Discover The Health Benefits of cranberry.
Native to North America, you may know cranberry best by its English name: cranberry. This little red berry with a lingonberry-like appearance and very tangy taste is grown almost exclusively in the United States and Canada, where it is very popular.
It’s a safe bet that its popularity is mainly linked to its many health benefits. Indeed, behind its small size, the cranberry hides a very interesting composition.
First of all, it has an exceptionally high content of antioxidants. It is also one of the richest fruits in antioxidants! It is also very rich in vitamin C and fibre, 100g serving to provide 22% and 18% of the recommended intake respectively.
Besides this, cranberries contain vitamin B, E and K, as well as a large number of minerals, such as calcium, manganese, iron, copper and potassium. Finally, it is also very rich in water and very low in calories.
As you can imagine, all of this gives it some benefits. We take them again in this article and we explain how to consume it.
What are the health benefits of cranberry?
Although cranberries have been the subject of numerous scientific studies to demonstrate their benefits, people in North America have not waited for their results to benefit from them. Indeed, cranberries have been used for centuries for medicinal reasons.
Below are the health benefits of cranberry.
1) It helps prevent urinary tract infections
This is surely the most famous benefit of cranberries. The Iroquois Indians already used it for this purpose centuries ago and if you have ever had a urinary tract infection, no doubt that you have been praised for its merits in the matter!
Indeed, cranberries are very effective in helping to prevent the onset of urinary tract infections. It is therefore generally recommended for people who are most at risk of suffering from an infection, such as cystitis, or who have repeated infections.
Its preventive action, proven by several scientific studies, is due to proanthocyanidins, antioxidants present in cranberries. These have non-stick properties that prevent bacteria, such as E.Coli, from settling on the cells in the walls of the bladder. Bacteria cannot, therefore, settle and multiply there, and they are then eliminated without hindrance as soon as we go to the toilet.
However, cranberries only have a preventative effect. Although many people claim that it can also treat the infection once it sets in, no studies have been able to show this. At most, it relieves the infection in some people. In this case, it is therefore recommended to go see a doctor for appropriate treatment.
Finally, note that to take advantage of its preventive effects, it is important to consume cranberries regularly. Some doctors recommend drinking one to two glasses of cranberry juice a day.
2) It improves cardiovascular health
Consuming cranberries regularly will also be good for your heart.
Indeed, this little fruit has very beneficial effects on cholesterol, firstly because it stops the oxidation of bad cholesterol, but also because it allows increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the blood. This is due to the flavonoids contained in the cranberry.
Flavonoids also help lower the risk of developing atherosclerosis, a disease that causes arteries to narrow due to high levels of cholesterol and fat in the blood.
Also, cranberry participates in cleansing and purifying the blood, eliminating the toxic components it contains, and helps to soften the arteries.
All of this helps lower blood pressure and lowers the risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
3) It helps to lose weight
Thanks to the organic acids it contains, cranberries help eliminate the fat that your body has accumulated.
However, if you want to lose weight, it is important to combine it with a balanced diet so as not to provide your body with extra fat that is not necessary for its proper functioning.
Also note that, if you consume the cranberry in the form of juice, you should not choose just any juice. Indeed, some cranberry juices sold in stores are very sweet and will therefore not provide the desired effect.
If you have a juice extractor, the best solution is to create your juice. To cut the acidity of the cranberry, you can mix its juice in water or another fruit juice.
4) It helps protect the stomach
Cranberry helps against many bacteria, and those that can attack our stomach are no exception! Among these is the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.
By landing on the walls of our stomach, it can cause inflammation of the stomach and give rise to ulcers, chronic gastritis or, in the worst case, stomach cancer.
The flavonoids in cranberries help fight this by preventing the growth of these bacteria. Regular consumption of cranberries therefore helps prevent infections.
Also, when used in addition to conventional treatment, it joins forces with the treatment and improves its effectiveness, thus allowing the bacteria to be eliminated more quickly.
However, these effects were mostly observed in women. On this point, cranberries are therefore less effective in men.
5) She participates in oral hygiene
The proanthocyanidins found in cranberries prevent bacteria from growing and taking up residence in the mouth, especially on the teeth and gums.
Thus, cranberry helps reduce cavities and dental plaque, but also to fight against periodontal disease, a type of disease that affects the gums by causing inflammation of its tissues. Besides, thanks to its calcium content, it helps strengthen teeth.
However, in all cases, prefer the consumption of natural juices rather than juices sold in supermarkets. Indeed, remember that these often contain a large amount of sugar, which is far from good for your teeth.
6) It helps keep skin young
The antioxidants found in cranberries are very beneficial for the skin. On the one hand, they protect it against the action of free radicals, which can cause skin inflammation and contribute to ageing.
On the other hand, they stimulate the production of collagen, which helps to maintain the firmness of the skin and, thus, to fight against the appearance of wrinkles.
7) It fights against winter diseases
Thanks to its antibacterial properties, cranberry is also very useful in winter because of its high content of vitamin C helps strengthen our immune system.
Besides, in general, cranberries repel bacteria and thus offer us an additional barrier against infections and viruses. It is particularly effective against colds and flu, as well as sore throats in general.
8) It helps fight certain cancers
According to several studies, cranberries help fight colon, prostate, breast and lung cancer by stopping the development of tumours. This is due to the polyphenolic compounds it contains, but also to its content of flavonoids and salicylic acid.
Together, they help in particular to inhibit the growth of harmful and cancerous cells. Besides, salicylic acid fights the formation of clots in the blood, which can cause tumours.
For its part, the high fibre content of cranberries also has a role to play against colon cancer. This is because fibre stimulates the production of butyrate, a substance that maintains gut health, supplies colon cells with energy and prevents the development of tumours in the colon.
9) it fights against memory loss
The cranberry would reduce the risk of facing memory loss or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed, its antioxidants eliminate free radicals that could attack neurons. However, its effects on Alzheimer’s disease have yet to be demonstrated.
How to consume cranberries?
Cranberries come in many forms. It can, of course, be consumed in its natural form, although it is often preferred to add a little sugar to it to reduce the acidity of the berries. You can also find dried cranberries.
These have the advantage of being richer in antioxidants than fresh cranberries, but they are also higher in sugar. Whether fresh or dried, cranberries can be used in salads, sauces, compotes and pastries, for example.
Besides this, cranberries are frequently consumed in the form of juice. However, if you want to enjoy its benefits and maintain a healthy diet, it is important to make sure that you choose a juice with no added sugar, or with as little sugar as possible.
Finally, if you don’t particularly like its taste or want to undergo a cranberry treatment, you can find it in pharmacies in the form of tablets and capsules. In this case, it is important to follow the advice of your pharmacist, who can tell you the appropriate treatment and the doses not to be exceeded.
In this regard, it is important to note that, if consumed in too large quantities, cranberries can cause side effects in the gut, such as cramps and diarrhoea. Fortunately, a small daily dose is often more than enough to reap its benefits!
Finally, note that its consumption is not recommended if you take aspirins or anticoagulant drugs, as well as if you suffer from kidney stones or if you are predisposed to them.
And you, have you ever tasted cranberries? Do you like its tangy side?
We hope the article on the health benefits of cranberry has been of help to you.