Cranberries have many health benefits to offer such as fighting aging with the many antioxidants they contain, protecting us against cancer, minimizing the occurrences of urinary tract infections (UTI) and at the same time speeding the process of healing from them.
Cranberries vs. cancer
Ellagic acid which is an antioxidant that is contained in cranberries and some other fruits like blueberries, strawberries and grapes gives them the ability to fight off cancer. Research shows that ellagic acid can actually stop DNA distortion thus preventing further development of cancer cells and consequently inhibiting tumor growth. The amazing with cranberries though is the fact that they fight cancer cells after as well as before the onset of it. Furthermore, ellagic acid acts in a way that it prevents metastases. Despite the fact that ellagic acid has been isolated in lab so as to be administered as a drug unfortunately it seems that it can’t be processed by the human body in the same way it does when it comes from natural resources i.e. food consumption. Therefore, developing a healthy eating habit of eating cranberries is one of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of ellagic acid.
Cranberries vitamins C, D and flavonoids
Cranberries have been also found to be a good source of flavonoids an antioxidant that according to research fights free radicals that are responsible for cancer, aging, heart diseases and many serious health problems. In addition cranberries contain few calories and at the same time contain high levels of potassium and vitamin D and Vitamin C.
Urinary Tract Infection and Cranberries
Cranberries have always been considered a home remedy against UTI. Recently this belief has been substantiated by scientific research. A study conducted at Harvard University among elderly women showed that those who had 1 or 2 cups of cranberry juice a day for six months had fewer bacteria in the urinary bladder. In addition, cranberry juice drinkers were 60% less likely to develop an infection. Finally, women who had cranberry juice daily and had suffered from a urinary tract infection were 75% more likely to heal faster compared to those who did not. Therefore, if you are on antibiotics due to a urinary tract infection try to have around two glasses of cranberry juice per day in order to speed up your recovery. If you suffer from UTIs regularly having a glass of cranberry juice every day can help you prevent recurrences.
Cranberries can be consumed either frozen or raw or. Always keep in mind that when cooked they lose a lot of their beneficial nutrients. Their hard skin makes them quite suitable for freezing which means that they can be kept for consumption up to four weeks in the freezer.