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Is It Healthy to Drink Cranberry Juice?

Cranberries are a fruit that’s often overlooked until the holidays roll around – but sipping on cranberry juice can be enjoyed year round. What are the benefits of drinking cranberry juice?

When summer comes, many people enjoy the taste of chilled fruit juices served over ice. One juice that has a mildly tart, yet still pleasant taste is cranberry juice. A glass of cranberry juice fresh from the refrigerator is a great thirst quencher on a hot summer day – but what about the health benefits? Is cranberry juice good for you?

Is Cranberry Juice Good for You?: The Health Benefits of Cranberries

The cranberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants known as phenols. When researchers compared the phenol content of cranberries to nineteen other fruits, cranberries was in the number one position. Even more impressive was the fact that cranberries had five times more phenols as a serving of broccoli.

Animal studies suggest that phenols help to keep the heart and immune system healthy, and may play a role in cancer prevention and the fight against dental caries. Cranberries also contain other antioxidants called anthocyanidins that may have anti-cancer properties – and they’re a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin.  There’s tons of antioxidant activity packed into these tiny berries to help protect cells from oxidative damage.

Benefits of Drinking Cranberry Juice:  Does It Prevent Urinary Tract Infections?

It’s long been claimed that drinking cranberry juice prevents urinary tract infections. There is scientific evidence for this. The proanthocyanidins in cranberry juice help to keep bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall where they can set up a painful UTI. Some studies show that drinking cranberry juice every day helps to prevent urinary tract infections, but the beneficial effects of cranberry juice doesn’t extend to treating an already established infection. In this case, conventional therapy is more effective.

Is Cranberry Juice Good for You?: When Cranberry Juice Isn’t Healthy

To enjoy the health benefits of cranberry juice, buy it from a health food store in its concentrated, undiluted form without added sweeteners, and dilute it yourself with water. Most cranberry juice found on grocery store shelves not only contains too much sugar, but they may not have the same levels of phenols and anthocyanidins that make cranberry juice such a healthy drink. Some supermarket cranberry juices contain as little as twenty percent cranberry juice, but they make up for the lack of juice with lots of sugar. Make your cranberry juice count by buying it unsweetened without additives.

References:

Science Daily website. “Holiday Fruit Ranks Number One In Antioxidants”

World’s Healthiest Foods website

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