Cancer Prevention & Treatment
Not only can the cranberries help to reduce the swelling that may lead to cancer, but it can block a wide range of enzymes that contribute to the formation, growth, and spread of cancer cells. Cranberries are known to protect your body from a number of cancers, such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. One of the reasons why this may be true is that fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, substances that protect cells from DNA damage and other injuries that can increase risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
A large USDA study of the antioxidant content of more than 1,100 foods showed that cranberries are among the top five foods with the highest antioxidant content per serving. Cranberries contain a number of substances with antioxidant activity, including anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins. These substances reduce oxidative stress, decrease cellular inflammation, and protect DNA, thereby reducing risk of cellular changes that could lead to cancer initiation and progression.
Cranberry Supplementation May Lower Blood Pressure
Some research suggests that cranberry consumption may have a positive effect on blood pressure.
In one study featuring 56 participants, eight weeks of daily cranberry juice consumption led to slightly lower diastolic blood pressure .
A further randomized, controlled trial found that daily consumption of cranberry juice over four months led to a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure .
However, another randomized controlled trial showed that cranberry juice had no significant effect on blood pressure .
In short the evidence for blood-pressure-lowering claims is somewhat mixed.
While it is possible that cranberries may have a slight effect on blood pressure, more extensive research is necessary to support this claim.
Cranberries Help With Immunity
The vitamin C in cranberries supports immunity and is required to make collagen, so it plays a key role in skin and joint health and overall healing.
According to a 2020 study in the Future Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences certain products made of cranberries can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections by interfering with the ability of bacteria to stick to the walls of the urinary tract. This same type of natural defense also happens in the mouth to fight gum disease, according to research published in a 2019 issue of the IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences.
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How To Eat Cranberries
Most of the time, youll encounter cranberries that have been cooked, canned, or put into a juice or tea. But theyre more versatile than most people give them credit for and can be eaten dried and sprinkled on top of salads, be juiced, and even be eaten raw, whether by tossing a few into a salad, oatmeal, or yogurt, or by turning them into a relish, Harrington says.
How To Select And Store Cranberries
Youll usually find cranberries in packages, but if you do have a chance to choose your own, you can try a simple trick to ensure theyre fresh. A classic way people test cranberry ripeness is a bounce test, says , a registered dietitian, chef, and author of The Healing Soup Cookbook whos based in Morristown, New Jersey. Ripe cranberries have little air pockets, giving them a little bounce as opposed to totally squishing.
You can store fresh cranberries in your refrigerator for up to one month or in the freezer for up to one year. Dried cranberries should be kept in a tightly sealed package in the pantry and should be consumed by the best-by date on the package.
When shopping for cranberry juice, look for the variety with the least amount of added sugar, Harrington advises. And keep in mind that a serving size for a glass of juice is smaller than you might think. Pour only 4 ounces if youre opting for cranberry juice, she says. Jones also recommends enjoying the juice with a meal or a substantial balanced snack to blunt the blood sugar response.
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Prevention Of Stomach Cancer And Ulcers
Stomach cancer is a common cause of cancer-related death worldwide .
Infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is considered a major cause of stomach cancer, stomach inflammation, and ulcers (
That said, not all studies found similar results.
If consumed regularly, cranberries or cranberry juice may reduce your risk of stomach cancer. The juice and extract also improve several risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Dried Cranberry Juice Recipe
In a bowl, wash all the dried cranberries with clean water.
Thoroughly blend in a juicer to extract the liquid content.
Mix the honey and crushed ice, with a little bit of water to obtain a homogenous fusion.
Relish the mildly sweetened dried cranberry juice chilled.
How It Works:
Dried cranberry contains the rutin category of plant phenol antioxidants which have anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to get rid of acne, scars and dark spots on skin, giving the face a vibrant, youthful and soft appearance. It also boosts collagen synthesis in healthy skin cells and helps in slowing down aging.
Supports Hair Growth
Dried cranberries juice not only benefits skin but also promotes hair growth and thickness. The vitamin C and antioxidant content inherent in this dry fruit and juice help to strengthen the roots of hair known as follicles, to stimulate the proliferation of long and robust locks of hair. It assures the complete removal of harmful free radicals that cause weak and brittle hair and incessant hair loss, thereby guaranteeing the renewal of healthy hair growth.
Eradicates Dandruff Woes
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How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections Or Utis
It is likely that compounds in cranberries help keep bacteria from adhering to surfaces in the bladder, says Kelly Jones, RD, CSSD, a sports dietitian based in Philadelphia. Cranberry juice works better as a preventive measure than as a treatment, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. The science is mixed, though. Earlier research found that drinking cranberry juice daily didnt significantly reduce UTI risk.
Dried Cranberries Vs Fresh Cranberries
Dried fruits are often thought of as condensed fruits. All the beneficial vitamins, minerals and other properties of fruits are in a preserved, snackable form.
