Cranberries are beautiful little power packed berries that are full of antioxidants which among other things protect your cells from free radicals.The National Institutes of Health has funded research studying cranberries and their effects on heart disease, urinary tract infections and their potential to fight against cancer, viral infections and strokes. Here are some things that the researchers have found.
1. Drinking cranberry juice blocks urinary infections by binding itself to bacteria preventing the bacteria from adhering to cell walls. Women often drink unsweetened cranberry juice to treat these infections.
2. A compound found in cranberries called proanthocyanidine, prevents plaque from forming on teeth. Mouthwashes containing proanthocyanidine have been developed to prevent periodontal disease.
3. In some test subjects drinking cranberry juice on a daily basis for months can kill the H. pylori bacterium which causes stomach cancer and ulcers.
4. Drinking cranberry juice daily increases HDL levels (good cholesterol) and reduces LDL levels (or bad cholesterol).
5. Cranberries may be able to prevent tumors from developing or in the very least keep them from growing rapidly.
6. Early research results are showing that extracts of chemicals in cranberries may help prevent breast cancer cells from multiplying. So far it has only had the test tube test but it is showing positive results.
7. Cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is involved in many chronic and also life threatening diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and most cancers.
8. Cranberries may prevent prostate cancer and they may also inhibit the growth and even spread of breast, lung, colon and other cancerous tumors.
Experts have come believe that it may not be a particular compound, but a group or groups of compounds that bring you the health benefits of cranberries.
In closing, it seems like a no brainer that adding cranberries or cranberry juice to your healthy lifestyle is a great idea 🙂