The Health Benefits of Cranberries

The Health Benefits of Cranberries

By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

When it’s the time of year that you can find cranberries easily in the grocery store, because they aren’t readily available year round and they freeze well it’s a good time to pick up a few bags and throw them in the freezer for future use. Here are some of the amazing health benefits of cranberries:

Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections

The proanthocyanidins found in cranberry appear to block E. coli bacteria from sticking to the cell walls of your uterus and bladder.  Most of us are aware of this by now.  The most effective way to get the benefits of the proanthocyanidins for this is through cranberry capsules.  Drinking copious amounts of cranberry juice to fend off a bladder infection may be counter productive, even if it is unsweetened, because cranberries although tart in taste do contain sugar.

Reduction of Dental Plaque

It is believed that the juice from eating cranberries can inhibit the aggregation of bacteria in your mouth that cause dental plaque.

Anti-Cancer Activity

The same proanthocyanidin compounds that help prevent bladder infections, may have some cancer fighting (anti-carcinogenic) activity.

Heart Disease

Cranberry extract has been shown to inhibit low density lipoprotein oxidation thereby reducing your risk of heart disease.

Kidney stones

Quinic acid, which is abundant in cranberries, may help to prevent the development of kidney stones.

There you have it, lots of reasons to incorporate more cranberries in your diet.  I have lots of healthy recipes that include cranberries too!

 

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