Medicinal properties, Benefits, and Uses of Cranberries
Cranberry is a small acidic berry-like fruit that is both sour and sweet in taste. Therefore, it is used in preparing food items like juices, jams, chutneys, etc. Apart from this, cranberry is also consumed and used for various health benefits and to cure many diseases.
A good amount of antioxidant properties are found in cranberries due to which, is also called a superfood in many places. Therefore, its juice is used to remove all health problems. The medicinal properties of cranberries help in relieving ailments like kidney stones, respiratory disorders, stomach disorders, heart diseases, diabetes, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and cancer. Apart from this, it also helps in reducing the problems related to teeth.
What is Cranberry?
Cranberry is a small round shape and dark red fruit. Its scientific name is Vaccinium macrocarpon. It is a fruit growing in evergreen shrubs which are mainly grown in North America but all its species are grown in many places all over the world. Due to the medicinal properties present in cranberry, it is used to reduce the effects of all diseases and also supports good health.
Medicinal Properties present in Cranberry
According to a research report published on the NCBI website related to cranberries, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, flavonol, anticarcinogen, and antimutagen (properties inhibiting gene structure changes) are present in cranberries. Apart from this, effects like anti-viral and neuroprotective are also found in it which make it a special fruit from the ordinary.
Benefits of Cranberry
According to the research done by the Brazilian institution, Department of Nutrition and Health on the subject of diabetes, cranberry juice has anti-diabetic properties which help in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by reducing the level of glucose present in the blood.
According to research conducted at the David Geffen School of Medicine in the US, phytochemicals found in cranberries have anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. Apart from this, vitamin C is also found in abundance in cranberries which work to prevent the spread of infection and increase immunity. On this basis, cranberry is considered good for immunity.
For oral health
Some properties are present in cranberry extract which work by inhibiting the formation of oral bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, both these bacteria are believed to be the main cause of tooth cavities which can be cured with cranberry extract. Apart from this, cranberry extract also has anti-microbial properties which help reduce oral infections such as inflammation of the teeth and gums.
Vitamin E is found in abundance in cranberries which works to make the skin glowing. According to the research of the US Research Institute, Department of Biological Science, cranberry has anti-aging properties which help in reducing the signs of aging. Apart from this, bacteriostatic properties are also found in cranberries which works to improve the condition of the skin of people suffering from erythema (reddish rash on the skin).
For kidney healthy
According to research by the Brazilian Research Institute, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cranberries help reduce the effects of chronic kidney disease complications such as inflammation and oxidative stress. Apart from this, antilithogenic effects are also found in cranberries which help in removing the problem of calcium oxalate i.e, kidney stones.
For a healthy heart
According to research conducted by the Research Institute of America, the polyphenol properties present in cranberries work to reduce the risk of heart disease (CVD) by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure. In addition, cranberries also have antiinflammatory (reducing inflammation) and antithrombotic (preventing blood clotting) properties which prove to be beneficial for many problems related to the heart.
For urinary tract infection
According to a research report published on the NCBI site, the proanthocyanidin-A compound is present in cranberry juice which has an antipodean (bacterial inhibiting) effect against bacteria causing urinary tract infection. On this basis, cranberry is one of the beneficial medicines in preventing UTI and postradiotherapy prostate cancer.
Research related to cancer has found that cranberry extract has anticancer and chemoprotective properties which are proven to be helpful in preventing the growth of tumors of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. On this basis, it is said that cranberry helps in protecting against cancer to some extent.
Uses of Cranberries
- Cranberry is consumed as a pickle with food.
- Cranberries are eaten as chutney.
- Some people also like to eat cranberries by making jam.
- At the same time, some people like to drink cranberry juice.
Side-effects of Cranberry
- Its excessive consumption can cause intestinal and digestive problems.
- Oxalate stone can be caused by excessive consumption of cranberries.
- Excessive consumption can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, and acidity.
- Problems like skin reactions can also be seen due to its wrong or excessive use.