The top five health benefits of Cranberry Juice are surprising.
History of the cranberry
A native American plant, cranberries were first harvested by native Americans and quickly thereafter, European settlers. Though the health benefits of the cranberry were not scientifically understood, sailors of those times consumed cranberries while aboard ship to ward off “scurvy” (a disease now understood to be an extreme deficiency in vitamin C.)
Real juice, not "juice cocktail"
Studies for unsweetened (NOT sugar-free), not-from-concentrate cranberry juice have shown many surprising health benefits. But keep in mind, real cranberry juice is the dark red, unsweetened juice made from whole cranberries. You can find it in most stores that sell organic vegetables and other health foods. It is not “cranberry juice cocktail.” Be sure to always read the labels before you purchase any juice. You might be buying what amounts to be little more than sugar-water, labeled as a healthy juice drink.
For those who have never tasted the “real stuff,” real cranberry juice might taste quite strong and very tart. I recommend diluting the juice with water to your taste. When mixed with half a glass or more of regular water, it is much less tart, and tastes almost exactly like the sugar-sweetened unhealthier “juice cocktail” varieties.
Top 5 Health Benefits of the Cranberry
1. Prevents painful urinary tract infection
Did you know that modern preservatives in foods have been linked to the rise in urinary tract infections? Cranberry's anti-adhesion properties—or the proanthocyanidins minerals found in the fruit—helps to avoid such infections.
2. Reduces Dental Plaque
This natural beverage has nothing but good news for the teeth and gums. Experts say cranberry juice inhibits the growth of mouth bacteria that causes plaque. So, drink up! A healthy dose of cranberry juice ensures your teeth are fresh and clean all the time.
3. Kidney Stone Prevention
This is still under active medical research, but the presence of quinic acid have experts saying it is possible for cranberry juice to help prevent the development of kidney stones. It makes sense since the cranberry helps rid the body of wastes and bacteria—anything that doesn't belong there.
4. Deter Cancer
Cranberry juice is a good source of polyphenol antioxidants and phytochemicals, both of which are possible deterrents against cancer and disorders of the cardiovascular and immune systems. That's a lot of benefits coming from a small fruit.
5. Yeast Infection
What is yeast infection? It is an overgrowth in the body of a type of naturally occurring bacteria. Yeast infection and fungi overgrowth in Americans has been estimated by the experts to be present in 85% of the population and goes largely undiagnosed, especially in men and children. Surprisingly, doctors estimate that up to 85% of men are affected. They usually suffer in the form of digestive problems and other symptoms and later in life, prostate problems.
Doctors and scientists believe that the cranberry and its juice are very effective in preventing yeast infection. Cranberry juice contains substances that render bacteria unable to cling on the walls of the mouth, intestines, and even the urinary tract. Fresh cranberry juice is effective in flushing out Candida yeasts and other excess cells and fungi from the body.