4 Health benefits of cranberries

Cranberries are plants of the Ericaceae family which are shrubs in the peat bogs of the North America and Canada with cold climates. Native Americans used the berries to treat wounds and bladder issues topically with the whistlebark.

Cranberries are mostly not eaten fresh (5% of production), they are mainly converted into juice or dried. Historically cranberry juice was the first superfood named so as resulting of scientific studies showing its extensive use on urinary infections treatments.

Dried cranberries have health benefits: the prevention of cystitis, stomach ulcers, and others. This is the ability of cranberries to cut down the stickiness of some bacteria to the walls of our organs which seems to be the basis for these benefits. Moreover, Cranberries are little bombs of antioxidants.

Health benefits of cranberries

Latin name: Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton.

Botanical family: Ericaceae.

Part used: Fruit.

Benefits of cranberries

1. To prevent a urinary infection

Cranberries are a good source of polyphenols, in particular proanthocyanidins type A (PAC-A), which are specific to them. A number of scientific research works evidence that cranberries are effective in preventing urinary tract infections from happening again.

As PAC-A does not permit the adhesion of E. coli to the urogenital tract mucosa, it is difficult to catch. This skill is better to prevent the urinary infections in women.

How to consume them?

-Up to 300 mL per day of cranberry juice, or a glass loaded with 36 mg PACs, is an optimal solution for a patient who suffers from recurrence of urinary tract infections.

-Drink 2 liters of water and more every day if you are thirsty.

-Consider infusions of diuretic plants : dandelion , nettle , horsetail, orthosiphon, meadowsweet , juniper , etc.

-Use Mountain Savory essential oil : Add 1 drop of Mountain Savory to 9 drops of vegetable oil and massage it in the areas beneath the lips 3 times a day, for 7 to 10 consecutive days.

-See your doctor again if the cystitis appears or worsens.

2. To prevent gastric ulcer

gastric ulcer is the high to deep and widespread lesion of the gastric wall. It is usually asymptomatic and causes chronic atrophic gastritis through inflammatory process.

The type A Proanthocyanidins (PAC-A) in cranberries are said to be the best in preventing gastric ulcers of the stomach.

For the latter, virulence of H. Pylori will be curtailed by disallowing its attachment to the gastric mucosa walls. 80% of all cases of peptic ulcer are attributed to the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

How to consume them?
Drink 250 mL of cranberry juice twice a day for three months in combination with antibiotics

Prefer organic cranberry juice so that PAC-A content will be undoubtedly high.

Visit your doctor and request continuous medical observation. A gastric ulcer is not a simple wound!

Enrich your gastric protection using mucilage based foods like licorice, marshmallow or psyllium.

Dissolve a fermented drink of bicarbonate in water for neutralizing gastric acidity and relieving discomfort.

3. In case of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder resulting from bad way of blood sugar control. There are two types of diabetes: first, type 1, which is an autoimmune disease (the distant of the cells that secrete insulin, the hypoglycemic hormone), and second, type 2, which is an inflammatory disease caused by insulin resistance.

In a nutshell, a person with type 1 diabetes no longer has insulin, whereas a person with type 2 diabetes has ineffective insulin.

The micronutrients in Cranberries afford it a protective characteristic against the diabetes consequences. This is why eating cranberries can help people who have diabetes.

They would also contribute to lowering the blood sugar levels. The insufficiency of their hypoglycemic effect must be acknowledged, but they are still within the considerations’ boundaries. In fact, any time blood sugar levels fall after providing cranberries as a daily cup of tea to those who need it.

How to consume it?
Cranberry juice: drinking 240 mL of cranberry juice per day for four weeks can decrease the blood sugar levels.

Fresh cranberries: while taking into account nutritional health recommendations, you can consume 200 – 300 g of cranberries in fresh form every day.

Dried cranberries: take not more than 30 g orums of dried cranberries per day, preferably with the main meals. Dried cranberries contain a higher sugar content than fresh cranberries. They should be regarded as products of acidic type.

Cut down at snacks between meals and prefer balanced snacks.

Go for the entire or partially uncooked starchy food.

4. To fight against oxidative stress

The oxidation stress is basically the aggression level of cells by reactive oxygen compounds (radicals). This mechanism is a natural process and plays a part in the body’s functioning. Conversely, if the amount exceeds normal levels, it causes cell death and the inflammation of the tissue.

Particular micronutrients within the cranberries as part of antioxidant protection, in conditions such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, flavan-3-ols, ellagitannins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, etc.

These polyphenols are also accompanied by vitamin C, which is present in quite a large amount in cranberries. The entire body provides an ORAC score of 9090 µmol TE/100 g and a FRAP score of 3. 29 mmol/100 g, a value which translates to good antioxidant properties.

How to consume it?
Have 30 g of dried cranberries, or 200 to 300 g of fresh cranberries, daily.

Let us choose the Cranberries grown in organic farms and processed locally and in season. As these standards require Cranberries to have the highest possible amount of antioxidants, they become the healthiest choice for the consumer.

Go for raw foods in order to get the maximum of their antioxidant nutrients.

Eat from a wide range of foods!Actuality, every food will surely represent its own array of bioactive substances. The key to an antioxidant diet is food diversity.

Precautions for use

High consumption of cranberries is not recommended for individuals predisposed to urinary stones due to their high oxalic acid content.

High consumption of cranberries can disrupt the INR (international normalized ratio) biological test in individuals taking oral anticoagulants.

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