Cranberries can be found growing on evergreen dwarf shrubs along tropical rainforest areas in Northern America. Cranberries are highly acidic, and contain powerful antioxidant properties that are known to fight off infections, diseases, and even help prevent cancer. It's no wonder the magical little berries have been dubbed as super fruits!
Cranberries can be prepared in a wide variety of forms. They can be spread as a tasty jam, available in candied form, processed into juice, and have long been a staple of Thanksgiving dinners. You can grab a handful of dried cranberries for the perfect snack on the go. They can be added to breakfast cereals, yogurts, trail mixes, and even vegetable salads, to give it a zesty flavorful taste.
Now that you're a bit more familiar with the tiny red berries, it's time to delve a bit further into the many health benefits they possess!
1) Prevents Urinary Tract Infections - Did you know that a simple glass of cranberry juice can prevent urinary tract infections from occurring? The Proanthocyanidins found inside the cranberry juice stops bacteria from attaching to cells of the bladder walls. Cranberry juice also helps flush toxins out of the body through urination. The bacteria never gets a chance to multiply on the bladder walls due to the high acidity levels of the juice. Make sure you buy the unsweetened brands at your local supermarket.
2) Boosts The Immune System - The powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals found within the berries protect cells from free radicals, and help strengthen your immune system. Cranberry juice also increases (HDL) good cholesterol in the body, while reducing the (LDL) bad cholesterol.
3) Fights Cancer - The proanthocyanidin of cranberries decreases growth of cancer cells from spreading throughout the body. Cranberry juice contains phenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, which are used to combat micro tumors from taking over blood cells, The anti-carcinogenic properties of the juice also helps to prevent against breast cancer.
4) Improves Cardiovascular Health - A cup of cranberry juice can limit cardiovascular diseases from occurring. The supercharged antioxidants also prevent against atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries due to the accumulation of fatty plaques and cholesterol. The flavonoids found in cranberry juice helps promote healthy flowing of the blood throughout the body.
5) Contains Anti-Tumor Properties - Polyphenolic compounds in cranberries have been documented to contain anti-tumor properties. The salicylic acid of the dark red juice, reduces swelling and blood clots, which can eventually form into tumors. The strong polyphenol properties build T-cell production, found along the intestine and reproductive tracts.
6) Helps Reduce Inflammation - Cranberry juice is loaded with many anti-inflammatory properties, including vitamin C, which helps limit inflammation and thrombosis. These anti-inflammatory properties ensure that viruses never stick around your blood cells for long.
7) Prevents Tooth Decay - Brushing and flossing are two vital components for preventing tooth decay, but a few cranberries can also benefit your teeth. Cranberries inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, which causes plaque formation, and leads to cavities. Cranberries can even freshen your breath! Avoid the sugary brands, and go for the organic variety instead.
8) Soothes Heartburn and Peptic Ulcers - The acidity of cranberry juice can help kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that causes peptic ulcers and heartburn problems, which we wrote about in depth here. People suffering from gastric disorders have turned to cranberry juice as a soothing relief for treating acid reflux issues.
9) Fights Off Yeast Infection - Yeast infections occur when there is an overgrowth of a type of yeast called Candida in the human body. The infections are common among pregnant women or people suffering from diabetes. Cranberry juice kills the bacteria that plagues the urinary tract, and flushes out the yeast.
10) Helps You Lose Weight - Start your morning off with a delicious glass of natural cranberry juice. Cranberry juice plays a significant role promoting good cholesterol levels in the body. Cranberries are full of essential nutrients and vitamins, both critical factors in maintaining a healthy diet. The high acidity prevents that annoying hunger pang as well.
11) Prevents Kidney Stones from Forming - Cranberry juice reduces the amount of magnesium, citrate, oxalate and calcium found in the urine. The polyphenolic properties help fight off kidney infections, urinary tract infections, and prevent bacteria from attaching to the membranes of the kidneys. Consult with your physician beforehand if you suffer from any renal diseases.
12) Fights Common Infections - Are you suffering from a terrible cold? A glass of nature's wonder berries can help with that! Cranberry juice helps sooth a sore throat and combats infections. Cranberry juice inhibits the bacteria structures of the Haemophilus influenza, which causes painful ear and respiratory infections in children as well.
13) Prevents Scurvy - Sailors used to carry cranberries aboard their vessels to prevent scurvy at sea. Vitamin C deficiency is the leading cause of scurvy, but you won't have to worry about that problem with cranberries. The tiny red berries are extremely high in vitamin C, which are used to produce collagen to ensure healthy regulation of tissues in your immune system.
14) A Natural Acne Treatment - Cranberry juice contains an acne-fighting compound called resveratrol, and antiseptic properties that help ensure nice clean skin. As an added bonus, you can even make a mask out of cranberry juice, and here's how to do it:
15) Softens Up the Skin - Cranberry juice helps promote healthy collagen production due to the high levels of vitamin C. Collagen joins together with keratin to strengthen the hair and skin. The function of collegen is to help blood vessels beneath the skin carry oxygen. In turn, the collegen then softens up the skin, giving it that bright radiant glow, and a youthful appearance.
16) Promotes Healthy Hair Growth - Vitamins A and C help promote the growth of strong healthy hair. The essential nutrients found in vitamin C helps repair damaged hair follicles. Just make sure you rinse thoroughly after.
17) Contains Anti-Aging Properties - Cranberry juice can help slow down the aging process by destroying free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for causing the formation of wrinkles on the skin. The super powerful antioxidants of the cranberry juice, promotes healthy skin cells and gets rid of any unwanted blemishes and redness.
18) Can Be Used a Natural Skin Toner - Cranberries are very acidic, which works against oily skin. The cranberry juice mask mentioned earlier can help give your skin a lighter tone if done on a regular basis. It's important to use natural cranberry juice while preparing the mask.
19) Prevents Psoriasis and Alopecia - Nutritional deficiencies can lead to such scalp diseases as hair loss or psoriasis. The vitamin C found in the cranberry juice, is used to treat a variety of hair disorders, including alopecia or male pattern baldness. A cup of cranberry juice may be poured over the scalp to prevent dandruff and psoriasis from occurring.
20) A Natural Hair Color - A natural cranberry tonic can be made to highlight your hair. Actress Nicole Kidman says that she keeps her thick red hair radiant by pouring a cup of cranberry juice over her head after shampooing. The directions for the natural hair color are as follows: