The Amazing health benefits of cranberry juice
I’m not sure about you but when I used to get sick my mom would always try plying me with all sorts of natural products. She would always talk about the benefits of pure cranberry juice and I remember thinking that it tastes so sour it has to be doing something good!
But where did this trend come from? Surely it can’t just be me!
Way back in the 19th century Native Americans used cranberries to dye for their rugs and blankets.
But soon they discovered that these berries could be used for medicinal purposes too.
They used a poultice of cranberries to help heal wounds and ate them to combat illnesses.
Nowadays cranberry sauce, jam, juice, candies are different healthy and tasty commercial products that are available in stores and online.
However, all these commercialized products contain artificial sweeteners to mask the sour taste of cranberry.
Doctors tend not to recommend commercially available cranberry juices because added sugar is not good for our health.
The health benefits of cranberries are many and a glass of fresh unsweetened cranberry juice is the best way to grab these benefits.
Keep reading for our 25 scientifically proven benefits of pure cranberry juice.
25 Health benefits of pure Cranberry Juice
1. Improving Urinary tract health
North American Indians first discovered the urinary tract health benefits of the cranberry. They ate the berries raw, mushed them into cakes and juiced them in order to extract the goodness.
Dietary experts suggest drinking pure cranberry juice to obtain an effective result. This can be a pretty sour experience so many women who have frequent incidences of UTIs prefer to drink cranberry juice cocktails prepared with 25% fresh cranberries to get the benefits but still enjoy the taste (pH<2.5). See bottom of this article for our recipe.
The organic acid composition of cranberry juice imparts antibacterial properties. Researchers have found that these inhibit E. coli bacterial growth in the bladder wall and provides long-term prevention from UTI’s.
2. Limiting the risk of heart disease
The phytochemical composition of cranberry juice supports heart health. Cranberry juice is an abundant source of anthocyanins.
This bioactive phytochemical has a protective effect against cardiovascular disease due to its anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial effect on blood vessels.
The American Heart Association has recommended that a fruit and vegetables rich diet including cranberries can reduce cardiovascular disease.
Cranberry fruit juice acts as a multiple risk factors regulator.
3. Natural Blood Thinner
Cranberry juice is a natural blood thinner. Regular consumption of cranberry juice maintains the fluidity of blood within the blood vessels by inhibiting platelet aggregation.
Those who are under anticoagulant drugs like warfarin should limit or avoid cranberry juice intake. Research findings reported that subsequent intake of Cranberry juice interacts with warfarin and will amplify the effects.
4. Healthy Cholesterol levels
A cranberry juice cocktail can increase HDL or good cholesterol concentrations in blood.
Increased Healthy DL level in blood plasma carries cholesterol from other parts of the body and brings it back to the liver for removal of excess cholesterol.
However, it does not have any impact on low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
5. Controls High blood pressure
Individuals who have high blood pressure should be drinking a couple of glasses of cranberry juice a day according to research.
Frequent cranberry juice intake can reduce arterial stiffness, improve endothelial functions, and provide vasodilation.
Drinking cranberry juice promotes all of these positive changes in the human body to control high blood pressure.
6. Boost your immune system
Cranberry juice is an excellent source of vitamin C that boosts immune system functioning and accelerates the natural healing process after injuries because of its powerful antioxidant properties.
7. Gum disease prevention
Bacterial growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum causes gum disease by forming a biofilm.
Cranberry juice impedes the biofilm produced by these bacteria to cure chronic gum problems (periodontitis).
The phytochemical fractions present in cranberry juice may also prevent the interaction of Porphyromonas gingivalis with oral proteins to restrict gum disease.
8. Protection from tooth decay
Dental plaque formed by bacteria is the initial phase of the tooth decaying process. Cariogenic biofilm is formed by different oral pathogenic bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Researchers have found that cranberry juice inhibits 80 to 95% of biofilm formation of different streptococcal bacteria.
Thus, Cranberry juice intake reduces the bacterial growth in the tooth’s surface and slows down tooth decay.
9. Oral health maintenance
A 2010 clinical trial was performed to check the efficacy of a mouthwash formulated by using Nondialyzable material (NDM) obtained from the whole cranberry.
The study‘s findings showed that the mouthwash was highly beneficial for overall oral health. The result reported daily use of this mouthwash for six weeks significantly reduced oral microflora by inhibiting the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria.
Or to put it more simply, it’s good for your mouth!
10. Protection from Kidney Stones
Cranberry juice can diminish the urinary overload of brushite and monosodium urate and reduce the risk of brushite stone formation which causes a certain type of kidney stones.
11. Recovery from respiratory infections
The rich source of vitamin C in cranberry juice can prevent upper respiratory tract infections.
Individuals who are tending to get frequent upper respiratory tract infections should drink cranberry juice regularly. Even individuals who have a cold and cough should make a habit of drinking cranberry juice to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
A preliminary study performed in Chicago has found that cranberry juice is effective to prevent pediatric respiratory problems and ear infections by inhibiting specific types of bacterial growth.
12. Alleviate metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome can lead to numerous physiological disorders such as stroke, heart problems, and type-2 diabetes.
