Cranberries are small red berries, which grow in many parts of the world. They belong to the same family of plants as bilberry and blueberry. Cranberries are well known for their health benefits, and they are best, if consumed unsweetened. Cranberries can be taken as a juice, whole berries or in a form of an extract.
Health benefits of cranberry juice
Cranberry juice and other cranberry supplements are excellent in treatment of bacterial urinary infections. 85-90% of urinary tract infections are caused by E. Coli bacteria. Compounds found in cranberries, known as Proanthocyanidins, have the ability to block the strands on Escherichia coli bacteria from attaching to the surface of the uterus and bladder.
Cranberry juice may prevent formations of dental plaque by holding back the aggregation of bacteria. Dental plaque is a precursor to cavities and serious dental health problems such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Certain studies report about anti-cancer activity of proanthocyaniding found in cranberries. Cranberries have remedial effects on human liver and breast cancer cells - some of the compounds found in cranberries may block the growth of cancerous cells, slowing the tumor growth and restoring the body’s ability to fight against the damage. Cranberries may also prevent tumors from growing rapidly or starting in the first place.
Cranberry juice may also reduce the risk of coronary diseases and prevent the development of kidney stones.Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis may increase levels of HDL, or good cholesterol and reduce levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Nutrition facts about cranberry juice
One serving of unsweetened cranberry juice weights approximately 253 grams. There are 116 calories per one serving. This food is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. One serving of unsweetened cranberry juice is enough to satisfy 39% of recommended daily value for Vitamin C. However, sugar content of unsweetened cranberry juice remains high. There are 31 grams of sugar per one serving and a large portion of calories in this food comes from the sugars.
There are no major side effects associated with cranberries. The only reported contraindication is a possibility to experience diarrhea after a very high consumption of cranberry juice. Recommended daily dose is 400mg capsule of concentrated extract two times per day, or several 16-ounce glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice. Recommended dosage for those who use cranberry tincture is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon three times per day.