Cranberry juice is a juice made with cranberry fruit, a small red berry that is mainly grown in the USA and Canada. They reach the size of a cherry and have a sour-tart taste. Due to their nutritional value, cranberries and cranberry juice are packed with health benefits. Let’s take a look together at what they have to offer.
Nutritional Value of Cranberry Juice
Cranberries – and consequently cranberry juice – are super-rich in vitamins and minerals. They contain provitamin A, vitamins C and K, as well as the trace elements sodium, zinc, phosphorus, and boron. And that’s not all, cranberries are also rich in valuable antioxidants and secondary plant substances (flavonoids and proanthocyanidins).
This highly effective mix of ingredients provide the body with all-round protection and fight various diseases.
For 100 g of raw cranberry
|Dietary fiber||5,13 g|
|Antioxidant power||Very high|
Cranberry juice benefits
Packed with antioxidants
Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C as well. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals and inflammation in the body. Free radicals are often responsible for many health problems including arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
According to recent scientific works, drinking cranberry juice regularly could thus help to better fight against the inflammation linked to these diseases and to strengthen our immune system. More specifically, it is the polyphenols in cranberries that would better counter the action of cells that stimulate inflammation in our body.
In addition, a recent study from the University of Prince Edward Island showed that the proanthocyanidins in cranberries could reduce the viability of prostate cancer cells.
Promotes cardiovascular health
A daily glass of cranberry juice may also be good for your heart. A scientific study has found that consuming cranberry juice daily may help increase levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol.
Several scientific studies on the virtues of cranberries also indicate that the consumption of flavonoids found in this red fruit could help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Prevents urinary tract infections and bacterial infections
A Harvard Medical School scientific study argues that eating a 45g serving of sweet, dried cranberries may curb bacterial adhesion and possibly better prevent urinary tract infections.
According to researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of Worcester, cranberry juice would for its part better protect against bacterial infections.
Cranberries are also an interesting source of vitamin C. A 100g serving of fresh cranberries provides 22% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Vitamin C aids in the synthesis of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that allows brain cells to communicate with one another.
Remember that vitamin C also helps to strengthen immunity, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, accelerates the healing of wounds, and helps to better prevent cataracts. Other minerals and nutrients that cranberries provide include vitamin B5, vitamin E, vitamin K, manganese, and copper.
Cranberries are also a great source of fiber. A 100g serving of fresh cranberries provides over 4.6g of fiber or nearly 18% of the recommended daily intake. In addition to supporting healthy digestion, the fiber in cranberries may help lower your risk of developing bowel cancer. Dietary fiber helps produce butyrate, a substance that inhibits the growth of tumors in your colon and rectum.
Better yet, foods rich in fiber such as cranberries would better regulate the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
Fiber, like a sponge in our body, absorbs elements that are floating about in our digestive tract and helps to transport them out.
Low in calories
Naturally, cranberries are super in calories. As proof, a 100g serving of fresh cranberries provides barely 46 calories. This low-calorie content makes cranberry a great addition to your cakes, muffins, and cookies to enhance flavor and nutritional value. Be careful, however, not to consume processed cranberry-based products, which are often very sweet.
In addition, it should be noted that certain commercial cranberry juices have been cut by other juices and lost the virtues and benefits studied in recent scientific work on cranberries in the raw state.
Read the labels carefully or make your cranberry juice at home. Since pure cranberry juice has a very tangy taste, you can cut it with water and add a little sugar to it or mix it with real apple juice.
Cranberries can also assist to keep blood sugar levels in check. Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice or eating minimally sweetened dried cranberries might help patients with type 2 diabetes better regulate their blood sugar levels, according to recent research.
Cranberry supplements also seem to help in better blood sugar regulation. However, cranberry supplements vary considerably in their quality and effectiveness. Many supplements contain insufficient amounts of the beneficial chemicals found naturally in cranberries. In this sense, these supplements cannot provide the same health benefits and virtues.
A natural anti-inflammatory food
The cranberry is very well known for its healing properties in bladder inflammation. In addition to a large amount of vitamin C, cranberry also contains proanthocyanidins. This is a group of flavonoids that have a beneficial effect against infections in the urinary tract.
Cranberries also contain Ursolic acid. This is present in large quantities in the skin of the cranberry. Ursolic acid has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Cranberry, therefore, contains many substances, making it a natural anti-inflammatory. Of course, it is also suitable for all kinds of other inflammations in the digestive system.
Women with recurrent bladder inflammation are recommended to use cranberries. Research has shown that using cranberries reduces the risk of recurring bladder inflammation in women by 50%.
Although more scientific studies are needed, cranberries have had positive impacts on the intestinal flora of mice in scientific work. At the end of this study, it was observed in mice fed cranberry extract that the number of good gut bacteria had increased. These gut bacteria play a plethora of roles in the well-functioning of the organism, including helping diabetics to better metabolize glucose.
Cranberries could also be good for the stomach. Bacteria that stick to your stomach lining can cause ulcers or worse, lead to stomach cancer. However, preliminary research supports that the polyphenols in cranberries may protect your stomach from these ulcers.
Prevents Alzheimer’s and memory loss
Cranberries are high in two nutrients that help to protect your brain against memory loss. Free radicals may damage DNA and induce inflammation in the brain, which are neutralized by antioxidants. Cranberries may be able to help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by doing so.
Cranberries’ antioxidants also boost collagen synthesis, which keeps your skin tight and youthful-looking. These antioxidants also protect your skin against free radicals that cause inflammation, which can adversely affect the health and appearance of your skin.
Cranberries’ antioxidants also have an anti-inflammatory impact, which maintains your gums and teeth healthy by preventing periodontal infections and germs from developing.
Cranberries could be particularly effective in preventing cavities because of their antioxidants which prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
A natural antidepressant
Cranberries belong to the group of foods that are known to be natural antidepressants. It contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the happiness hormone. Serotonin has a lot of influence on mood and mood.
A serotonin deficiency can therefore lead to depression. Research has shown that eating enough tryptophan-rich foods can increase serotonin levels.
Furthermore, cranberries also improve memory. Therefore, you can make a delicious cup of cranberry tea or cranberry juice to improve your mood and memory.
Possible disadvantages and side effects
In general, cranberry has no side effects. However, some people should be careful with the use of cranberry products. It can sometimes strengthen or decrease the action of some medications. This applies, among other things, to blood thinners.
In addition, people with kidney stones or risk of kidney stones are also not recommended to use cranberries. Cranberry has certain substances that have a negative effect on kidney stones.
Due to its high content of sugars, cranberry juice is also not recommended for diabetes patients.
As you can deduct from the above facts, cranberry is healthy and helps with many different things in the body. Because cranberries are so nutrient-dense and because they offer so many health benefits, cranberry juice is recommended for regular consumption. If you can, make your own cranberry juice to avoid added sugar and additives that are often found in commercial cranberry juice.
Born in London, England and raised in Orlando, FL, Elena graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelors’ degree in Health Sciences. She later received her masters’ in Creative Writing from Drexel University. She writes part-time for the Scientific Origin and focuses mostly on health related issues.