This blush red sweet fruit packs more benefits than you’d imagine. Cranberries are freshly found throughout North America. Cranberry juice and extracts have long been used by Native American Indian tribes as medicine and now a latest supports the same.
According to a new study, published in the Journal Nutrition, drinking low-calorie cranberry juice may help lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Cranberries provide a rich source of protective compounds - called polyphenols - that support our body's natural defences and help us achieve a balanced lifestyle to improve health. To find the effectiveness of polyphenol-rich cranberries, researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided eight weeks' worth of meals to 56 healthy adult volunteers (average 50 years of age). One group drank a glass of low-calorie cranberry juice twice daily. The other group drank a placebo beverage with a similar colour and flavour. Individuals drinking two glasses of low-calorie cranberry juice a day improved across all these measures.
"At the start and end of the experiment, the researchers measured things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood lipids, as well as C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation," said Christina Khoo, director of Research Sciences at Ocean Spray. "These findings suggest that polyphenols help to protect our bodies, and may be adept at keeping a large number of ailments at bay," Khoo added.
According to the World Health Organisation estimates the trio of diseases annually claim 15.6 million lives around the globe. Cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and salicylic acid. Studies have shown that the cranberry juice contains proanthocyanidins that possess anti-clinging properties, which prevent the bacteria from binding itself to the cells on the walls of the bladder. These compounds prevent these bacteria from multiplying and further and flush them out of the body through urination.
"Cranberries are good for your skin and immunity as they are packed with anti-oxidants. It is known that cranberry juice helps to prevent urinary tract infections," says Dr. Simran Saini from Fortis Shalimar Bagh Hospital, New Delhi.