When we think about berries, what usually do you think? Its characteristic taste and color. The berry shrubs give a pretty picture. These colorful berries hang in a bunch against bright green leaves. And I feel the most beautiful and richest amoung them has to be cranberry, right?
Aside from to the color, it has an enormous nutritional value. Cranberries are considered superfood because of their nutrients and vitamins.
Cranberries are evergreen shrubs from the UK and North America. They belong to the family Vaccinium and have the characteristic strong and sharply taste, similar to lingonberries and blueberries.
Why Are Cranberries Good For You?
Cranberries owe their superpowers to the presence of flavonoids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, organic acids, and polyphenolic compounds, as well as high levels of vitamin C and fiber. These bioactive substances combine weave magic and heal your body from various stresses.
What is so special about these berries that make it a mandatory inclusion to your diet? When you search for an answer on Google, the first success that will pops up will be their use to treat urinary tract infections (UTI). Read on to find out more!
Amazing Benefits Of Cranberries
1. Lower Bad Cholesterol (LDL)
Cranberries, when consumed in the right quantities, stimulates the production of good cholesterol (HDL). Polyphenolic compounds regulate the volume of triglycerides and HDL in the blood. This, in turn, protects your body from a heart attack, diabetes, and obesity.
2. Protect The Cardiovascular System
By lowering LDL and associated triglyceride levels in the blood, cranberries can prevent heart attacks and cardiac arrest. The anti-inflammatory compounds they contain regulate blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.
3. Improve Gut Health
Responsible for this activity are the pigments (proanthocyanidins), which give the blueberries their characteristic color. According to a study, these compounds do not allow harmful microbes to affect the gut. They also repair the inner lining of intestinal cells and heal stomach ulcers and constant wear and tear.
4. Protect The Kidneys From Infections
Left untreated, urinary tract infections can spread to the kidneys, the worst thing to do! You may need to take large doses of antibiotics to treat the infection. Such kidney damage can lead to hospitalization. In rare cases, heavy bacteria may relapse, which may also affect other vital organs.
Thanks to the anthocyanidins present in them, cranberries are particularly effective in protecting against inflammation.
5. Cure Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
The name and fame of cranberries are based on their ability to cure and prevent urinary tract infections. Flavonoids prevent bacteria from adhering to the internal lining of urinary tract cells. Since bacteria can not grow without adhering to a surface (adhesion) in our body, they are eliminated.
6. Give You Shiny Skin
One of the main reasons for cranberries could be shiny skin. With around 98% water, 24% vitamin C and high antioxidants, cranberries are the perfect food for shiny skin.
7. Reduce Infections During Pregnancy
Similar to how they combat urinary tract infections, the active components in cranberry reduce the risk of bacterial infections during pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, they do not cause congenital malformations of the fetus or postpartum complications in women when taken within the limits.
8. Prevent Cancer And Boost Immunity
Research in 2016 shows that including cranberries in your diet protects you from 17 different cancers. Anti-inflammatory polyphenols and antioxidants stop the proliferation of cancer cells and metastases and inhibit the formation and growth of tumors.
These berries increase the activity and the number of certain cell types of immune system (B cells, NK cells, etc.) as well as certain enzymes that are involved in the defense mechanisms.
9. Treat Oral Infections
Cranberries can also delight your teeth. Studies show that anti-inflammatory compounds reduce the formation of biofilms on the teeth and gums, which can lead to infections and tooth decay.
10. Might Treat Prostate Disorders
Due to its action on the urinary tract and the treatment of urinary tract infections, cranberry extract can help treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and related disorders. Although research is in short supply, it seems cranberries can also help treat prostate
I have a thought that comes to mind when I read these benefits. Would not it be nice if I could find these berries all year round? You would have a unique solution for all (or almost) problems!
It’s possible I’m sure you’ve probably heard of dried cranberries. Let’s see what the best are.
Fresh Cranberries Against Dried Cranberries
Fresh cranberries contain a lot of vitamin C, carbohydrates, water and potassium. In contrast, dried cranberries lose these components while retaining high levels of sugar and carbohydrates. Dried cranberries taste sweeter than fresh cranberries, but they have to be used sparingly because of their sugar content.
So, if you’re looking for a nutritious snack that will not fill your stomach and satisfy your hunger pangs, fresh cranberries are more effective. Fresh cranberries can be added to enhance the taste of salads, sauces, muffins, side dishes, and the main course.
Another option that you can try is frozen cranberries. Frozen cranberries retain most macronutrients and micronutrients. They also contain no excess sugar, fiber and coated additives such as dried cranberries.
Note: The dry and sweet version, which is available in supermarkets, has a higher sugar content than fresh berries. Therefore, choose wisely.
You want cranberries around the clock for the benefits they have. But that could get you into trouble. Here is what could happen:
- Worsen Diabetes
If you have diabetes and regularly include dried (and sweet) cranberries in your diet, you may have high blood sugar. These berries contain sugar, which can increase blood sugar and make your condition worse. Please take care of your entire food intake by a doctor or dietician, especially on sudden diet changes.
- Might React With Certain Drugs
Anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin) can react with bioactive compounds found in cranberries and cause severe bleeding problems. Ask your doctor for a detailed nutritional plan if you are taking anticoagulants or have heart problems.
- Aid The Formation Of Kidney Stones
Due to the high content of oxalates, cranberries can react with calcium present in the body to form deposits (stones), especially in your kidneys. This can happen if you are taking large quantities of cranberry extract or tablets.
Therefore, moderation is the key, and I will not recommend consuming cranberry as an extract without explicit medical advice. Real food is usually optimal.