Keeping health into consideration, cranberries due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content are often referred to as Superfood. Half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories. There are several health benefits of cranberries like:
- They are good for the heart.
- They are fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in sodium and a good source of dietary fiber.
- Cranberries are rich in the types of polyphenols associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
- Cranberries contain flavonoids and other natural compounds that promote good health.
- Cranberry juice contains a high amount of salicylic acid which can help reduce swelling, prevent blood clots
- They are rich in antioxidants with an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score of 9,584 units per 100 g.
- Cranberries can be frozen for up to 1 year.
Medical uses of Cranberry
Cranberries are very efficient in the prevention of several diseases. In old times, Indians used to brew cranberry poultices to draw poison from arrow wounds and in tea to calm nerves as well as using the juice as a dye. Considering the present-day lifestyle cranberries could be effective in many disorders like:
- The bioactive component, referred to as SSGG fraction, is found in cranberry can help prevent UTIs (Urinary Tract Infection).
- Proanthocyanidins in cranberries that help prevent UTIs may also be beneficial for oral health by preventing bacteria from binding to teeth. It may also be beneficial in gum diseases.
- Cranberries also contain phytonutrients. This gives them an anti-inflammatory property which can prevent damage to blood vessels over a course of time.
- Phytonutrients in cranberries could help guard against inflammation, delaying the process and offering protection against heart disease.
- The same compounds that help protect the heart also improve your digestive system function. They can prevent the bacteria (H. pylori), from growing and multiplying in the stomach lining, preventing ulcers.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of cranberry are effective against inflammation caused in the lungs by influenza.
- There is also some evidence that cranberry juice can help to prevent dental plaque that builds up on teeth and causes gum disease.
- Cranberries help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals. Free radicals contribute to the aging process and may also be risk factors for developing chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
- They are highly beneficial in slowing down tumor progression and have shown positive effects against prostate, liver, breast, ovarian, and colon cancers.
- Cranberry juice helps to prevent certain types of Haemophilus influenza, which is a common cause of ear and respiratory infections in children.
- Fresh cranberry juice helps in fighting against infection and also cures a cold and sore throat.
- It’s rich in organic acid which makes it good for the purpose of weight loss in obese people.
- Due to the high amount of acid concentration, it prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Nutritional Benefits of Cranberry
Cranberries are rich in nutrients like Vitamin C, Fiber and Vitamin E.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant block some of the damage caused by free radicals. It also helps in boosting immunity and building up resistance against infectious diseases. In old times sailors used to carry cranberries to avoid Scurvy.
- Intake of high fibers in high amounts significantly reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and some intestinal diseases. It also helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance weight loss for obese individuals.
- Vitamin E due to its antioxidant nature helps in preventing or delaying chronic diseases related to free radicals.
Apart from this, cranberries also contain Vitamin K, manganese and a large variety of phytonutrients that help prevent free radicals. They also have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties.