Cranberries and cranberry juice are extremely healthy for many reasons. It is looked to as one of the most common ways to take care of your kidneys in a natural way.
Women are told to drink cranberry juice for urinary tract infections (UTIs) to help keep them clean and clear of future infections. There are a lot of things bout cranberries and its juice that remain unknown to the public, though.
This article will give you the full low-down on cranberries and cranberry juice. Questions like why it is so good for us will be answered. Also, we will look into some of the risks of cranberries and its juice, too.
What You Will Learn from This Article
Cranberries are always a popular fruit, especially in juices. They last a long time and the juices taste absolutely delicious when they are chilled.
There are many things cranberries can be used for other than in juices and other cultures have made use of cranberries in ways that we have not yet thought of to use yet.
When it comes to staying clean on the inside and feeling healthy, cranberries are one of the best routes to that destination.
Cranberries grow on evergreen shrubs or trailing vines. These shrubs and vines grow in low, long chains that can be up to seven feet in length and two to eight inches in height.
Their stems are wiry and slender, so they are not really thick and they have evergreen leaves.
These shrubs and vines also sprout dark pink flowers. The fruit that comes from these bushes is related to blueberries.
The most popular kind of cranberry is the small-fruited, Northern version that is found in North America, northern and central Europe and parts of Asia.
Scientifically, it is known as Vaccinium oxycoccus. These berries can be harvested when they ripen in September.
They are usually turned into sauces and currants around the holidays, but they can be acidic in taste, so cooks need to beware of this situation.
What are Cranberries Good for?
It is true that cranberries and their juice are known for treating UTIs. However, this benefit is one of many. They can also prevent cavities and gum disease.
They promote a bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans, prevents plaque from sticking to teeth, proving that not all bacteria are bad for the body.
As a bonus, cranberries are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients like oligomeric proanthocyanidins, anthocyanidin flavonoids, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin, have unique health-impacting attributes.
Some contain stroke- and cardiovascular disease-preventing compounds that discourage cholesterol from forming in the heart and blood vessels.
At the same time, research indicates that cranberries can help to prevent cancer, especially breast cancer, due to the antioxidant polyphenols they contain.
Cranberries also contain a great deal of fiber. One serving can provide up to 20 percent of a person’s daily recommended value of fiber.
Therefore, a person’s system can be flushed of just more than UTIs. It can help with other infections and negative bacteria, too, by moving them out of the body faster.
There are many nutrients that can be found in cranberries when they are in their fresh, whole state. One cup of cranberries or 100 grams, contains the following percentages of nutrients:
Serving Size 1 Cup (100gm)
Amount Per Serving
All of these nutrients come from a product that contains merely 46 calories in total.
Nutritional Value of Cranberry Juice
The nutritional value of cranberry juice can vary from one manufacturer to another. Here is a general landscape of what most juices contain nutritionally for one cup or 253 grams:
Serving Size 1 Cup (253gm)
Amount Per Serving
Amount Per 100gm
These nutritional values are based on the juice that has minimal added sugars, as opposed to drinking which would have many more sugars. A cup of this juice contains about 116 calories in total.
There are many health benefits to consuming cranberries and cranberry juice. Here are more of those reasons that have not been mentioned thus far.
- As stated previously, cranberries combat UTIs because of their antioxidant properties. UTIs refer negative microorganisms inurine above and beyond normal levels.
- These infections happen in a human’s bladder, which forms cystitis in kidneys to then create renal parenchyma. This situation results in bacterial prostatitis.
- Because cranberry juice is so high in the amount of acid components it carries, kidney stones become less of a worry over time. They will pass easier and break into smaller stones over time with cranberry juice, too.
- Cranberries and their juice also contain oxalic acid, which can be used to enhance anticoagulant capacities of certain medications.
- Cranberry juice is attributed to contain anti-tumor efficacy due to cranberries containing polyphenolic compounds.
- Studies suggest regular consumption of cranberry juice inhibits the development and spread cancerous tumors in the lungs, breasts, colon and prostate.
- To help fight swelling, cranberry juice possesses a high amount of salicylic acid. Not only does this eliminate tumors, but it also helps to deal with blood clots, too.
- Cranberries can also help to lower heart-related illnesses and disease to sustain cardiovascular health.
- Flavonoids in cranberries also have antioxidant properties that can decrease atherosclerosis.
- This disease narrows the arteries due to fat build-up along with calcium and cholesterol.
- Therefore, oxygen does not carry to the body through the blood as well. It can create fatal situations like heart attacks and strokes.
- Research shows that cavities are no longer a worry with cranberries.
- They contain a chemical compound called proanthocyanidins that prevents harmful bacteria from forming in the mouth and attaching to teeth and gums.
- When paired with stable oral hygiene, this concern can be a worry of the past.
- According to several studies, cranberry juice helps to stop Haemophilus influenza, which is a common ear and respiratory infection in children.
- The juice stops the bacteria’s hair-like structures from growing, meaning they cannot attach to cells in the body.
- Other infections that cranberries fight against include the common cold for the same reasons why it fights against ear and flu infections.
- As mentioned previously, cranberries and their juice can be used to fight cancer cells from growing.
- Cranberriespossess anti-carcinogenic components that can interrupt the growth of cancer cell, especially in the prostate and the colon. Chemicals in cranberries also stop breast cancer cells from multiplying.
- Bones and teeth are also strengthened by cranberry juice because it is a natural source of calcium. Some juice companies will even add extra calcium, which further reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis in the long run.
- Another type of bacteria that cranberry juice can fight against is Helicobacter pylori, which causes peptic ulcers.
- These ulcers form in the stomach’s protective layer, which happens to be the first part of the intestinal track. These ulcers can lead to inflammation building up in the stomach lining.
- Since cranberries and cranberry juice are so full of calcium, as mentioned previously, they are a great way to fight off scurvy.
- Cranberries are also full of anti-inflammatory aspects, which mean it fights off inflammation in certain parts of the body very easily.
- One of these areas of the body that are protectedis the lungs. Therefore, things like the flu will be prevented all the easier.
- The wealth of antioxidants and phytonutrients present in cranberries perform a crucial role in protecting against issues that form with age, such as memory loss.
- Cranberriesprotectcells fromdamage caused byfree radicals, which prevents parts of the bodies from aging, especially visibly.
- Research indicates that cranberries can help the immune system. Small numbers of participants in these studies have shown improvements in immune function, which then lowers a number of infections that occur in these subjects.
- Cranberries have fat-soluble antioxidants that can help prevent or delay chronic diseases. These come from a great deal of Vitamin E that they contain.
As mentioned previously, cranberries contain a great deal of anticoagulant capacities. Therefore, people who are on medications like Warfarin should be cautious when they eat or drink anything containing cranberries.
Cranberries can negatively interact with these medications to make sure that the Warfarin therapy does not go astray from its target treatment.
A Tip When Buying Cranberry Products
It goes without saying that fresh cranberries contain the most antioxidants. Dried cranberries come in second and bottled cranberry juice or canned cranberries contain the least amount of antioxidants.
They should be considered in this order for the most effectiveness when it comes to fighting infections. Any juices and canned products should be purchased as close to 100 percent natural as possible.
Products that say the word “drink” should be avoided because they often contain extra sugars that are not necessary.
Ways to Eat Cranberries
There are more ways to consume cranberries than just in juice or a drink.
As mentioned previously, they can be consumed in sauces and currants, which are popular around Thanks giving and Christmas in the United States and around Christmas in most other parts of Europe.
One way cranberries can be consumed in a dried form. Crazains, or cranberries that resemble raisins have become rather popular in salads and trail mixes over the last several years as well.
One thing to note about cranberry juices is that they are often combined with other fruit drinks, too. One of the more popular is cranberry apple.
At the same time, they can contain extra sugars, so these should be avoided if there are added sugars. Once more, make sure the product says juice instead of drink.
There are other ways to consume cranberries. Frozen ones can be consumed in smoothies and dried cranberries can be added to oatmeal and whole-grain cold cereals.
At the same time, they taste great in muffins and cookies, too. They can even be added to a pie for an extra flavor kick.
Raw Kefir with Fresh Cranberry-Raspberry Juice
Pour ½ cup of fresh berry-apple juice into a glass. Add ½ cup of kefir. Then, stir in half cup of fresh cranberry juice. Mix and enjoy over ice or store in a fridge to chill.
Classic Cranberry Sauce
Simmer 1 1/2 of cups each sugar and water with 4 cups of cranberries, 4 pieces of lemon zest and 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice over medium heat until the berries pop.
The sauce should thicken in about 20 minutes. It needs to be left to cool.
Cook 1/3 cup of minced red onion in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat until the butter is softened. Add 1/2 cup of ruby port and simmer until it is reduced by half.
Add 1 cup of cranberries, 3/4 cup of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons each of sugar and orange juice and 1/4 teaspoon pf mustard powder. Simmer while lightly smashing the berries, until the sauce thickens.
This process should take about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer 4 cups of cranberries, 2 chopped peeled pears, 2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom over medium heat until the berries pop and the sauce thickens.
