What is Cranberry Juice?
Cranberry juice is the juice made from cranberries, which are one of the native fruits of North America. The juice is rich in nutrients and is useful in food as well as in medicinal products. The Latin name for the cranberry plant is Vaccinium macrocarpon. Cranberries have a tremendous amount of antioxidant capacity as compared to other vegetables and fruits like broccoli, spinach, and apples. One cup of cranberries measures a total 8983 antioxidant capacity.
The health benefits of cranberry juice include relief from urinary tract infection (UTI), respiratory disorders, kidney stones, cancer, and heart diseases. It is also beneficial in preventing stomach disorders and diabetes, as well as gum diseases caused by dental plaque. Phytonutrients, which are naturally derived plant compounds, are present in the fruit juice and have been found to prevent a wide range of health problems.
Cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and salicylic acid.The health benefits of cranberry juice include relief from urinary tract infection (UTI), respiratory disorders, kidney stones, cancer, and heart diseases. It is also beneficial in preventing stomach disorders and diabetes, as well as gum diseases caused by dental plaque.
Nutritional Value of Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and salicylic acid. By containing only 45 calories per cup, cranberryCranberry Juice
juice fits very well within the dietary guidelines. Cranberry juice also contains 87.13 g water per 100 g.It provides energy, protein, and carbohydrates. In terms of minerals, it contains calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and zinc. It also contains vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), and vitamin K (phylloquinone). Cranberries are members of the Ericaceae family and are native to North America.
A cup of cranberries possesses 8983 antioxidant capacity.
It contains anthocyanin flavonoids, sianidin, peonidin, quercetin, tannins and 87.13g of water per 100 g. It is a good source of salicylic acid and Vitamin C.
It nourishes the body with carbohydrates, proteins, minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, E and K.
Amazing Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice
1. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Cranberry juice contains proanthocyanidins which prevents bacteria from binding itself to the cells on the walls of the bladder. These compounds prevent bacteria from multiplying further and flush them out of the body through urination.
Research shows that drinking cranberry juice regularly can help prevent recurring UTIs in middle-aged and pregnant women. Regular intake of cranberry juice has also been proven beneficial for patients undergoing other treatments in the hospitals as a guard against the urinary tract diseases. It is beneficial in reducing the risk of UTI amongst women undergoing elective benign gynecological surgery. The study also suggests
that cranberry juice may even help in preventing pediatric urinary tract infection. However, cranberry juice is not effective in treating UTIs once you have the infection and is only a preventative measure.
2. Prevents Cancer Risk
Cranberry juice contains polyphenolic compounds which has anti-tumor efficacy,it inhibits the development and spread of lung, breast, colon, prostate, and other cancers. Cranberry juice contains a high amount of salicylic acid which can help reduce swelling, prevent blood clots, and eliminate tumors.
It also contains proanthocyanidins, which inhibit the growth of various cancer cells.According to studies, proanthocyanidins can stop micro-tumors from developing in the blood vessels. Regular consumption of cranberry juice prevents the rapid growth of tumors. Chemicals in cranberries also prevent the multiplication of breast cancer cells.
3. Heart Health
Cranberry juice contains flavonoids which has antioxidant properties and may decrease the threat of atherosclerosis.These compounds have been shown to delay and suppress the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) and beneficially stimulate the blood platelets.
4. Prevents Tooth Decay
Cranberry juice has Proanthocyanidins which inhibits harmful bacteria from clinging to teeth. These components inhibit acid production and protect the teeth from periodontal diseases by preventing the growth of plaque. According to new research studies, cranberry juice prevents tooth cavities. Proanthocyanidins, a chemical compound present in cranberries, inhibits harmful bacteria from clinging to teeth.
These components inhibit acid production and protect the teeth from periodontal diseases by preventing the growth of plaque. Good oral hygiene, along with the consumption of cranberries, disrupts the pathogenic mechanism of dental caries and generally makes for good dental health. At the same time, one should watch out for the soaring sugar content and the acidity of some commercially available cranberry juices – natural juice is always better!
5. Prevents Respiratory Infections
Cranberry juice helps inhibit certain strains of the Haemophilus influenza, which is a common cause of ear and respiratory infections in children. The juice inhibits the bacteria’s hair-like structures, inhibiting them from adhering to the surface of the skin.
6. Strengthens Bones and Teeth
Cranberry juice has calcium which helps in teeth and bone strength. This helps prevent osteoporosis
7. Aids in Weight Loss
Cranberry juice is rich in organic acids, which have an emulsifying effect on the fat deposits in our body.
8. Treats Peptic ulcers
Cranberry juice contains anthocyanins, flavonols and proanthocyanidins which inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) which attacks the protective layer of the stomach and duodenum, which is a first part of the intestine. This may lead to further inflammation of the stomach lining causing stomach ulcers.
9. Prevents Scurvy
Deficiency of vitamin C in an individual can result in scurvy. Cranberries provide high levels of vitamin C, which is also vital for the body to make collagen, the main component responsible for the healthy functioning of tissues.
10. Treats Lung inflammation
The anti-inflammatory effects of cranberry juice have been proven to be effective against the inflammation caused in the lungs by the influenza virus. A substance called nondialyzable material or NDM present in cranberries prevent the influenza virus from sticking to the cells, hence preventing a flu infection.
11. Anti-tumor Effects
The anti-tumor efficacy offered by cranberry juice is attributed to the presence of polyphenolic compounds within the fruit. Studies have suggested that regular consumption of cranberry juice inhibits the development and spread of lung, breast, colon, prostate, and other cancers Cranberry juice contains a high amount of salicylic acid which can help reduce swelling, prevent blood clots, and eliminate tumors.
12. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Cranberry juice can help lower the risk of heart-related ailments and assist in sustaining cardiovascular health. The flavonoids present in cranberries have antioxidant properties and may decrease the threat of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which the arteries are narrowed due to the build-up of fat, calcium, and cholesterol found in blood. This obstructs the flow of oxygen-rich blood to various parts of the body and may lead to potentially fatal outcomes like heart attacks and strokes. These compounds have been shown to delay and suppress the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) and beneficially stimulate the blood platelets.
13. Avoids Respiratory Infections
According to conducted studies, cranberry juice helps inhibit certain strains of the Haemophilus influenza, which is a common cause of ear and respiratory infections in children. The juice inhibits the bacteria’s hair-like structures, inhibiting them from adhering to the surface of the skin.
14. Cures Cold
Fresh cranberry juice is effective in fighting infections. It cures sore throats and colds.
15. Anti-aging Benefits
The USDA scientists at the human research center suggest that the wealth of phytonutrients and antioxidants present in cranberries play a vital role in providing protection against the problems that develop with age, such as memory loss and lack of coordination. Cranberries have a multitude of therapeutic properties that protect the cells from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals that contribute to aging, thereby making the skin look younger.
16. Prevents Kidney Stones
The high amount of acid components in cranberry juice prevent kidney stone formation.
17. Fights Common Infections
Cranberry juice is also effective in curing infections like cold, flu and sore throat. It also soothes the respiratory tract and inhibits the growth of certain strains of haemophilus influenzae which are a common cause of respiratory and ear infections in children. Several researches have indicated that cranberry juice protects the brain from neurological damage and other brain-related diseases.
18. Boosts Immunity
The juice of cranberries is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals which promote a healthy immune system.
It also eases the symptoms of age-related problems like memory loss, lack of coordination etc.
19. Curbs Yeast Infection
Cranberries are also known to curb a rare kind of infection known as yeast infection. Yeast infection is caused due to an overgrowth of naturally occurring bacteria in the body and occurs mostly in men and children. This juice contains substances that render the bacteria ineffective to cling to the walls of the mouth, intestines or urinary tract. Fresh cranberry juice flushes out yeast and other excess fungi from the body.
20. Acts as a Toner
The acidic nature of cranberry juice also helps people with oily skin. The enzymes present in this fruit exfoliate dead skin and unclog the sebaceous glands which prevent the formation of sebum. Mix cranberry juice along with honey and rub it on the face. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. This instant mix works as a wonderful toner for the skin.
21. Firms Up the Skin
Vitamin C in cranberry juice is crucial for the production of hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, the amino acids which are required for the production of collagen in the body. Collagen helps the blood vessels under the skin carry oxygen and other nutrients which, in turn, soften and firm up the skin and make it look young and radiant. This juice is a favorite as it offers ample protection against the harsh winter weather conditions. Consumption of cranberry juice will help keep the skin smooth and supple even during winters.
22. Treats Acne
The antiseptic properties of this juice are very effective for treating acne and boils on the skin. Cranberry juice is rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant, which is very effective in minimizing acne and pimples. A mask made with cranberry juice as one of the primary ingredients brightens the skin and gives an instant fresh look. Mix cranberry juice with orange peel powder and a bit of honey. Make a fine paste of it. Apply it all over the face and leave it on for 20 minutes. When applied on a regular basis, it is sure to give the skin a lighter tone.
23. Promotes Hair Growth:
Cranberry juice is considered to be one of the best fruit juices for long and lustrous hair. Vitamins A and C that are present in cranberry juice are the two main vitamins that promote the growth of healthy hair. Regular consumption of cranberry juice prevents hair loss and promotes the growth of hair.
24. Prevents Psoriasis and Alopecia
The antiseptic and antifungal properties of this juice prevent dandruff, psoriasis and other scalp-related problems.
Cranberry juice, when applied topically on the scalp, helps to get rid of these conditions. The vitamin C in cranberry juice is an essential nutrient to treat damaged hair and prevent a variety of hair disorders. Cranberry juice can help to combat alopecia and male baldness.
25. A Natural Hair Color:
It can be used to color the hair. Mix a cup of pure cranberry juice with 1/4th cup of water. Use this as a final rinse after washing the hair. This rinse works great on hair of darker shade, and brings out the rich red hue of the hair, especially in sunlight.
26. Prevents Psoriasis and Alopecia
Cranberry juice can help prevent dandruff because it contains antifungal and antiseptic properties. Moreover, drinking the juice daily can also help eliminate the chance of you developing symptoms associated with Psoriasis, alopecia and other scalp and hair related health complications. You can topically apply the juice on your scalp by gently massaging it.
Uses of Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice, made from the fruit extract or cranberry concentrate, is used to make various sauces and cranberry juice cocktail. About one liter of juice can be extracted from 1500 grams of fresh cranberries. Cranberry juice cocktails are approximately 30% pure cranberry juice mixed with artificial sweetener or fructose.
The fruit extract is also used to make medicines, gels, and tonics for its healing benefits. Dried cranberries are also very healthy and can be enjoyed with breakfast cereals, energy bars, granola bars, trail mixes, or can be added to muffins.
Cranberry Juice Recipe
- 1 lb fresh cranberries or 1 lb frozen cranberries
- 1 quart water
- Wash and drain fresh or frozen red-ripe cranberries.
- Combine cranberries and water in a large pan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and cook until berries burst.
- Strain juice through a fine strainer lined with cheese cloth.
- Sugar can be added to juice to your taste.
- Reheat juice until it is almost, but not boiling.
- Pour into jars.
- Allow to cool before refrigerating.
Negative Effects of Cranberry Juice
Cranberries and cranberry juice offer a variety of health benefits, barring the few exceptions listed below:
- Warfarin (Coumadin): Warfarin is an anticoagulant drug that is used as a blood thinner, and it lowers the chances of blood clots occurring in the body. These blood clots can further result in serious conditions like cardiovascular disorders or clots in the legs, lungs, and other parts of the body. There are indications that people who take warfarin should be cautious regarding the intake of cranberry, as they are at a high risk of bleeding.  Excess consumption of cranberry juice is not recommended for these people as it may affect the efficacy and safety of warfarin in the body. In such cases, it is always advisable to regularly get your blood tested in order to consume the correct dose of the medication.
- Aspirin allergy: Cranberries contain substantial quantities of salicylic acid, which is also present in aspirin.  People who need blood thinners and are prescribed aspirin should avoid consuming too much cranberry juice. Intake of cranberries should also be restricted if you are allergic to aspirin.
- Kidney stones: Cranberry extracts contain a significant concentration of oxalate and calcium. This amplifies the chances of developing calcium-oxalate stones and uric acid stones in certain people. People who have kidney stones or have a history of kidney stones should consult a medical professional before consuming cranberry supplements or a large amount of cranberry juice. Studies have provided evidence that the juice can raise the level of oxalate in the urine by up to 43%.
Cranberry extracts have been used to deodorize urine in some people who have complications in controlling urination, also known as urinary incontinence. The extracts can prevent the urinary catheters from blocking and speed up the curative process of the membrane around the stomach.