If there’s one thing you should have on your holiday plate this winter season, it better be cranberries! The benefits of cranberries spread far and wide throughout the human body, providing you with inflammation relief, immune system strengthening, stress relief and so much more.
It is suggested that you consume cranberries raw in order to preserve their antioxidants and crucial phytonutrients! Making fresh berries into a juice, blending them up in smoothies or making a raw cranberry sauce are great ways to incorporate these brilliant red globes of deliciousness into your diet!
Here are 10 awesome benefits of cranberries that’ll undoubtedly supercharge your health!
1. Gets rid of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Cranberries are great for getting rid of UTIs. They contain abundant polyphenols called proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract wall, thus allowing for proper bacterial elimination, and relief from urinary tract infections. Drinking 2-3 cups of cranberry juice (no sugar added, freshly pressed the best option) per day can help totally cure a UTI.
2. Fight inflammation
These powerful little berries alleviate inflammation in the digestive tract and cardiovascular system. They lower the risk of periodontal disease, caused by chronic, excessive levels of inflammation around the gums and reduce unwanted inflammation in the blood vessel linings.
3. Immune system strengthening
Thanks to their high levels of vitamin C, cranberries pack huge benefits for our immune system! They can help to lower the frequency of cold and flu symptoms and their antioxidants can help lower our risk of developing certain cancer types.
4. Natural stress relief
If you want to ease your anxiety levels and stress less, then eat some cranberries! Cranberries help support the health of our brain and thus improve mental health (and that means mood-lifting abilities that can fight off depression!).
5. Help prevent cancer
Cranberries are high in ursolic acid, a compound with incredible anti-cancer effects. It has the ability to limit the development and severity of certain cancers like breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer. This isn’t surprising, however, given the amounts of anti-inflammatory nutrients and antioxidants in this powerful little berry.
6. Digestive tract support
Not only are cranberries beneficial for your urinary tract, but they also support the digestive tract. Cranberries target and suppress bad bacteria, while allowing good bacteria to flourish. Specifically it inhibits the growth of H.pylori, a bacteria type that creates a risk of gastric cancer and stomach ulcers.
7. Fight heart disease
Cranberries are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants that help lower cholesterol and thus help fight heart disease. Just two glasses of cranberry juice per day can help raise HDL, or “good” cholesterol, while lowering high levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. By lowering your cholesterol, you may decrease your risk of heart disease.
8. Great for the respiratory system
Cranberries contain compounds that are potent vasodilators, helping to decongest bronchial tubes and restore normal breathing. Cranberry juice has also been found to be effective against certain strains of the Haemophilus influenza, one of the most common causes of ear and respiratory infections in children. The effect of cranberries work similarly here as they do in UTIs, where they help to inhibit bacterial cells from adhering to our cell walls.
9. Keep memory sharp
Like most berries (thanks to high levels of antioxidants), cranberries can help keep your memory sharp and mind clear. Antioxidants help fight the oxidative process that normally leads to vascular disease and stroke. Ursolic acid in cranberries has also been found to prevent degeneration of brain cells, resulting in better short-term memory and protection from diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
10. Relieve skin conditions
Throw out your skin care products, just eat more cranberries! The acid in cranberry juice helps to unclog pores and fight bacteria in the skin that cause acne. The high levels of vitamin C will also promote firm, fresh, younger looking skin by promoting collagen and elastin production, while supporting the structure and integrity of skin cell walls.