We have already mentioned that cranberry juice prevents heart disease and stroke but individuals with type 2-diabetes should also make a conscious effort to drink cranberry juice so long as it is unsweetened.
Other cranberry products like cranberry powder may be an easier alternative and still help lower blood glucose and improve insulin activity due to their flavonoid contents.
13. Delays the aging process
Polyphenol compounds are one of the primary active ingredients loaded in raw cranberries and exert an anti-aging property.
The invention of a novel tool by Guo lab helps to investigate how the polyphenol compounds delay the aging process after entering into the body.
The antioxidant properties of cranberry juice protect against cell damage and helps prevent the aging process. Therefore, drinking cranberry juice regular basis is an easy and effective way to fight against aging.
14. Rheumatoid arthritis relief
Cranberry juice has significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
A clinical trial was performed on women with rheumatoid arthritis to check the therapeutic benefits of cranberry juice.
The results showed that drinking low-calorie cranberry juice reduced the inflammatory biomarkers and provide symptomatic relief to the study participants.
15. Weight loss rather maintaining good health
A clinical trial performed on obese men reported that regular consumption of 500ml of cranberry juice for four weeks helps to lower low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol).
Cranberry juice may not directly help in weight loss, but lowering low-density lipoprotein helps to reduce the cardiovascular risk in obese individuals.
16. Promotes digestive health
Drinking a glass of cranberry juice can normalize an upset stomach according to research.
Proanthocyanidins, flavonols, and hydroxycinnamic acids are present in cranberry juice. These active ingredients produce inhibitory action against the growth of multiple infectious bacteria in the gut.
Cranberry juice also helps to maintain good oral hygiene which is also essential for maintaining digestive health.
17. Stomach ulcers prevention
Helicobacter pylori are one of the primary causes of stomach ulcers. Untreated H. pylori infection may cause stomach cancer also.
Cranberry juice has the potential to suppress the H. pylori infection. A clinical trial confirmed that cranberry juice relieves stomach ulcers by significantly alleviating infection.
Medical researchers also reported that cranberry juice could be used as an adjuvant therapy with lansoprazole, clarithromycin, and amoxicillin therapy for better eradication of H. pylori.
18. Ideal for pregnant women
During pregnancy, the risk of urinary tract infection is higher. Bacteriuria during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, and low birth weight.
Medical experts recommend Cranberry juice as a safe self-treatment option for pregnant women to prevent bacteriuria.
19. Oxidative stress reduction
Cranberry juice is a great source of antioxidants. The polyphenol composition of cranberry juice reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) load.
The Build-up of oxidative stress increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cranberry juice intake scavenges ROS and reduces the risk of such disease conditions.
20. Refreshing drink
Cranberry juice is an ideal refreshing, healthy drink for all ages and a perfect substitute for soda drinks.
21. Dietary supplement
Essential nutrients present in whole cranberries make it an ideal natural dietary supplement.
Fresh fruit juice contains a sufficient amount of vitamins C, E, and K1 and minerals like copper and magnesium.
A nutritionally informative paper reported that pure unsweetened cranberry juice could provide the following of your daily allowance:
- 26% of vitamin C
- 20% of vitamin E
- 15% of copper
- 11% of vitamin K1
- 8% of vitamin B6
All these micronutrients play an important role in upholding your general health.
In 2004, the Journal of Nutrition reported that cranberry extract containing flavonoids had an anti-proliferative activity that could effectively prevent tumor growth and exerts anti-cancer benefits.
Cranberry juice acts as a cancer preventive agent by controlling oxidative stress, inflammation, cell proliferation, cellular density, and adhesion.
23. Skin health benefits
Cranberry juice contains both vitamin C and Vitamin E. Both of these vitamins are essential for skin health.
Vitamin C helps in collagen production. An ongoing clinical trial expects a positive result from cranberry juice in terms of protection against photoaging and improves skin health by minimizing oxidative stress.
24, Promotes hair growth
Cranberry juice can promote hair growth. Vitamin A and C present in this fruit juice nourish hair follicles and prevent hair falling out.
Mix cranberry juice with other base oils like olive oil and castor oil and apply few hours before shampooing hair for a natural conditioner.
25. Risk reduction in post-menopausal women
Heart disease risk is increased in women after menopause. The health benefits of cranberries listed above help to reduce the risk of heart disease in post-menopausal women by reducing their cholesterol levels.
How to prepare a Cranberry cocktail
Another one of the benefits of pure cranberry juice are that you can prepare a super easy vegan, non-alcoholic, fizzy cranberry cocktail recipe in your kitchen by mixing the following ingredients:
- Unsweetened cranberry juice
- Coconut sugar
- Whole cranberry (fresh or frozen)
- Orange juice
- Dried rosemary
- Ice cubes (optional)
Mix all the liquid ingredients and add roughly one chopped cranberry and one teaspoon of dried rosemary. Pour into a tumbler and add ice cubes for a refreshing pick me up.
So there you have it, the benefits of pure cranberry juice are vast, and should definitely be included as part of your daily routine!
For other fantastic natural supplements that you need, check out our articles on the benefits of chlorella and why tart cherries could be the most important supplement you’ve never heard of!