Benefits Of Cranberry Juice: Beyond UTI And Vitamin C
Cranberry juice is loaded with vitamin C which enables the body’s ability to deal with oxidative stress, helps to reduce risk of heart diseases, and boosts the body’s immune system.
Cranberry juice, derived from the pulp of cranberries, is a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants. With a pH level ranging between 2.3 and 2.5, it is classified as an acidic drink. While studies on the beneficial nature of cranberry juice are still in a preliminary stage, based on the nutritional content it can be said that cranberry juice looks promising nonetheless. And the benefits of cranberry juice make it quite hard to avoid, make it a useful and efficient choice to be included in your diet for a healthy lifestyle. One of the most popular benefits of drinking cranberry juice, and the one for which it is known worldwide, is its ability to help maintain urinary tract health. But there are several more benefits of drinking this ruby-colored, delicious juice. Here are some benefits associated with drinking cranberry juice that are backed by science. Read on.
1. Cranberry Juice Is Loaded With Vitamin C
The importance of eating a balanced diet has been debated for eons. We know a diet, that is balanced in all major nutrients, like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and vitamins and minerals is the best kind of diet to follow. Amongst all vitamins, the water-soluble Vitamin C has many health benefits and particularly lauded for its high antioxidant content. Cranberry juice is loaded with vitamin C which enables the body’s ability to deal with oxidative stress, helps to reduce the risk of heart diseases, and boosts the body’s immune system. Drinking cranberry juice will give you all these benefits and more.
2. Rich In Antioxidants
The high antioxidant concentration in cranberries contributes to the long list of benefits associated with the consumption of cranberry juice. Antioxidants, present in cranberry juice, are responsible for minimizing the risk of free radical damage, which can cause early signs of aging. Thus, the inclusion of cranberry juice in your daily diet can slow down the process of aging and may also delay the diseases associated with aging, such as bone degenerative defects and mental health issues.
3. Prevents & Manages Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are caused when external pathogens such as bacteria come in contact with the walls of the urinary tract. This results in the urinary tract getting swollen and inflamed. Symptoms of urinary tract infection include high fever and severe abdominal pains. Cranberries contain an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins, which are responsible for preventing the walls of the urinary tract from being attacked by these external pathogens. While studies around the subject are still ongoing, several experts believe that consuming cranberry juice regularly may prevent the first attack of UTI among women, though the juice may not be as helpful in cases of recurring bouts of UTI.
4. Boosts Immunity
One cup of cranberry juice contains 22% of your daily requirement (RDA) of vitamin C, and this is why cranberry juice is quite an effective drink for strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C is responsible for supporting the immune system by increasing the rate of healing of tissues, and it also supports the barrier cells that prevent any other external bacteria from entering the system. Vitamin C is also a reliable source of anti-oxidants and helps reduce free-radicals (free oxygen atoms) in the body. Free-radicals, as we know, lead to oxidative – a process which is a result of the chemical reaction between the cells and the free oxygen atoms, thus damaging them. A diet rich in Vitamin C will help to bring down oxidative stress. A severe deficiency of vitamin C could result in damaged skin, and in some cases, it can also lead to swollen joints. Consuming cranberry juice regularly can provide you with quality vitamin C.
5. Promotes Digestion
Cranberry juice has been proven to be quite beneficial for overall gut health. The psychoactive components present in cranberry juice are responsible for reducing the risk of inflammation of the intestine. This is, more often than not, a major cause for indigestion. Also present in a glass of cranberry juice is a bacterium called H.pylori, which promotes healthy digestion. (Reference- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29315597)
6. Improves Skin Texture
Due to the high concentration of vitamin C, a glass of cranberry juice daily can help firm up your skin. This is because a healthy dose of vitamin C can promote the production of amino acids that are responsible for the creation of collagen in the bloodstream. Collagen is the main structural protein in the tissues and one of the main reasons why young skin looks plump and fuller; with age, skin can lose its elasticity as it loses collagen. A diet rich in vitamin C will help maintain collagen levels for a longer duration of time. Increased production of collagen also increases the quantity of oxygen in the blood and transports it throughout the body, thus keeping the skin healthy and firm.
7. Supports The Nervous System
An antioxidant called falconoid (which falls under the same category as vitamin C) present in cranberry juice helps in the prevention of any oxidative damage to the nerve cells. This becomes particularly beneficial during the process of nerve regeneration – a process of regrowth and repair of nerve cells after any nerve injury. This is due to the fact that falconoid is responsible for tracking and combining with any free oxygen radical that would have otherwise combined with healthy cells leading to oxidative stress.
8. Promotes Dental Health
Another benefit of the antioxidant named proanthocyanidin, which is present in cranberry juice, is its positive effect on dental hygiene. Proanthocyanin keeps cavities away and is often associated with restricting plaque growth in the gums. By preventing the breeding of micro-organisms due to its acidic state, a regular glass of cranberry juice helps improve your dental hygiene without a doubt.
9. Can Prevent Dandruff
Yes, not only does cranberry juice have to its credit a long list of health-related benefits, but it can also be a part of your hair-care regimen. The anti-bacterial property of cranberry juice would help in restricting the growth of dandruff, a condition that is often caused due to dry scalp.
10. Good For Bones
Cranberry juice, though not high on minerals, is actually a good source of calcium. Calcium is a mineral that is regarded as the building block for bones and teeth, and it is also one of the few minerals that are removed along with the excretion of excess water from the system. Although sometimes, the amount of calcium removed is more than the amount of calcium replaced, which can result in weak bones. Thus, it is important to have a good calcium diet, and cranberry juice might be a good choice for that, taking into account its other health benefits as well.
Adverse Effects Associated With Cranberry Juice
Any medicine, if taken in a higher dosage, can cause adverse effects on your health, and cranberry juice is no exception to that. Containing a noteworthy concentration of nutrients such as calcium and antioxidants (mainly vitamin C and falconoid), cranberry juice can be beneficial for lowering blood pressure, promoting bone health and, not to forget, its spectacular beauty benefits that are responsible for a clean and radiant skin along with a healthy set of hair. However, a large intake of minerals can have an adverse effect on your body, and one of them is them is the accumulation of excess minerals over your kidney wall, which might cause kidney stones.
Moreover, filling your body with minerals can further lower your blood pressure and cause a loss of water in your body cells, as it is responsible for easing the transfer of water from your body’s cells to the bladder.
Also keeping in mind the acidic nature of cranberry juice, it is important to consume it in a regulated manner as it can affect the pH level of your stomach, which is already acidic. An increase in the acidity of your stomach can further increase the symptoms of acid reflux by causing irritation in your food pipe.
How Much Of Cranberry Juice Is Enough?
If knowing about the adverse effects of cranberry juice is worrying you, then we would suggest that there is no need to. Unlike other food items, the daily consumption of cranberry juice is quite flexible. Moreover, your daily consumption of cranberry juice should not exceed 4 glasses or 1litre, which is more than enough.
Keep in mind the nutritional content of cranberry juice and plan it accordingly, as one glass serving of cranberry juice can have about 117g of calories. So, it is important to keep track of your daily calorie consumption before going for your next glass.
It is also advised for people with a history of kidney stones to minimize their daily consumption of cranberry juice, as it contains a compound called oxalate and calcium, which are responsible for increasing the risk of kidney stones.
Rich with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and also loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, cranberry juice is one of the most beneficial drinks that can be a part of a healthy diet. With a long list of benefits aiming to improve your digestion, immune system, your skin, and your hair, cranberry juice offers a clean and natural way towards healthy living.