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Cranberry Juice Health Benefits

Among the various fruits and vegetables that dieticians recommend we include in our diets, berries occupy a very important place thanks to the vast array of nutrients packed in them. For visual appeal, flavor, taste, texture, and nutritive value, nothing beats fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and peaches. Cranberry juice, with five different types of phytonutrients, digestive enzymes, flavanoids and antioxidants is beneficial for the cardiovascular system and digestive system, and it helps in the prevention of several types of cancer. Cranberry juice benefits for those with recurring urinary tract infection have been studied in detail. Pure cranberry juice produces hippuric acid in the urine, and this acidic urine keeps the urinary tract clear of bacteria colonizing on its walls.
However, more than the acidity of the urine, it is the antioxidant properties of the flavanoids in cranberry juice that helps to reduce the presence of the bacteria causing the infection. Cranberry juice for UTI is a well-known remedy that has led to the formulation of cranberry juice tablets, for those who cannot drink unsweetened cranberry juice as required. It should be noted that drinking the juice has been found to be more effective as a preventive measure; it may not cure an established infection.

The bright red color and the tart taste of the berries make it an ideal fruit for salads, pies, relish, and muffins, and using cranberry juice in your holiday punch adds a dash of bright color to the festivities. White cranberry juice is made from cranberries harvested a month before the berries turn red in color, and thus has a low pigment content and is less acidic. However, in terms of nutritional value and health benefits of cranberry juice, both red and white are identical. Various cranberry beverages on supermarket shelves may be made from cranberry juice blended with other fruit juices to make them sweeter and easy to drink. Cranberry juice concentrate available in health stores may be used in cranberry juice recipes for cocktails ranging from a cranberry vodka punch to Medusa punch, to name just a few. While a simple cranberry sauce is made with cranberries cooked in water and sugar, interesting variations include the addition of orange zest or orange juice, maple syrup instead of sugar, spices like ginger and lemon peel, etc. Cranberry juice can be used to replace water to get a sauce that is tarter. When it comes to losing weight, there are many fruit juice diets to choose from. A cranberry juice diet aims at detoxifying the body and helps to shed unwanted pounds. Preparation for the diet includes cutting down on the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, sugar, and fats. During the diet, unsweetened cranberry juice diluted with water and mixed with apple pectin and psyllium fiber is  consumed before  every meal of the day and a diet consisting of just fruits and vegetables is advised for the two or three days. Drinking several glasses of warm water through the day helps the detox process. Continuing the diet for two or three weeks should be done with the advice of a dietician. There is inconclusive evidence about the effectiveness of cranberry juice for kidney stones. In fact, some experts fear that since cranberry juice increases calcium and oxalate levels in the urine, it might cause kidney stones in those who are susceptible to stone formation. Cranberry juice does reduce the level of brushite in the urine, thereby offering protection against the formation of brushite stones, but in reality, calcium oxalate stones are more common than brushite stones in the kidney. While cranberry juice for urinary tract infection may be a useful preventive measure, the same is not true for kidney stones.

Submitted on January 16, 2014