While familiar nutrients like vitamin C and fiber play a very important role in health benefits of cranberries, it is the amazing variety of phytonutrients in cranberries that has gotten the special attention of health researchers. Here are listed all the reasons you should eat this super bouncing fruit.
Fights against urinary tract infection
Cranberries have been used to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. While the acidity of cranberries was at one time an important target of research, now it is known that cranberry’s ability to provide above mentioned benefits is not primarily related to its acidity, but rather to its proanthocyanidin content. They have a special structure that makes it more difficult for certain types of bacteria to latch on to the urinary tract linings.
Anti inflammatory benefits
It is the phytonutrients in cranberry that are especially effective in lowering the risk of unwanted inflammation and all of the phytonutrient categories represented in cranberry are now known to play a role. Cranberry phytonutrients inhibit the activity of the enzymes that are key factors in the production of pro inflammatory messaging molecules. So, by inhibiting these enzymes, phytonutrients of cranberry significantly lower the risk of unwanted inflammation.
Prevents kidney stone formation
Urinary uric acid is typically decreased by intake of cranberry and so risk of urate stones in susceptible individuals could be decreased by consuming of cranberry. Since 4 out of 5 adults experiencing kidney stone problems develop calcium plus oxalate stones, there is a good chance for cranberry to be a problematic addition to the diet in this case for adults with a history of kidney stone formation.
In studies intake of cranberry extracts has shown the ability to improve multiple aspects of immune function and to lower the frequency of cold and flu symptoms in the participants. In many of these studies, the cranberry extracts were standardized to contain a known, higher amount of proanthocyanidins.
It is the combined impact of cranberry antioxidants and anti inflammatory phytonutrients that is responsible for cardiovascular health. Dietary intake of cranberries and cranberry juice has been shown to prevent the triggering of enyzmes that are pivotal in the atherosclerosis process. Cranberry has been shown to prevent activation of these enzymes by blocking activity of a pro inflammatory messaging molecule. Antioxidant components of cranberries have been clearly associated with decreased risk of high blood pressure. A final area of cardiovascular support provided by cranberry is lowering bad cholesterol and total cholesterol, while simultaneously helping to increase level of good cholesterol. Cranberry most likely helps to achieve these cholesterol improving changes by helping to improve oxidative and inflammatory aspects.
Cranberry’s special combination of antioxidants is without a doubt unique. The special value of cranberries might often involve metabolic events that are taking place behind the scenes. In other words, these benefits might sometimes be missed in broadly focused research studies and cranberry might in fact have a stronger research track record than previously assumed.
Anti cancer benefits
None of the cancer related benefits of cranberries should surprise you, since cranberries are loaded with antioxidant and anti inflammatory nutrients. Chronic excessive oxidative stress and chronic excessive inflammation are 2 key risk factors promoting increased risk of cancer. With its unique array of antioxidant and anti inflammatory nutrients, cranberries seem to be ideal to help lower risk of cancer development. Cancer preventive benefits of cranberry are especially likely in the case of lung, breast, colon and prostate cancers.
Digestive tract benefits
When you add up the health benefits of cranberry for decreased risk of periodontal disease, decreased risk of stomach ulcer, decreased risk of colon cancer, it is impossible not to conclude that cranberry is unique fruit to provide you with gastrointestinal tract benefits.