Cranberries are one of the least consumed fruits. Oftentimes, these tart fruits are only enjoyed on the holidays. Despite their lack of attention, they offer many health benefits. They are loaded with nutrients and provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection. Let's take a look at the top ten benefits that cranberries offer.
Cranberries are low calorie foods
These tart berries are a great addition to your diet. These fruits are high in a plethora of vitamins and minerals. Obesity is a health issue associated with a number of dangerous diseases and illnesses. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to reduce their calories without sacrificing their health. Strict diets may help you lose weight, but do not provide you with the nutrients your body needs for optimal health.
One cup of cranberries has a mere 46 calories. In addition to this, you will receive a plethora of nutrients, including 18 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 16 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber.
Cranberries benefit oral health
Cranberries contain antioxidants that prevent bacteria from growing and sticking to the gums, teeth, and surfaces in the oral cavity. The antioxidants provide therapeutic agents that help prevent and manage periodontitis, which is an inflammatory disease that affects the tissues that support the teeth. Additionally, these delicious and nutritious berries can help prevent tooth decay and keep teeth healthy.
Cranberries help fight cancer
Cancer is often aggressive and can lead to death if not caught early. Because of how quickly cancer can advance, researchers are looking for methods to prevent cancer from occurring. Studies have shown that cranberries provide protection against several types of cancers, including colon, esophagus, prostate, and bladder cancer. In addition to this, it can reduce the risk of developing lymphoma cancer.
Cranberries help improve digestion
Fiber is an important part of digestive health. It helps support gut health and healthy bowel movements. Fiber comes in two forms – soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and slows down digestion to help regulate glucose levels. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve and adds bulk to your stool to relieve constipation.
Cranberries are beneficial to one's digestive health. Each cup of these nutritious berries provides you with 4.6 grams of fiber. If you suffer from constipation, adding these berries to your diet can help improve bowel movements and improve your digestive health.
Cranberries help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Cranberries have been shown to lower several risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. These tasty fruits can help lower low density lipoproteins, increase high density lipoproteins, and lower systolic blood pressure readings. In addition to this, a cranberry supplement can help reduce an individual's body mass index.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries that cause plaque to stick to the walls of the arteries. The phytonutrients in cranberry supplements, juices, and fruits are powerful compounds that can reduce the risk and delay the onset of cardiovascular disease.
Cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections
A urinary tract infection (UTI) can occur in any area of the urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters. Typically this type of infection occurs in the lower portion of the urinary tract. Although males and females can develop a UTI, females are at a higher risk of developing an infection.
Cranberries contain proanthocyanins, which are a class of polyphenols that give flowers and fruit their purple, red, or blue color. This pigment is also a powerful antioxidant that decreases bacteria's ability to stick to the urinary tract walls, which lowers the risk of developing a urinary tract infection. If you experience UTIs often, eating cranberries, drinking cranberry juice, or taking a supplement can reduce the risk of developing a UTI.
Cranberries protect against ulcers
Ulcers can be excruciating and difficult to heal. Oftentimes, stomach ulcers are caused by the H. pylori bacteria. These healthy, tart berries work to prevent H. pylori from attaching to the lining of your stomach and multiplying. In addition to this, the nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and Vitamin E can help ease the symptoms of a stomach ulcer and heal the lining of the stomach.
Cranberries help regulate blood sugar readings
Individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes must choose healthy foods with a low glycemic index to help regulate blood sugar levels. Cranberries are a low glycemic food. They are digested and metabolized slowly, which can reduce the risk of glucose spikes. Additionally, these tangy red berries can help improve insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugar regulation. Those suffering from metabolic syndrome can also benefit from cranberry supplementation or consumption.
Cranberries increase immunity
Cranberries are loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants that help with immunity These berries have been shown to improve the digestive tract, provide anti-inflammatory protection, and increase antioxidants in the body. These nutrients balance the bacteria in the digestive tract to promote immune health. These potent fruits also help the body eliminate free radicals, aid in collagen formation, and protect against sun damage.
What are the risks associated with cranberries and cranberry supplements?
Cranberries offer a number of health benefits; however, certain individuals should avoid consuming a lot of these berries or using a cranberry supplement. As with any supplement, always consult your physician to see if cranberry supplementation is right for you.
Those who are taking a blood thinning medication like Coumadin should avoid eating large amounts of cranberries or taking a supplement. Studies have shown that these bright red tart berries may increase the anti-clotting effects of the medication and lead to an increased risk of bleeding.
Individuals who have a history of kidney stones may not be able to supplement or eat this potent fruit as it can increase the risk of higher levels of oxalate in the urine. Those who suffer from calcium oxalate kidney stones should avoid increasing their intake of cranberries.
Cranberries are a delicious superfood that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. This potent fruit contains a plethora of health boosting nutrients. Cranberries are filled with bioactive plant compounds including quercetin, myricetin, tannins, and ursolic acid. These compounds have been used for years in traditional herbal medicine and provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection.
Taking a cranberry supplement or consuming cranberries regularly will lower the risk of a number of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, urinary tract infections, periodontitis, and cardiovascular disease. These fruits promote digestive health, naturally increase immunity, and neutralize free radicals in the body. Finally, regular consumption can lower bad cholesterol levels, reduce systemic inflammation, and improve oral health.