This process takes about 25 minutes. Then, allow the sauce to cool before serving.
Bring 4 cups of cranberries, 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch of salt to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the berries pop and the sauce thickens, which will take between 20 and 25 minutes; cool.
Puree, then strain. Chill the jelly once it is finished in a jar.
Bring 1 cup of cranberries, 3/4 cup each of sugar and water, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and a pinch of salt to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until the berries pop and the chutney thickens. This should take about 10 minutes.
Then, let it cool slightly. Afterwards, stir in 1/2 cup of chopped cranberries, 1/4 cup of chopped mint and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.
Bring 1/2 cup of each sugar and water to a boil. Pour over 1 1/2 cups of cranberries. Cool for one hour before draining.
Then, roll in 1/2 cup of sugar on a baking sheet. Let dry 4 hours.
Cranberry Maple Syrup
Simmer 1 cup of maple syrup, 3/4 cup of cranberries and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla over medium heat until the berries pop. This process should take about 10 minutes.
Serve warm over pancakes (like the ones below)
Microwave 1 1/2 cups cranberries with 2 tablespoons sugar until the cranberries soften, which will take about five minutes.
Then, allow the mixture to cool before adding about 3 cups of pancake batter.
Looking for the full set of measuring spoons? Read the review of Best Measuring Spoons – 2017 Reviews And Top Picks here.
Cranberry Cream Cheese
Microwave 1/2 cup of cranberries with 1 tablespoon sugar until the cranberries are softened, which will take about 5 minutes. Then, allow the mixture to cool.
Beat 8 ounces of cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the cranberries and add another 1/4 cup of dried cranberries.
Heat 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of cranberries, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and salt over medium-high heat until the berries pop, which will take about 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of old-fashioned oats, which should be prepared as the label directs. Top with dried cranberries, nuts and milk.
Whisk 1/4 cup each of brown sugar, vegetable oil and maple syrup.
Toss with 2 cups of old-fashioned oats, 1 cup each of cranberries and salted pepitas and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F, occasionally stirring, until crisp. This process should take about one hour. Allow mixture to cool once it is finished in the oven.
Combine 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Cut in 1 stick diced, cold butter; then, add 1 beaten egg and 1/4 cup of milk, then mix in 3/4 cup cranberries.
Shape into a 1/2-inch-thick disk on a baking sheet. Before placing in the oven, score the disk into eight wedges. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees F until golden, which will take about 25 minutes. Cool the scones and then slice them, using the scored markings as a guide.
Puree 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/3 cup frozen cranberries and 1 tablespoon almond butter. This mixture can be blended with ice, or it can be chilled and consumed later on.
Juicing Cranberries at Home
Most people would probably just rather buy their cranberry juice at the supermarket. However, it is much healthier and nutritionally sound to make your own juice at home.
The proper machine is needed to make the perfect juice at home. The best machine for this job is the JE2200B 400-Watt Fruit and Vegetable Juice Extractor by Black and Decker.
This machine has a high-quality straining process and stainless-steel blades. It separates pulp in a way that allows natural, nutritious juice to be strained into the 300-mL pitcher that has been provided with the machine.
It runs on 400-watts of power. It also has a large pulp container that is integrated into the back of the machine to make for easy cleanup and a sleek design. All parts are dishwasher safe, so that previously mentioned cleanup is a breeze.
This model is perfect for people who are health and budget cautious. It allows a fresh start for people looking for the right juicing machine to replace an old model and at the same time, this machine is perfect for beginner juicers, too.
It will make quick work of fruits and vegetables and it does not put a hurting on the wallet.
There is a 28-ounce pulp collector for the pulp to strain directly into. The screen on the pulp extractor allows for the right amount of pulp to be left in juice or to be removed completely. However, there is bound to not be much pulp when consuming cranberries.
At the same time, the 400-watt motor is made to take on the toughest berries, cranberries included, without much trouble.
There is a simple on and off switch to control the juicer, so there is no confusion about what settings need to be chosen for the best juicing experience.
The intelligent working motor and blades combine into a force that will figure out the best juicing situation on their own.
This machine is truly a powerful one that cannot be reckoned with in the kitchen. It will do more than just get the job done. It will achieve that goal above and beyond the call of duty.
In this article, we considered a background of information on cranberries and their juice, along with many distinct health benefits.
We also looked at several, simple recipes that include cranberries and cranberry juice. However, there are a few minor things to consider, especially for Warfarin users.
As far as anti-oxidant power goes, there really is nothing like cranberries. They are delicious in their raw form and they taste even better when paired with other fruit juices. It is really a versatile fruit that can hardly be matched.