Cranberries are tart little berries that grow on evergreen bushes. They are often harvested in bogs to make them easier to harvest but recent studies indicate that cranberries harvested in bogs are not only easier for commercial growers but they are actually denser in nutrients. They are made into jellies and used to produce supplements because they are rich in a slew of good for your vitamins and other helpful nutrients. There has been a ton of research into the benefits of cranberries that are actually quite amazing.
Cranberry juice is made from juicing these little wonder berries. While experts are split down the middle as to whether the juice can be just as potent as eating the whole fruit most experts do agree that cranberry juice is good for you and something that should be a part of a well balanced diet.
Cranberry juice is often recommended for urinary tract health. Cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients that can easily help to promote good health. This juice is a great choice but there are of course some cons to Cranberry juice that many people are not even aware of.
Cranberry juice helps to keep your urinary tract healthy, your heart healthy and to improve your immune system just to name a few areas where it can promote good healthy. Cranberry juice can help to provide balance in your body to help to avoid the imbalance that causes infection. There is a lot of buzz about Cranberry juice but you never really hear the cons of Cranberry juice and there are some very real cons.
There are a lot of people that love this juice and drink it religiously not only for the health benefits but because it can also be a refreshing drink. Some people cannot get past the tastes. It has a very tart taste that some people find a bit too tart.
Cranberry juice has many good for you ingredients that can help to improve your health and keep you in good health. Whether you are in the group of people that enjoy the taste or in the group of people that cannot get past the taste you should know the whole story about Cranberry juice. You should know both the pros and the cons.
List of Pros of Cranberry Juice
1. Urinary Tract Health
There is some debate as to why Cranberry juice helps with urinary tract health. Some research indicates that it works by preventing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract cells which means that there cannot be an over growth of the bacteria however once the bacteria is already present the Cranberry juice cannot help to reduce the number of bacteria.
2. Reduce Risk of Cancer
There is some research that supports the idea that Cranberry juice can reduce the risk of cancer. It has natural chemicals that have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer in rats.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Cranberry juice contains high amounts of salicylic acid which can reduce inflammation. Salicylic acid is want makes aspirin effective. It can reduce inflammation and reduce pain. Inflammation is often credited with causing a full range of health issues.
4. Contains Fiber
While there is not as much fiber in the juice of the cranberry as there is in the actual cranberry there is still fiber.
5. Keep Ulcers Under Control
Cranberry juice can help to reduce the incidence of ulcers by keeping the harmful bacteria down in your gut from being able to attach to the lining of your stomach. The same way it works for your urinary tract by preventing bacteria from attaching to the healthy cells it does the same thing in your stomach lining.
6. Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
It is rich in flavonoids which have been proven to reduce the risk of heart attack.
7. Good for Teeth
Cranberry juice can do the same thing for your teeth that it can do for your urinary tract health. Cranberry juice can help bacteria from growing on your teeth. Most people think that the acid in the cranberry juice will mess up the enamel on their teeth but it can actually help to prevent your teeth from decaying bacteria.
8. Builds Immunity
Cranberry juice is very rich in Vitamin C which is a well-known immunity building vitamin. Cranberry juice can help to reduce the number of colds and other bugs that you pick up throughout the year.
9. Help Lose Weight
Cranberry juice is very low in calories and low in natural sugars which makes it an excellent diet drink.
There are many different nutrients that are found in cranberry juice that you can find in other juices but it is not only the nutrients in cranberry juice that make it a healthy juice it is the synergy of those nutrients. The nutrients in cranberry juice come together in perfect succession and balance to provide a hefty fighting force that enhances your own immune system to give your body the power to fight off disease.
List of Cons of Cranberry Juice
1. Kidney Issues
A lot of people mistakenly believe that if they have kidney problems like developing stones that they can benefit from Cranberry juice since it benefits the urinary tract but the reality is it can actually compound kidney problems by causing stones to form.
Cranberries have a mild laxative effect and too much cranberry juice can cause diarrhea. In small doses like a glass or two a day there is typically no issues but if you consume more than a glass or two you risk having a reaction which could include diarrhea.
3. Issues to Those with Allergy to Aspirin
Allergy to aspirin could mean an issue with cranberry juice. In people that are allergic to aspirin there is a risk because of the high quantity of salicylic acid that you will also have a reaction to the cranberry juice which can range from a headache to vomiting and other stomach upset.
4. Interfere with Anti-Coagulants
There is some evidence that cranberry juice may interfere with the effects of Warfarin and other anti-coagulants. While the evidence is not quite conclusive it is strongly recommended that if you are taking this type of medication you do want to watch the amount of cranberry juice that you drink and speak to your doctor.
The benefits outweigh the negatives when it comes to cranberry juice but the negatives can be dangerous if you have an allergy to aspirin. Of course the cons can also be dangerous if you are taking blood thinners and it is proven that cranberry juice actually prevents them from working.
Clearly everything in moderation is a good option. If you know that you have kidney problems or that you are taking a medication that may be effected by the cranberry juice and cause the medication to be ineffective then you will want to avoid the drink at all costs. If you are in good health and not taking medication that may not mix with this type of juice then it can be a great part of your diet.
To get the most benefits out of cranberry juice it is best to drink whole cranberry juice without any added sugars. You will not get the added benefits from cranberry juice cocktail than you would from regular cranberry juice.
The only problem with cranberry juice that has not been enhanced with sugar or mixed with other juices to create a cocktail it can be very tart and hard to drink because of the tartness. You do not have to drink cranberry juice alone to get the benefits. You can mix straight cranberry juice into a smoothie or mix with other liquids to enhance the taste.
The problem with prepackaged cranberry juice cocktail is that it is often loaded with sugar to cut back on the tart taste. Check to see the sugar content on the juice before you purchase it to ensure that you are not getting a sugar loaded drink. If you buy organic natural cranberry juice and do the add in’s yourself you can monitor the amount of sugars that are being mixed in via the other juices.
If you can buy organic it is always best. Organic means that you never have to worry about pesticides or GMO issues. Organically grown cranberries are far more likely to be the richest in antioxidants and other nutrients because the berries have not been compromised by artificial additives and more dangerous chemicals like pesticides.
Buying fresh cranberries and creating your own juice is actually the best way to ensure that you are getting the best that the fruit has to offer. It can be a little difficult to find fresh cranberries depending on the season but the quick frozen kind can be a good replacement.
There is some indication that cranberry juice from concentrate is not as potent as cranberry juice that is fresh squeezed. There is some evidence that processing the cranberries into a concentrate actually lessens the amount of antioxidants and other nutrients so if you can go fresh you should.
Bottom line the fresher you go the better. If you can find your own berries, juice them yourself. Next best thing is fresh organic bottled juice. Cranberry juice cocktail is always an option but know that you will not get the same power packed benefits. Concentrate should be your last choice because it has the least amount of nutrients. The benefits of this juice are well documented and in most cases it is an excellent addition to your diet for good health.