According to a study, the cranberry ranks among the top fruits used historically for relieving many ailments and symptoms. These include bladder, stomach, and intestinal problems, diabetes, inflammations, etc. The berries rank among the most popular dietary supplements for treating urinary tract infections, also known as UTIs.
The berries are used in extracts, tablets, powders, and capsules, but none of these packs the same wellness punch that fresh berries provide. Part of the health benefit comes from the incredibly tart flavor in beverages and foods. When prepared in a way to balance the tartness, the flavor of cranberries can be sublime.
The tart berries rank among the top foods that relieve vitamin deficiencies because they provide many nutrients like vitamins C and E. Furthermore, the nih.gov report quoted a 2016 study that found the berries significantly reduced bacterial pathogens in urine after adding them to nursing home patient diets for six months.
The 10 Most Popular Benefits of Fresh Cranberry
Eating fresh cranberries might be an acquired taste for some people, but it’s an easy taste to acquire. You can add the berries to smoothies, trail mix, grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes. Or, make your sauce from whole berries, and you’ll never go back to eating the jellied version just once a year. The berries are great cuisine, and they provide the following health benefits:
1. Natural Antioxidants with Anti-inflammatory Benefits
The cranberry, ounce for ounce, provides some of the strongest antioxidant effects for cleansing your system of impurities. Only blueberries deliver a higher antioxidant effect. The research shows that adding berries to your dietary staples can lower the level of C-reactive protein in the blood.
Inflammation increases the level of C-reactive protein, but the berries provide a natural way to remove free radicals from the blood. According to webmd.com, fresh cranberries have an antioxidant capacity of 8,983, which is only surpassed by blueberries. The berries last a long time when sealed in plastic bags in your refrigerator – up to 2 months.
2. Greater Ability to Fight the Signs of Aging
Free radicals are waste products that accumulate in the body. They can cause oxidative damage, which results in other health risks and premature aging. The antioxidant properties of the berries help to remove free radicals, which prevents the worst effects of aging.
3. Strengthening the Cardiovascular System
Advances in nutrition have been increasingly linked to cranberry bioactive ingredients. Cardiovascular health is a major benefit of adding the berries to your dietary regimen. Most experts attribute the positive cardio effects to better urinary tract health, antioxidant effects, and the lipoproteins of the berries.
Inflammation damages blood vessels. Your damaged arteries attract more plaque, which can cause the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. The berries relieve inflammation and promote better circulation. An additional study found that obese men improved several common risk factors for heart attacks after drinking a high-polyphenol cranberry-type beverage for eight weeks.
4. Supporting Better Digestive Health
Evidence of the benefits of adding fresh berries to foods includes better digestive health. Nutritionists and clinicians believe that the unique phytochemicals play a big role in digestive health by inhibiting the production of the H. pylori bacterium.
The cranberry juice – not juice derived from concentrate – delivers d-mannose, a sugar, and other extracts that adhere to the walls of the urinary tract, where they help to prevent and treat UTIs. Further evidence comes from a report that the berries inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses.
Maybe the most significant benefit for digestive health resides in the berry’s tart and unique flavor. Enjoying the food requires a careful balancing act of the major tastes if you hope to produce umami. That balancing process keeps you grounded and responsive to mental, spiritual, and physical health issues, which are too often ignored.
5. Triggering Weight Loss
Berries like cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries are high in the anthocyanins that curb your appetite and trigger weight loss. The berries are naturally high in fiber, low in calories, and high in nutrients, which make them ideal foods for most dietary regimens.
You can eat the berries in lots of foods to add a tart flavor and balance sweet and salty flavors. You can also add dried berries to trail mix, juice the berries, or add them to smoothies using natural sweeteners for a better nutritional profile.
6. Preventing Gum Disease
Antioxidants in the berries, also known as proanthocyanidins, prevent bacteria from sticking to the gums and throat. That means better oral health and fewer instances of gum disease. Dental researchers found that the berry juice acted like Teflon for the teeth, lips, gums, and throat.
The juice also disrupts the buildup of plaque on the teeth, which is composed of walls of bacteria. However, you need to make your juice and avoid juices with lots of added sugar. Otherwise, the beneficial effect is neutralized by cavity-causing sugar.
7. Boosting Your Immune System
According to independent research at Rutgers, cranberries protect cells from the effects of free radicals, which increases immune system efficiency. The National Institutes of Health have funded many studies on the health benefits of these tart and refreshing berries.
The berries kill H. pylori bacteria, improves circulation, fights infections and inflammations, and reduce the risks of cancer. Proanthocyanidine in the berries prevents plaque formation and gum diseases, which is an added boost to your immune system.
8. Providing Healthy Energy between Meals
Cranberries make great snack foods or beverages between meals for an energy boost. Instead of drinking caffeinated beverages and energy drinks, you can turn a natural alternative for a quick pick-me-up.
One cup of raw berries has only 46 calories but 4.6 grams of dietary fiber. So you can get 26 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and 20 percent of your need for vitamin E. You also get a healthy dose of copper, vitamin K1, and vitamin B6.
9. Cleansing and Detoxifying the Liver
According to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov,
“The liver plays a vital role in all of the body’s detoxifying processes. The liver converts lipophiles into metabolites that are more water-soluble, which helps to eliminate them from the body.”
However, the liver itself needs detoxifying. Cranberries provide antibacterial and antiviral protection, which helps to detoxify the liver. The berries also work to clean the blood of wastes and impurities.
10. Fighting the Risks of Cancer
Claiming that the berries can cure cancer would be irresponsible. However, adding them to your daily food intake can reduce some of the risks. Of course, better health, weight, and nutrition management can help to prevent cancer. And these berries provide all these benefits. Additionally, cranberries stimulate physical, mental, and spiritual health through the mind-body connection.
Real-world negative energy can cause a severe imbalance in the body’s performance. Even the smallest negative issue can aggravate mental, physical, and spiritual problems. However, it’s not the actual problem that has a major effect on your health. The imbalance of performance energy can prove seriously detrimental to health, mental focus, and spiritual attitude. However, the cranberry is an excellent food that restores balance to your mind-body connection.
The Bitter and Sweet: Striking a Balance
You can add cranberry to any diet to get the benefits of fresh fruit and a balance between sweet and tart flavors. Great foods always require achieving a balance. Furthermore, you can adjust the balance of your favorite dishes by adding a few berries to get your ideal flavor profile between sour, salty, sweet, and bitter. According to many mind-body experts, achieving the perfect balance produces a fifth taste – umami.
The berries are a good source of vitamins E and C, which are antioxidants. Besides, the fruit also has lots of fiber because the peels are eaten. You can add berries to oatmeal, cereal, homemade bread, muffins, and pancakes. Indeed, many people add these berries to sweet dishes for a balanced flavor.
If you don’t want to balance cranberry tartness with refined sugar, you can use honey, orange juice, and other natural sweeteners. Here’s an excellent idea for gourmet food lovers: Make a salsa using the tart berries and other flavor-balancing ingredients.
Choose Juices Wisely
Many cranberry-type drinks contain corn syrup, water, and other ingredients. Choose juices made of 100-percent cranberry juice for the best results when incorporating the berries into your daily foods. Ideally, you should make your juice or smoothie with natural sweeteners and healthy ingredients.