The Benefits of Cranberries!
The benefits of cranberries are quite varied making it a useful food to include in, or supplement to add to your diet. The cranberry is a commonly grown fruit in the US and Canada and has been used by the natives there for food, ceremonies and medicinally for centuries. Cranberries contain various vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including, anthocyanin, flavonoids and polyphenol antioxidants. It is one of the top antioxidant foods.
The polyphenols contained in cranberries are currently under intense investigation for their possible benefits to the cardiovascular system, immune system and for acting as anti-cancer agents.
Benefits of Cranberries:
Cranberry benefits 1: Anti-adhesion properties
Cranberries are probably the most well-known for their ability to inhibit bacterial attachment to the bladder and urethra, which may help prevent or overcome urinary tract infection (UTIs). Long term use of cranberry juice, at this stage, provides some evidence of it having this effect and ongoing research will likely further validate these effects.
Cranberry benefits 2: Prevents dental plaques and cavities
A preliminary clinical trial using a mouthwash containing cranberry showed a significant reduction in the level of the bacteria that causes plaque, which leads to tooth decay and cavities. Further research needs to be conducted, however, at this stage it looks very promising.
Cranberry benefits 3: Improves blood lipid profiles and reduces heart disease risk
Flavonoids are potent antioxidants and have been shown to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis (thickening of the artery walls). Since cranberries are high in flavonoids, they are likely to have this effect.
Research has also shown that flavonoids and other polyphenolic compounds can inhibit LDL ('bad' cholesterol) oxidation. Both flavonoids and polyphenolic antioxidants are contained in cranberries.
Cranberry benefits 4: Cancer-fighting properties
The flavonoids contained in cranberries have been shown to have powerful effects against human cancer cells in vitro (outside of the body) and in animal models. Obviously, human studies need to be done. However, at this stage the results are very positive.
When you consider the fact that phenols are known to offer anti-cancer effects and the fact that cranberries have the highest level of both free and total phenols when compared to 20 other fruits, it does look positive.
Cranberry benefits 5: May prevent peptic ulcers
Ulcers in the stomach are caused by a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, not actually from stress and / or stomach acidity as many people believe. One of the components of cranberries has been shown to inhibit the adhesion of the bacteria to the lining of the stomach in vitro. These preliminary results suggest that they may be beneficial in the prevention of peptic ulcers, however, further research needs to be conducted.
Overall, there are so many benefits of cranberries that make it a worthwhile food to include in your diet or supplement to add to it.
One of the best supplements on the market that contains cranberries is Nature's Bounty Cranberry with Fruit 4200mg/ Vitamin C, 250 Softgels.
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