But this isn’t always the case: Because different ways of making dried cranberries can affect their nutrition, 1 cup of fresh cranberries doesn’t have the same nutrients as the equivalent 1/4 cup of dried cranberries.
In general, fresh cranberries have more vitamins and minerals: You’ll get more vitamin C, vitamin E and manganese in the fresh fruit, per the USDA. And although dried fruits are known for being good sources of fiber, there’s even more fiber in a cup of whole, fresh cranberries compared to dried cranberries .
What Are Craisins?
Craisins are dried cranberries with added sugar.
The ideal dried fruit has no added ingredients with no sugars or preservatives â it’s just dehydrated fruit. Cranberries often have added sugar because they’re naturally very tart. A cup of fresh cranberries supplies about 9 percent of your DV of sugar, according to the USDA. In contrast, dried cranberries with sugar added often contain as much as 58 percent of your DV.
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Keeping Certain Cancers At Bay
A review published in September 2016 in Antioxidants found that cranberries may have a positive effect on 17 types of cancer, potentially due to their ability to help slow the growth of cancerous cells and clear them from the body. The authors said more research is needed to confirm a causal relationship between cranberries and cancer prevention, but the results so far seem promising.
An Easy And Healthy Cranberry Juice Recipe
This cranberry recipe is food Revolution Summit speaker Michael Greger, MD, of Nutritionfacts.org.
Its a whole food cranberry cocktail, with 25 times fewer calories and at least 8 times the phytonutrient content of cranberry juice youll find in the store.
Yes, cranberries are a healthy food, but if youre going to consume them, its important to know the full story
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May Promote Urinary Tract Health
There has been a lot of research focused on how cranberry supplements and juice may help prevent urinary tract infections, but large scale reviews have not been able to confirm this association. A 2012 Cochrane review found that there was not enough evidence to support the use of cranberry juice for the prevention of UTIs.
But in 2020 the FDA made a decision to allow very limited claims on certain cranberry dietary supplements and cranberry juice products about the potential for a reduced risk of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy women. However, they noted that the evidence to support the claims was “limited and inconsistent” and any package claims need to state this.
If you are considering taking a cranberry supplement or drinking cranberry juice to prevent a urinary tract infection, speak to your healthcare provider before doing so to determine the best treatment for you.
May Aid Diabetes Management
Some studies have shown that cranberries in various forms may help those with type 2 diabetes. For a study published in the Journal of Food Science, scientists measured the metabolic response to sweetened dried cranberries, raw cranberries, and white bread in people with type 2 diabetes.
The results of the study indicated that a low-sugar variety of sweetened dried cranberries and raw cranberries were associated with a favorable glycemic and insulin response in those with type 2 diabetes. If low-sugar sweetened dried cranberries are not available in your store, a more practical alternative would be an unsweetened dried cranberry.
However, other research reviews have suggested that the evidence is less clear. In a report published in 2013, study authors said that while diabetes might be affected by cranberry bioactives, results have been inconsistent with some studies showing a slight benefit and others indicating no benefit at all.
Lastly, keep in mind that a person with diabetes should use caution when eating dried fruit because it can raise blood sugars quickly. It is important to keep portion sizes in check. Some people may also need to test blood sugar two hours after eating.
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Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are among the most common bacterial infections, especially among women. They are usually caused by Escherichia coli, which attaches itself to the inner surface of the bladder and urinary tract.
The unique phytonutrients found in cranberries, known as A-type proanthocyanidins, can prevent E. coli from attaching to the lining of the bladder and urinary tract, potentially preventing infections.
One Marginal Benefit: Fiber
There are virtually no true health benefits of dried cranberries, but they are a modest source of dietary fiber. Each serving contains 2 grams of fiber, which works out to 8 percent of the daily fiber requirements for women and 5 percent for men. Including fiber in your diet is essential for staying regular and fighting constipation, and fiber-rich foods can also help to stabilize your blood sugar after a meal by ensuring sugar from your foods enters your blood stream more slowly.
However, since dried cranberries are usually sweetened and already naturally high in sugar, they’ll still have a pronounced effect on your blood sugar. Your best bet for getting the blood sugar-stabilizing benefits is to serve them with more fibrous foods like adding a spoonful of dried cranberries to a spinach salad.
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What Is Cranberry Juice
The best cranberry juice is made from fresh berries and is unsweetened. It has a bright, deep red tone and a tangy taste.
Getting your daily dose of cranberry nourishment can be more convenient when its in liquid form. Pure cranberry juice contains the same polyphenols, vitamins, and other active ingredients that are found in the fresh berries.
Although the benefits of cranberry juice are not to be sniffed at, its important to select your product carefully to avoid drinks made from concentrates and mixes that are loaded with sugar.
To maximise the cranberry benefits you get from a juice, take care to pick a product thats made solely from the fruit. And by this we mean its free from added sugar or other juices, and also isnt made from concentrate.
