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Cranberry – the berry which is often enjoyed in holidays is a must eat throughout the year. Though these berries gained popularity as anti-UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), is famous all over the world for its juice, its unparalleled tart taste and health benefits are what makes it this popular. Along with urinary infection prevention, cranberries are famous since ancient times for heart problems, liver problems and upset stomach, nearly helping every organ system of our body.
Cranberry is actually a “Superfood” because of its nutrient contents are larger than the largest foods in size. The main differentiating components that makes cranberries a superfood is its antioxidant content. No other fruit has this high antioxidant content as cranberries do have. And not just it consist of antioxidants, it also contains other essential nutrients required for better health including the rare phytonutrients. One cup of cranberries can provide you with enough of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, sodium, salicylic acid and dietary fiber. Just keep in mind that all these nutrition and antioxidants are high in fresh cranberries, once dried they have almost same nutrients but their quantity gets reduced, plus they might be loaded with sugar for better taste, which can differentiate the path of benefits.
Here are the benefits that these small berries tend to offer if eaten regularly:
1. Prevents UTI (Urinary Tract Infection):
This type of infection is majorly faced by females because of unhygienic conditions prevailing in the urinating parts of their body, because their excretory system is designed in such a way that it catches bacteria easily. It becomes really painful and irritating at times, but cranberry is something that can help you prevent any such infection and won’t let this problem prevail again. Cranberries have been used since generations for this problem. Actually cranberry contains a unique flavonoid called proanthocyanidins. This flavonoid prevents the adhesion of E.coli and other bacteria to the lining of urinary tract wall and bladder and also removes the already present bacteria. Thus, keeps the way clear and is also known to improvise the quality of urine by stimulating various enzymes in stomach, such that there are fewer chances of any bacteria catch and any problem related to urinary tract. Studies have suggested that taking cranberry or cranberry juice after delivery also proves good for the urinary tract health which is related to bladder also.
2. Healthy Heart:
Heart is one of the most complex and critical part of your body which has to function 24×7 without any breaks, thus any small problem could be harmful for heart. The major problem that generally arises with the heart is the damaging or narrowing of vessels that carry blood from different parts of body to heart and vice versa. And all this happens because of the increase in cholesterol level and inflammation. Inflammation gives rise to the formation of plaque in the vessels and increase of (LDL) low density lipoprotein or you can say bad cholesterol leads to the oxidation of LDL along the walls of vessels which leads to blockage or distortion of vessels, again leading to the blockage in the blood flow, which in turn creates situations prevailing to heart attack and strokes. Cranberry contains phytonutrients and certain antioxidants that prevents the plaque formation and keeps cholesterol levels low so that there is no oxidation and hence less damage to vessels. Furthermore, there are antioxidants in cranberry which are known to take care of blood pressure also, which also helps in avoiding conditions of heart attack and strokes.
3. Dental Health:
There are certain antioxidants present in cranberry which makes cranberry a must food for everyone but particularly children. Children are unaware of most of the problems that may persist in their teeth because of continuous intake of ice creams, chocolates and other candies, and hence are at a greater risk of developing dental problems. But, eating cranberry can take care of all the dental problems. The same flavonoid which helps in UTI also plays its role here again. It doesn’t allow the formation of bacteria anywhere in the mouth, particularly in between teeth, where they accumulate and cause plaque, which may even lead to removal of teeth for its cure. Plus, studies have also showed that cranberry contains certain phytonutrients which prevent cavities in teeth. Not just it, the phytonutrients are also known to reduce inflammation in gums, thus protects you from periodontal disease.
4. Digestive Health:
Your stomach is a place or you can say an organ on which 90% of your health relies. Whatever you eat goes into your stomach for simplification, extraction and from here only the remaining waste goes further on its way for excretion. More than 70% of enzyme activity of our body thus takes place here. But, sometimes uneven and unhygienic food habits may result in development of bacteria which may further cause problems like ulcer and other digestive problems. But, eating cranberry can help you keep such bacterial problems away. The proanthocyanidins present in cranberry fights away the bacteria and doesn’t allow it to stick and thus prevents from inflammation and gastric disorders also. It has been scientifically proven that those who are suffering from ulcer, consumes cranberry, gets 60% faster relief from the problem. Plus, it is also seen that certain antioxidants present in cranberry helps fight obesity also.
5. Immunity Booster:
Anything this rich in antioxidants and containing rare phytonutrients will surely be good for health, but did you know cranberries can help you stay healthier and can keep diseases and problems at bay. It has been found that taking cranberry fruit or juice regularly can boost your immunity levels to its max. The antibacterial properties of certain antioxidants helps fight off diseases as mentioned above, the vitamin C content found in cranberries is a well-known immunity builder, thus adds strength to the existing immune system. Plus, the phytonutrients revitalizes the immune system by fighting off the free radicals which result in several health hazards and it also helps in creation of guard cells (WBC’s) which fight off the foreign bodies responsible for various disorders and health ailments. This is the reason why cranberry juice is a well-known home remedy for cold and cough.
6. Glowing Skin:
Cranberry could become one of your favorite fruit after you read this that cranberries can help you get the skin you always desired for. From nourishing, treating problems and providing glow cranberry does it all. Along with consuming if applied tropically to the skin cranberry can do wonders. Being acidic, it prevents the formation of sebum and thus keeps skin free from excessive oil. The vitamin C content present in cranberries help in the formation of collagen which helps keep skin nourished, soft and healthy that’s why it is suggested to eat cranberries in winter because it can provide the lost nourishment to the skin and protect from the harshness of winters. And being antibacterial, it is also a well-known remedy for treatment of acne which results because of bacteria deposition on skin. Not just this, it has been also found that cranberry can also stop premature aging caused by free radicals if taken regularly.
7. Strong Hair:
Cranberry acts as a natural hair strengthener and can be your one stop remedy to all your hair related problems specially hair fall. Vitamin C and vitamin A present in cranberry act as a binder and makes your hair strong from the roots, hence prevents hair loss. There are several antioxidants which have been found to stimulate the hair growth in the scalp which has not yet lost the fertility and where pores are still open, thus helps increasing the hair cover. The antifungal property of cranberry helps prevent the formation of dandruff on the scalp and also helps fight off the dandruff. And not just it, you would be amazed to know that cranberry juice can also be used as a natural hair color. Just apply the cranberry juice to your hair 15 minutes before bath and just wash your hair as usual, you will get silky, shiny and burgundy colored hair.
8. Sexual Strength:
This might come as a surprise for you, but cranberry has long been used for strengthening the sexual power and virility. Studies have also found that there are antioxidants present in cranberry that stimulates the range of tolerance of penis to make the process of sexual intercourse longer than usual. It contains all essential nutrients required for sexual stamina. It does all the changes that a Viagra does inside body. Vitamin C which is found in good quantities in cranberry is essential for proper functioning of sexual organs. It stimulates the production of sperm in males. While vitamin A on the other hand helps carry oxygen rich blood to the sexual organs which is necessary for an erection and increases the strength of penis during intercourse. Apart from all these cranberries as mentioned above keeps diseases away and it is a well-known fact that when you are free from diseases you will have a better sexual experience.
This is not it, there are still a number of benefits that cranberry offers, but these are the best ones and are backed by several studies. Cranberry apart from these benefits is also linked to provide benefit in preventing cancer because many antioxidants present in cranberry are actually known to keep cancer away, provide relief from inflammation, can help in respiratory ailments, beneficial for eye related disorders also. The list is even longer.
Now after mentioning all the benefits and making you love cranberry I don’t want you to think twice before you eat this super fruit, but yet it’s my duty to warn you of some of its outcomes. Cranberry has been linked to kidney stones, so people suffering from the same or having a family history of same should avoid it. And those who are on the medication related to blood thinning should also confirm once before including it in diet.
I hope I have helped you get the information you were looking for. So, keep sharing it with your loved ones to help them also stay healthy. And needless to mention, keep writing to us and keep commenting if you have any doubts or queries and don’t forget to mention if you have had any personal experience of getting benefit from cranberry.
Eat Natural…!! Stay Healthy…!!