As a fruit, cranberry is expected to provide great nutritional value and be good for the health. But aside from the usual vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that fruits typically offer, cranberry also boasts a host of other health benefits that may help those who are suffering from or are prone to various health conditions.
Cranberry benefits many aspects of your wellbeing. This explains why it is often called a “superfood.” In the US, cranberry is a popular ingredient during Thanksgiving. But as you will see on the list below, its usefulness goes way beyond the confines of the Thanksgiving table.
More about cranberry
Cranberries are small, tart berries that are native to North America. For this reason, it’s more frequently used as a kitchen ingredient in the US and Canada as opposed to other parts of the world like Asia and the Philippines.
However, the popularity of cranberry as a health supplement is more apparent all over the globe. More and more people recognize cranberry’s uses and health benefits. Although fresh cranberries are a bit harder to find outside North America, you will frequently see it being sold in the form of pills, juices, and capsules in most countries.
Cranberries contain a bunch of vitamins and antioxidants that are good for the health. Some of the active compounds present in cranberries also help improve urinary, cardiovascular, oral, and digestive health.
8 ways cranberry benefits your body
Here are eight different ways cranberry supplements benefit the body.
1. Cranberry extract can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTI).
Research shows that cranberry supplements may help prevent urinary tract infections.
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urethra, ureter, bladder, or kidneys—basically any part of the urinary system. However, note that most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract (where the urethra and bladder belong). UTIs can affect anyone, but they are more common in women than men. UTI is painful and frustrating at best, and potentially life-threatening at worst.
Proanthocyanidin, which is a compound found in cranberries, helps prevent UTIs by preventing the bacteria E. coli from adhering onto the lining of the bladder and urethra. As a result, bacteria won’t be able to grow, take over, and eventually infect the lower urinary tract.
This natural property of cranberries makes them great for maintaining and promoting urinary tract health.
A 2012 study with 1616 subjects found that cranberry products have a protective effect against UTIs. In addition, cranberry fruit powder was found to help reduce the risk of UTIs among women with a history of it.
While it’s not clear whether cranberry supplements can replace traditional antibiotics at helping manage this said condition, it’s clear that cranberry products can help prevent UTIs from happening in the first place—which may ultimately lead to a reduced need for antibiotics administration.
2. It provides potent antioxidant support.
Antioxidants are hardworking molecules that guard the body against the damaging effects of free radicals. Now, did you know that cranberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, more so than many other fruits?
Cranberry’s antioxidant content is truly superb, which is why it is highly prized as an antioxidant source. In fact, cranberries contain compounds that are more effective against free radicals than Vitamin E, which is one of the body’s most active and chief antioxidants.
Free radicals are unstable atoms or molecules that can cause damage to healthy cells. Among the unpleasant effects of free radicals in the body are oxidative stress and aging. What’s more, free radical damage is linked to diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
In one study, supplementation with cranberry capsules led to a reduction in oxidative stress in the body after eight weeks.
Cranberry supplements containing cranberry powder are an excellent source of antioxidants. in fact, supplements contain even more antioxidants than fresh cranberries or products like cranberry jelly.
What’s more, taking cranberry supplements is a great way to enjoy its health benefits without the added sugar that usually comes with juices and mixes. This issue becomes even more important after one study found that fructose in cranberry beverages can contribute to oxidative stress.
3. Cranberry extract supports heart and cardiovascular health.
The compounds found in cranberries have been found to help improve heart and cardiovascular health through the following actions:
- Lowering the risk of heart disease
- Preventing LDL cholesterol oxidation
- Reducing inflammation
- Raising good cholesterol levels
Flavonoids in cranberries have been found to reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (aka bad cholesterol) in men. High levels of oxidized LDL in the body is linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases. As such, supplementing your diet with cranberry may help lower the risk of such diseases.
Polyphenols in cranberry further help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by reducing blood pressure, fighting inflammation, and preventing platelet build-up.
A study conducted among abdominally obese men found that cranberry consumption is linked to higher levels of HDL cholesterol (aka good cholesterol) in the body. The polyphenolic compounds found in cranberries are thought to be responsible for this effect. According to the same study, eating flavonoid-rich foods like cranberries is a good way to protect cardiovascular health.
Finally, a study involving healthy overweight men and women found similar results. According to the research, long-term consumption of cranberry lowers inflammation and improves good cholesterol levels.
4. It may help reduce blood sugar levels.
Several studies have found that cranberries may help reduce blood sugar levels and be of help to those who suffer from diabetes.
Cranberry juice was found to reduce blood glucose among type 2 diabetic males. Similarly, a study among 56 adults found that drinking cranberry juice twice daily led to improved glucose levels and insulin resistance.
It’s worth noting that cranberries are found to help with glucose regulation both among both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. This suggests that this particular benefit of cranberry may be useful for most people.
5. Cranberry may help fight cancer.
You already know that the antioxidants found in cranberries can help fight cancer-causing free radicals. But as it appears, there’s more to cranberry’s cancer-fighting properties than that.
Animal studies show that proanthocyanidins from cranberry inhibit the activity of esophageal cancer cells in mice. Also, in vivo studies have shown cranberry’s inhibitory action against cancers of the stomach, bladder, colon, glioblastoma, lymphoma, and prostate.
6. It may benefit oral health.
Cranberry’s effect on bacterial growth may also benefit oral health.
According to research, components found in cranberries help fight cavities as they inhibit acid production and prevent Streptococcus mutans bacteria from attaching to your teeth. What’s more, cranberry compounds may also help prevent gum disease.
According to a biologist from the University of Rochester, cranberry disrupts glucan from forming. Glucan is the building block of plaque, whose presence usually leads to tooth decay.
It’s also interesting to note that cranberry-infused mouthwash was found to be just as effective as traditional mouthwash at reducing bacterial presence in the mouth.
While it’s unclear whether cranberry capsules will give the same effect as liquid cranberry products, these findings show that cranberry’s bacteria-disrupting properties—the same properties that make it great at preventing UTI—are truly present and significant.
7. Cranberry may protect against stomach ulcers.
Speaking of disrupting bacteria, cranberry has also been shown to help protect against stomach ulcers.
Stomach ulcers happen when bacteria called H. pylori infect the stomach. Fortunately, studies investigating the effect of cranberry compounds on H. pylori show that it can indeed suppress infection in populations that frequently get stomach ulcers.
Likewise, regular consumption of cranberry products helped eradicate H. pylori among women and children. Another study also concluded that supplementing traditional antibiotic treatments with cranberry may help improve the effectiveness of the treatment.
8. Cranberry supplements help boost immunity.
The nutrients and bioactive compounds contained in cranberries are known to help improve immune function and help reduce infections.
A 2013 study found that consuming cranberry powder helped improve the function of epithelial cells, which serve as the first line of defense against infections. Moreover, compounds in cranberry juice were found to have a positive impact on immunity and may help reduce flu symptoms.
Best cranberry supplement in the Philippines
Are you looking to buy cranberry supplements for yourself or a loved one?
When choosing health supplements, going for a brand that is known for quality, reliability, and value is important. You wouldn’t want to compromise your health or waste your hard-earned money buying something that is of poor quality.
This is why Puritan’s Pride Cranberry capsules are your best bet. Manufactured by one of the most well-known and trusted health and wellness brands in the US, every Puritan’s Pride product is made with quality, precision, and effectiveness in mind.
Puritan’s Pride Cranberry supplements are now available in the Philippines through www.purtiansprideph.com. Each capsule of this supplement contains 500 mg of cranberry concentrate, which is equivalent to 25,000 mg of fresh cranberries. Learn more about it by clicking this link!