Health Benefits of Cranberry

Health Benefits of Cranberry

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  1. Origins

    Cranberries can be found growing wild in many regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are grown commercially in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Cranberries are found in bogs and marshes and harvested as they float on the water.


    Cranberries contain the most nutrients shortly after they are picked. They are easily frozen and can be stored in the freezer for up to a year. Fresh, unsweetened cranberry juice is readily available during the fruit’s short harvest season. Dried and frozen cranberries provide additional nutrients to fruit dishes and baked goods while the plant’s leaves are used to make teas and extracts.

    Health Benefits

    Cranberries contain abundant amounts of both antioxidants and proanthocyanidins, or PACs. PAC’s have connectors that link together to form a protective barrier against bacteria that can adhere itself to the lining of the urinary tract. The hipuric acid produced by the cranberries acidifies the urine and flushes bacteria out of the urinary tract.

    Proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and antioxidants are beneficial in reducing swelling and fighting inflammation. These anti-inflammatory properties reduce the risk of periodontal disease, arthritis and other chronic illnesses that are characterized by swelling. Cranberry also strengthens the cardiovascular system by reducing inflammation that can damage arteries and veins.

    Even though cranberry is known for reducing the risk of urinary tract infections, it may increase the chance of developing kidney stones, especially those made up of calcium, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods. Always consult a physician before incorporating any alternative remedy or therapy into your routine.

    Cranberry’s high levels of antioxidants prevent cell damage caused by free radicals and toxins in the body. Phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, in cranberry work together as a whole to provide optimal antioxidant benefits. Processing can destroy phytonutrients and decrease cranberry’s effectiveness. Always try to use the freshest cranberry products possible.


    A half cup of cranberries has approximately 23 calories and 2 g of fiber. It also contains approximately 6.5 mg of Vitamin C and 2.5 mcg of Vitamin K. Unsweetened cranberry juice provides the mmost health benefits and nutrients per ounce. Two ounces of cranberry juice mixed with 8 ounces of water makes a refreshing, nutiritious beverage.

    Dried cranberries can be used in fruit smoothies and as a topping for cereal or salad dishes. When taking cranberry in capsule form, follow the instructions on the label. Always remember to consult your physician and inform him of any supplements you may be taking.

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