Cranberries, like other fruits and vegetables, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and folate. In its unsweetened form, cranberry juice can provide many health benefits in addition to supplying some energy, carbohydrates and protein. Although research is insufficient to produce concrete claims, studies indicate that cranberry juice may be helpful in preventing urinary tract infections, heart disease and cavities.
Preventing Repeated Urinary Tract Infections
Cranberry juice may help block bacteria from clinging to your cells
Drinking a glass of cranberry juice everyday may assist in the prevention of urinary tract infections for those who are repeatedly afflicted by such a condition. Researchers believe that the chemical composition of cranberries may stop bacteria from sticking to urinary tract cells, where the cells could otherwise adhere to and multiply. Although drinking cranberry juice is by no means fool-proof, it may lower the risk of developing such an infection, a benefit that can be extremely valuable to those who continue to deal with such off-again and on-again problems.
See a doctor if you have an issue right now
Once an infection is already present, cranberries seem ineffective at removing bacteria that is already stuck to the tract lining. This is why drinking the juice is not considered a treatment for those who are currently suffering from urinary tract infections. If you have a problem right now, go ahead and set up an appointment with your doctor before your condition worsens.
Drink a pure cranberry juice with no added sweeteners
When it comes to preventing infection, drinking pure and unsweetened cranberry juice is the best option so skip out on the cranberry cocktails or other versions that contain added sugar. Although there aren’t specific guidelines for how much to drink, you can use your taste buds, calorie needs and wallet as a guide. If you don’t mind drinking an eight ounce glass a day and are budgeting the beverage into your calorie count and financial resources well, then drink a glass daily.
Take additional healthy measures to lower your risk of urinary tract infections
In conjunction with a regular routine of drinking cranberry juice, you can also help prevent urinary tract infections by drinking plenty of water and urinating often. If the juice aggravates your stomach or produces any other uncomfortable side effects, stop drinking the cranberry juice and talk with a doctor about the likelihood of cranberry extract supplements being a good fit for you and about other preventative methods that might help in your situation.
Be careful if you are on any medications
If you are taking certain medications, cranberry juice may interfere with the efficacy of the drugs and can even produce dangerous consequences. If you’re on any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, do your research or talk with a medical professional to make sure starting up a regular consumption of cranberry juice won’t negatively conflict with your medication needs.
Lowering The Risks Of Heart Disease
Antioxidants decrease the chance of atherosclerosis by reducing bad cholesterol
When arteries narrow due to fat and cholesterol build-up, the flow of oxygen-rich blood is limited and can lead to serious conditions including a heart attack or stroke. This artery-narrowing disease is known as atherosclerosis, but cranberries actually have antioxidant properties that may decrease this threat by delaying the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins and reducing cholesterol build-up.
Cranberry juice can also increase good cholesterol
In addition to lowering low-density lipoproteins, which are known as bad cholesterol, drinking cranberry juice may actually be able to increase high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol for an added boost in fighting heart disease and reducing the risks of related cardiovascular ailments. In studies, participants saw significant improvement from drinking two glasses everyday.
Protecting Your Teeth And Gums
Cranberry juice may help prevent cavities
Just like cranberry juice may be able to block bacteria from clinging to your bladder, cranberry juice may also block cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your teeth, preventing infections and tooth decay. An important fact to note, however, is that we’re talking about pure and unsweetened cranberry juice. Any anticavity powers contained in the juice can easily be overcome when you’re dealing with sweetened options that drown your teeth in sugar.
Drinking the juice may also lower the risks of gum disease
Cranberries may also possess disease-preventing capabilities when it comes to gum health as well, making cranberry juice an all-around treatment when it comes to mouth care. More research is still needed so hold off on gratuitously swishing the juice around your mouth for minutes at a time because both the benefits and side effects still have lingering question marks that surround the scene. If you really want to stay on top of your dental hygiene, make sure to regularly brush, floss and visit your dentist.
Figuring Out What Suits Your Needs
The juice form of cranberries may cause abdominal discomfort for some
If you’re trying to figure out what approach you should take to incorporating cranberry juice into your daily diet, don’t hesitate to talk with a medical professional about dosages and specific products. Regularly drinking cranberry juice may upset your stomach or cause diarrhea. Pregnant women may be particularly susceptible to these side effects even when consuming lower doses of the juice. In your particular circumstances, you may be interested in looking at cranberry-based supplements that can still provide health benefits but possibly without any abdominal side effects.
If your taste buds can’t handle unsweetened cranberry juice, recognize the drawbacks of regularly drinking an artificially-enhanced pick
The taste of cranberry juice certainly isn’t for everyone, but you should realize that cranberry-based picks with added sweeteners can come with added calories. If you have diabetes, weight problems or other health conditions that warrant caution, analyze the situation accordingly. If you have food sensitivities, also note that many sweetened cranberry juices contain high-fructose corn syrup so you may need to carefully read nutrition labels to find an option that suits all of your needs.