-related conditions.