Cranberries are linked to blueberries, bilberries, and lingonberries and belong to the heather family. The North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is the most widely farmed variety, however additional varieties can be found in nature. Cranberries are hardly eaten raw due to their strong and tart flavour. In reality, they’re most commonly taken in the form of juice, which is usually sweetened and mixed with other fruit liquids. Sauces, dried cranberries, and powders and extracts used in supplements are among the other cranberry-based items. Cranberries are high in a number of beneficial vitamins and plant components, some of which have been found to help with urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Cranberries have proanthocyanidins, which may help prevent germs from adhering to the bladder wall and causing UTIs.
Human studies show that some groups, such as prostate cancer patients, may benefit, although the data is mixed.
Cranberry may also help to keep microorganisms from sticking to the lining of the stomach and other parts of the mouth.
Despite the fact that laboratory studies show action against a variety of cancer cells, these characteristics have yet to be tested in human trials. Cranberry should be avoided by people who are prone to kidney stones since it includes oxalates, a chemical found in the most common kind of kidney stone.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended by all health and nutrition experts. Cranberries, in particular, have a number of health advantages. They are a good source of antioxidants and vitamins. Cranberries were traditionally utilised by Native Americans to cure bladder and renal ailments, while early English immigrants employed them to treat low appetite, stomach complaints, blood abnormalities, and scurvy.
Nutritional properties :
Fresh cranberries contain almost 90% water, with the rest consisting primarily of carbohydrates and fibre.
Cranberries are mostly made up of carbohydrates and fibre. Simple sugars like sucrose, glucose, and fructose are the most common. Insoluble fibres like pectin, cellulose, and hemicellulose, which pass through your stomach nearly intact, make up the rest. Soluble fibre is also found in cranberries. As a result, eating too many cranberries might induce digestive problems, such as diarrhoea. Cranberry juice, on the other hand, has very little fibre and is frequently mixed with other fruit juices and sweetened with sugar.
Cranberries are high in a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin C, often known as ascorbic acid, is one of cranberries’ most powerful antioxidants.
It keeps your skin, muscles, and bones health.
They are a good source of manganese. Manganese is a mineral that is necessary for development, metabolism, and the antioxidant system of the body. They contain vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant necessary for human health.
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) found in cranberries is required for blood coagulation and is also known as phylloquinone.
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and bioactive plant components, notably flavonol polyphenols. Many of these plant components are concentrated in the skin, and in cranberry juice, they are significantly decreased.
Quercetin is cranberries’ most abundant antioxidant polyphenol. They are one of the most common fruit sources of quercetin. Myricetin, a key antioxidant polyphenol found in cranberries, may offer a variety of health benefits. Peonidin, like cyanidin, is responsible for the deep red colour of cranberries as well as some of its health benefits.
Cranberries are one of the best sources of peonidin in the diet.
Cranberries contain ursolic acid which is a kind of sulfuric acid. Ursolic acid is a triterpene molecule that is concentrated in the skin.
It’s included in a variety of traditional herbal remedies and has potent anti-inflammatory properties.
They contain polyphenols known as condensed tannins, that are thought to be helpful against UTIs.
Cranberries are known as a superfood for a reason: they offer several health advantages. Antioxidants are abundant in them.
They contain the greatest quantity of phenols, an antioxidant, out of 20 popular fruits, according to a research. Anthocyanins are abundant in them as well. These berries get their dark red colour from these chemicals.
They may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, according to studies.
Treating UTI :
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most frequent bacterial illnesses, especially among women. The intestinal bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli), which attaches itself to the inner surface of your bladder and urinary system, is the most common cause. Cranberries include A-type proanthocyanidins, which inhibit E. coli from adhering to the lining of your bladder and urinary system, making them a possible UTI preventative strategy. Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry supplements may lower the incidence of UTIs in both children and adults, according to a number of human studies. These findings are backed up by systematic reviews and meta-analyses, particularly for women who have recurrent UTIs.
May help prevent stomach cancer and ulcers :
Stomach cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality around the world. The bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is thought to be a leading cause of stomach cancer, inflammation, and ulcers. Cranberries include A-type proanthocyanidins, which may reduce the risk of stomach cancer by inhibiting H. pylori from adhering to the stomach lining. Drinking 2.1 cups (500 ml) of cranberry juice daily, according to one research of 189 individuals, may dramatically decrease H. pylori infections.
Beneficial for cardiac health :
Polyphenols found in cranberries have shown to be good for heart health. Cranberry products can assist by doing the following:
- Increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels
- decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in diabetic patients
- preventing oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol
- lowering blood vessel stiffness in people with heart disease
- Blood pressure reduction
- lowering homocysteine levels in the blood, thus lowering the risk of blood vessel inflammation.
Slows down the development of cancer :
Cranberries or chemicals found in cranberries showed numerous positive impacts on cancer cells in test tubes, according to a 2016 analysis of 34 preclinical research. They promote cancer cell death, slows down cancer progression and also reduces inflammation. Cranberries may also affect many additional pathways that promote cancer growth and spread, according to the study.Although there has only been limited research on humans with cancer, these findings indicate promise for the future management of specific malignancies in addition to traditional therapies.
Safety and side effects :
When taken in moderation, cranberries and cranberry products are generally safe for most individuals. Excessive intake, on the other hand, can induce stomach distress and diarrhoea, as well as raise the chance of kidney stones in those who are prone to them. Cranberries, particularly concentrated cranberry extracts, can include a lot of oxalates.
As a result, when taken in large quantities, they are considered a risk factor for kidney stones.