Cranberry: Benefits and Uses
Cranberries have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Cranberry industry is now growing known for its role in wellness.
Cranberries belong to the family of heather and are also related to other berries such as lingonberries, bilberries, and blueberries.
North American cranberry is the most grown common species, but its other types are naturally found.
Cranberry fruit is typically eaten in raw form due to its sour taste.
They are also consumed as a juice, which is formed by blending with other fruit juices.
Some of the other cranberry products are dried cranberries, powders, sauces, and extracts used for supplements.
Cranberries contain a rich amount of plant compounds and essential vitamins. Some of them are known to be effective for urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Cranberry benefits and uses
1. Cranberry tablets for Stomach Cancer and Ulcers
Stomach cancer is one of the common types of death-causing cancers globally.
The bacterium called Helicobacter pylori causes an infection that is known to be causing stomach inflammation, ulcers, and stomach cancer.
Cranberries also contain healthy plant compounds such as A-type proanthocyanidins, which may prevent H. pylori from binding to the stomach lining and further reduces the risk of stomach cancer.
2. Cranberry capsules for Heart
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the main causes of death around the world.
Cranberries have some essential antioxidants that are quite beneficial for the health of the heart. They are proanthocyanidins, quercetin, and anthocyanins.
Human studies indicated that cranberry extract or juice might provide benefits for heart disease. Some of the cranberry products may help in:
- Decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in people having diabetes
- Lowering blood pressure
- Increasing the levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
- Decreasing stiffness within blood vessels in people with heart disease
- Protecting bad cholesterol from oxidation
3. Cranberry for Prevention of UTIs
Urinary tract infections are known as common bacterial infections, especially in women.
They are typically caused by the bacterium called Escherichia coli present in the intestine that binds to the lining of the urinary tract and bladder.
Cranberries have unique plant compounds called phytonutrients such as condensed tannins or A-type proanthocyanidins.
This A-type proanthocyanidin inhibits the attachment of E. Coli to the surface of the urinary tract and bladder. That’s why cranberries are considered as the preventive measure for UTIs.
Side Effects of Cranberry supplements
Cranberries and their products are generally considered safe when consumed in moderate amounts.
But their excessive amounts can cause stomach issues and diarrhea. It may also enhance the risk of kidney stones, especially in at-risk people.
· Kidney Stones
Kidney stones result from the high concentration of some minerals in urine, which also causes pain. Its risk can be minimized by diet.
Typically kidney stones contain calcium oxalate. High amounts of oxalate present in your urine are one of the major risk factors for kidney stones.
Concentrated cranberry extracts contain rich amounts of oxalate. That is why it is considered a big risk for kidney stones if you consume them in large amounts.
Cranberries are mostly consumed in many forms, such as dried form, juice, or in supplements form.
They are considered a rich source of some minerals and vitamins. They also contain a rich amount of some essential plant compounds.
Some of those compounds contribute to preventing health conditions such as heart disease, UTIs and stomach cancer.