Cranberry health benefits

cranberry-health-benefits

Cranberry health benefits range from helping with oral health to the slowing of some tumour progression.

A native crop of North America with around 40,000 acres harvested in September and October across the northern US and Canada. They can be stored in fridge for up to two months but can freeze stored for much longer.

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While cranberry sauce is an important part of any ‘Thanks-giving’ meal, there are many other ways in which this fruit can be incorporated into your diet all year round. They are largely effective as part of a regular diet whether consumed fresh or dried. They are available canned but check the label for added sugar. Cranberry juice is also popular but be aware that it is often mixed with other fruit juices and will include added sugar. You need to target juices that have cranberries as the main ingredient.

In ancient times Native Americans consumed cranberries as a food and experienced its medicinal properties. In addition they used it for the dyeing of clothes and blankets.

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The potential health benefits of cranberries include:

Reducing the risk of Cardiovascular disease.

Cranberries contain polyphenols. It’s understood that this helps to prevent any build-up of platelets and reduces blood pressure.

There’s been research done to show that cranberries can slow the progression of tumours. There have been positive effects against breast,ovarian, liver, colon and prostate cancers.

Further more cranberries have shown to be effective against the onset of ageing and neurological diseases. There have also been positive reports of cranberry dietary inclusion reducing inflammation and subduing diabetes.

Cranberries have also been known to help with the prevention of Urinary Tract Infections. It has been shown to protect against bacterial infections such as E.coli. There are significant levels of Proanthocyanidins in cranberries. This helps reduce the stickiness of certain bacteria to the urinary tract walls and in doing so staves of infection. Positive results have been achieved using cranberry capsules but cranberry juice is much less effective because of the quantities needed to prevent bacterial adhesion. There just isn’t the same level of concentration in the juice to match the capsules.

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The proanthocyanidins in cranberries that can fight infections of the Urinary Tract are thought to assist with oral health by preventing bacteria from sticking to teeth. In doing so there is the added benefit of reducing the instance of gum disease.

Contains vitamins A, C +and E sailors have a history of storing cranberries on board ship as the high vitamin C content helped to avoid scurvy. Be aware that commercial drying process will reduce the levels of these vitamins when considering dried cranberries.

Considered to be an effective antioxidant reducing the damage inflicted by free radicals and will enhance the ability to resist infectious agents. However cranberry in the juice form is believed to be not so effective for this.

Precautions

If you take the blood-thinning agent Warfarin, be sure to take medical advice before consuming cranberries. There have been cases where the intake of cranberries have adversely interacted with Warfarin leading to excessive bleeding.

For anyone with a history of kidney stones it’s advised that they should seek a medical opinion about including cranberries in their diet.

(Medical disclaimer)

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