It’s really tempting for us to see those glossy red inviting tiny globes of cranberries!! Cranberry- the juicy plump fruit is considered as one of the healthiest choice. They are dwarf, creeping shrub or vine, which grows up to 10 to 20 cm in height. Cranberries are usually found in abundance in acidic sandy bogs throughout cooler parts of Europe, Northern states in United States and Canada.
The berry is acidic in taste and has a pH range of 2.3-2.5.Cranberries top the list of salubrious fruits as they are rich in nutrients and antioxidant content. Cranberries are widely used among Native Americans not only for food and medicine but also for dyeing. Cranberries comprises of constituents such as anthocyanins, terpenes, flavonols, and many other phytonutrients.
Dominant nutrients like Vitamin C and fibers play a vital role in cranberry’s beneficial effects. It’s an astonishing fact that one glass of cranberry juice contains just 46 calories! However, they are like ‘blessing in disguise’ for some people due to unawareness of the health benefits of cranberries.
Benefits of cranberries
· Antibacterial effects – Cranberries have been scientifically studied and analyzed for its antibacterial effects. They seem to work by preventing bacteria causing urinary tract infections (UTI) from sticking to the cells that line the bladder. They are also known to induce shielding to the inner lining of organs which helps from pathogenic interventions.
· Prevents cardiovascular diseases- The antioxidant compound present in cranberries like oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s), flavonoids, peonidin, and quercetin may prevent cardiovascular diseases.
· Promotes good cholesterol – The phytonutrients in cranberries helps the human body to lower the LDL-cholesterol level and promotes HDL-good cholesterol levels in blood. Their unique chemical property helps to keep a balance of HDL cholesterol such that body can properly utilize it in the metabolism.
· Anti-inflammatory effects – The phytonutrients in cranberries are especially effective in reducing the risk of unwanted inflammation. The excessive levels of inflammation around the gums can cause severe damage to tissues that support the teeth. The phytonutrients in cranberries inhibit the progression of those cascade events which causes such inflammation.
· Urinary acidification properties – Intake of cranberries turns urine acidic. Thus, they also helps in the formation of alkaline (calcium ammonium phosphate) stones in the urinary tract.
· Lessens the risk of plaque formation – These red berries lessens the risk of plaque formation in teeth by inhibiting the plaque-causing bacteria to stick on teeth surfaces.
· Effective against cancer, aging and neurological diseases – Consumption of cranberries are found to be effective against cancer, aging and neurological diseases as they hold high amounts of flavonoids phytochemicals.
· Detoxification – Cranberries have great property of detoxifying pathogenic organisms while promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
· Improves immunity – Cranberries are said to ameliorate the immune system. They even alleviate the frequency of cold and flu symptoms.
· Weight loss – Cranberries are loaded with fibers and polyphenols. These elements play key role in weight loss efforts.Wonder struck by the preternatural effects of cranberries? These are only some of the beneficial effects known. Fresh cranberries are usually available from the month of October until December. Fresh or dried cranberries are more effective and nutritious compared to bottled or canned ones. Bottled cranberry drinks which contain added sugar is also less healthier compared to fresh ones.