Health Benefits Of Cranberries
People call cranberries a superfood for good reason: They have all kinds of health-boosting benefits.
Theyâre high in antioxidants. A study found that out of 20 common fruits, cranberries have the highest level of phenols, a type of antioxidant.
They’re also high in anthocyanins. These are the compounds that give cranberries their dark red color. Studies have shown that they may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. They may also:
- Improve eyesight
- Improve cardiovascular health
They help with urinary tract health. Studies have shown that cranberries can help lessen the risk of urinary tract infection in certain people. This includes children or women who get them often. Your doctor may suggest that you take them as supplements or drink the juice from time to time.
But this won’t cure a UTI after it starts. If you think you have one, talk to your doctor about a better treatment.
Cranberries may help with gut health. Studies have shown that they can improve gut bacteria in people who eat an animal-based diet. In other words, if you eat a lot of meat, dairy, and sugar, cranberries can help put good bacteria back into your digestive system. They also reduce bile acids in the gut that have a link to colon and gastrointestinal cancers.
Cranberries also have compounds called proanthocyanidins, which could lower your chance of getting cancer, but more research is needed.
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Cranberry Pills Dont Have Added Sugar
Since cranberries are so tart, many cranberry recipes and products contain lots of sugar.
The American Heart Association recommends that women and men consume no more than 25 and 37.5 grams of added sugar each day, respectively .
Just one-fourth cup of canned cranberry sauce or one cup of a cranberry juice cocktail contains over 10 grams of added sugar, making it difficult to stay within these guidelines.
Eating large amounts of added sugar has been linked to the development of heart disease and diabetes, so it is wise to keep your intake in check (
More research is needed to determine the ideal dosage for cranberry pills for various purposes.
There is no official recommended dosage for cranberry pills, but taking at least 500 mg of powdered cranberry or 36 mg of proanthocyanidins per day appears to prevent urinary tract infections.
Side Effects Of Cranberries
Cranberries are generally safe, but they can sometimes lead to upset stomachs and diarrhea when eaten in large quantities, especially among young children.
The Mayo Clinic also cautions against drinking cranberry juice if youre on a blood-thinning medication, like warfarin .
Finally, cranberries and dried cranberries are also safe for dogs in small quantities, though chances are your dog wont like them, according to the American Kennel Club.
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Cranberries Curb Antibiotic Resistance
In a 2019 study in Advanced Science researchers selected bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis. When bacteria are treated with antibiotics they typically become resistant to its effects. But in this experiment, scientists found that the addition of cranberry extract prevented resistance from developing.
The extract made the bacterial cell wall more permeable to the antibiotic, and it caused the bacteria to have a tougher time pumping out the antibiotic.
The finding was significant, as the overuse of antibiotics, primarily in animal agriculture, has led to infections that are more difficult to treat in humans.
Tips For Preparing And Cooking
Tips for Preparing Cranberries
While not as fragile as blueberries, fresh cranberries should be treated with care. Just prior to use, place cranberries in a strainer and briefly and gently rinse under cool running water.
When using frozen berries in recipes that do not require cooking, thaw well and drain prior to using. For cooked recipes, use unthawed berries since this will ensure maximum flavor. Extend the cooking time a few minutes to accommodate for the frozen berries.
Cranberries retain their maximum amount of nutrients and their maximum taste when they are enjoyed fresh and not prepared in a cooked recipe. That is because their nutrients& mdash:including vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymesare unable to withstand the temperature used in baking.
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Cranberry Fruit: Nutrition Facts Benefits And Concerns
Last Updated on July 15, 2022 by Michael Joseph
There is no such thing as a superfood, but cranberries are a fruit that often receives this accolade.
But do they deserve it?
In truth, cranberries have some interesting benefits, but people often exaggerate their health properties.
This article takes a look at the potential health benefits of cranberries alongside their full nutrition profile.
How To Prepare And Eat Cranberries
Many people get their cranberry fix with juice. Although it keeps the vitamin C and potassium, it loses other nutrients from the whole fruit such as fiber, iron, and calcium. Cranberry juice cocktail is also high in added sugar to balance the “pucker factor.” Raw cranberries take about 16 months to fully mature and are harvested in early fall. You can store them in the freezer for 6 to 12 months.
There are lots of ways to add the whole fruit to your diet, and you donât need to wait for the holidays to do it.
Eat them raw. You can munch on them whole like blueberries, toss them into a salad, add them to oatmeal, or blend them into a smoothie. If they’re too tart for you, you can chop them and toss with a little sugar or agave syrup.
Turn them into jelly or sauce. It wouldnât be Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce on the table. But this tangy condiment is good all year long. Spread some jelly or sauce on toast, biscuits, pancakes, or even an everyday turkey sandwich.
Add them to baked goods. Cranberry muffins, anyone? How about bread? Toss them in with apple crisp. These may not be the lowest-calorie ways to eat this fruit, but theyâre delicious!
For more ways to cook with cranberries, check out:
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