Cranberry juice is extracted from cranberries, a creeping shrub that belongs to the Ericaceae family.
This berry is scientifically known as Vaccinum macrocarpon, and it is mainly found in the US, Canada, Northern states and Europe.
Cranberry vines are always green, growing to a maximum height of 20 cm and a creeping length of 2 M. These berries are usually in season between October and December.
They are red in color with a tart taste. Like all other red fruits, cranberries come with their own benefits.
Nutritional facts and health benefits of cranberries
They contain pro-anthocyanidin antioxidants, a group of phyto-nutrients that contribute towards the overall wellness of body.
These phyto-nutrients are natural anti-aging remedies that also offer protection against some types of cancer especially ovarian cancer.
They are also strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agents thus protect you from various inflammatory and bacterial infections.
It is a known natural remedy for yeast infections as well as herpes.
Cranberries are also rich in several other types of antioxidants that contribute towards your cardiovascular health.
Cranberry juice can benefit human cardiovascular system and boost immunity and protecting you against blockage of arteries.
Blocked arteries pose major health risks to the functioning of your heart, and this is how cranberries contribute towards the proper functioning of your heart.
Health Benefits of CranberryJuice
Cranberry juice offer protection against tooth cavities.
This is because it interferes with the formation of Streptococcus mutans on the surface of your teeth, thus preventing the formation on plaque that causes cavities.
The juice can even inhibit plaque and can even be used medicinally for curing plaques as it has the ability in reversing plaque formation in mouth.
Thus cranberry juice helps in preventing and curing tooth decay.
Urinary tract infections
Experts say cranberry juice inhibit the growth of mouth bacteria that causes plaque. So drink up.
A healthy dose of cranberry ensures your teeth are fresh and clean all the time.
They protect you from urinary tract infections. This is because they fight E. Coli, a bacterium that affects the bladder as well as urethra.
Cranberry also reacts to form a compound that inhibits the formation of calcium ammonium phosphate, thus protecting your urinary tract from bacterial infections.
Rich sources of vitamins and minerals
Cranberries are rich sources of vital vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin A, B-carotene, C, folate as well as zeaxanthin.
The minerals supplied by cranberries include manganese and potassium, which are required for the proper functioning of various cells.
Like all other fruits, cranberries have high fiber content.
100 g of these berries supplies you with 12 per cent of RDA of fiber, 9 per cent of RDA of carbohydrates and 1 per cent of RDA of Proteins.
Therefore, it is a balanced fruit that is capable of keeping you strong and healthy.
How Cranberries are served
You can serve cranberries as solid or liquid diet. As a solid, you can take it as any other fruit snack, or in the form of fruit salad.
They can also be used as a major ingredient in the preparation of other food snacks or major traditional dishes.
As a liquid, cranberries can be taken in the form of juice, cocktails or bottled drinks.
In order to obtain maximum health benefits, it is recommended that you use cranberry juice.
This is because the juice retains most of the nutrients and antioxidants, and is absorbed faster in to your blood stream.
Red, symbol of freshness
Cranberry juice is usually natural, with no sweeteners and thus the healthiest way to take cranberries.
Juicing cranberries does not expose them to heat or any form of processing that could interfere with their nutritional value.
Therefore, the juice retains as many nutrients as possible. The best cranberries for juicing are ones that are firm and have a plump, intact skin.
They should be free of wrinkles or cracks. A bright red color is a symbol of freshness.
Red is also a symbol of high antioxidant levels, and most antioxidants are usually found in bright red colored fruits.
You are free to juice dried cranberries, as they contain the same amount of antioxidants as the fresh berries.
How to make cranberry juice with a juicer
- Sort through your cranberries.
- Remove green ones and over-ripe or rotten ones.
- You can tell an overripe cranberry by the mushy texture.
- Rinse your cranberries thoroughly.
- Put the cranberries in a juicer
- Add water and sugar to taste.
Raw cranberry juice is extremely strong and bitter. Most people prefer it a bit thinner and sweeter. Add other fruit juices.
Cranberry juice is not for everyone
However, cranberry juice should be taken sparingly.
This is because the juice contains high levels of oxalic acid, a component that may interfere with the absorption process.
It bars your body from absorbing specific types of minerals, and thus a high consumption of this juice can result to major mineral deficiencies.
In addition, cranberry juice is not for everyone. It is not recommended for use by people who have had oxalate urinary tract stones (it contains oxalic acid).
If you have a history of this condition, you are advised to take a little amount of cranberry juice only if you can manage to maintain an adequate intake of water.
It is recommended that you limit your daily cranberry juice serving to a Liter.