Cranberry juice health benefits are wide and varied, making it an excellent addition to the health-conscious diet. Cranberry juice contains high levels of vitamin C, as well as minerals like manganese, calcium and beta-carotene, which gives it its strong, red color and also acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Consuming cranberry juice on a regular basis helps contribute to a healthy diet, but cranberry juice also has other, more specific health benefits. However, be sure to check the ingredients before purchasing a bottle of cranberry juice. Most juices are only about one-third cranberry juice, with the rest consisting of sugars, water and preservatives. The addition of sugar and high fructose corn syrup to cranberry juice greatly reduces its overall health benefits.
Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infections
One of the more commonly known health benefits of cranberry juice is its ability to ward off urinary tract infections (UTIs). In many cases, if you feel as if a UTI is coming on, drinking cranberry juice can prevent it from fully developing. Most doctors, when diagnosing a UTI, will recommend cranberry juice to help you recover more quickly and more thoroughly.
One reason for this is that cranberry juice has a high acidic content. The acid increases the acidic content of the urine, making the urinary tract less hospitable to the bacteria that cause infection. This same high acid content also makes it an effective way to prevent kidney stones. If you experience any symptoms of a UTI or kidney stones, be sure to consult with your physician in addition to consuming additional cranberry juice.
Cranberry Juice and Other Illnesses or Infections
Cranberry juice also effectively helps the body fight other types of infection. Substances in cranberry juice have been shown to inhibit the activity of certain types of flu virus, making it more difficult for the virus to adhere to the skin. Cranberry juice’s antioxidant properties also help strengthen the immune system and lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. It also helps the body maintain a proper ratio of HDLs to LDLs, important to ensuring cardiovascular health. Recent studies even indicate that cranberry juice can help prevent tooth decay, and that it helps dissolve fat molecules for those attempting to lose weight.
To receive the best possible results from cranberry juice, you should purchase 100% pure juice. Cranberry juice on its own can be extremely tart, but it can be mixed with water without reducing its overall health benefits. Cranberry juice mixed with other juices to sweeten it also provides an acceptable alternative, but if the juice is sweetened with conventional sweeteners, it will not have the desired effect.
Adding cranberry juice to your daily diet can provide a boost to your immune system, improve your overall health and give you a good, energetic start to the day. In addition to eating a balanced diet with added cranberry juice, always be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms.