Cranberries are small red berries that most commonly grow in the cold regions of North America. The Indians valued this versatile berry for its high nutritional value and beneficial effects on health. In addition to being a food, they used it as a medicine, but also as a means of dyeing fabrics.
The cranberry harvest usually begins in September and October, when fresh fruit can be found. In dried form cranberries can be purchased throughout the year. They are a gift of nature and like all gifts of nature, they are very good for the human body.
Cranberries for health
Cranberry is rich in vitamin C, K, E, manganese and fiber. In their composition they have an abundance of antioxidants that have an antibacterial effect on the body. Cranberry fruit is a very valuable source of vitamins and minerals, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanin, organic acids, sugars, plant fibers and other nutrients. Hippuric acid, found in cranberries is a natural antibiotic. Cranberries have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial and diuretic effects.
Cranberries are best known as a fruit that cures and prevents urogenital infections. In some parts of the world they are also used as a cure for the flu. Cranberry is an excellent natural remedy for cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders because it contains boron, iodine and manganese which can lower blood pressure so cranberries are recommended for people suffering from hypertension.
Cranberries affect the increased secretion of gastric juices and pancreas, so they are desirable during the treatment of diseases of the digestive system. Cranberries improve appetite, normalize metabolism and increase intestinal peristalsis. They are also recommended for gastritis (only with low acidity), colitis and during the treatment of liver disease.
The oral cavity is full of bacteria that feed on sugar in food. Acids that cause tooth decay are then secreted in the mouth. Laboratory research has shown that cranberries act like Teflon, preventing bacteria from staying on the teeth. In addition to reducing the growth of bacteria that cause dental plaque, precisely because of the low sugar content, cranberries keep teeth clean and stop the formation and formation of plaque.
Cranberry juice is rich in vitamins C, K, E, manganese, and contains a low content of sodium and fat. Unsweetened cranberry juice contains little sugar, so cranberries are often mixed with other fruits, such as apples, grapes or cherries, which contain more natural sugar. Cranberry juice has high concentrations of the antioxidant phenols and phytochemicals, which fight cancer and can help prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer and strengthen the immune system.
Cranberry juice has historically been used to treat burns, wounds, psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions. 17th-century documents reveal that cranberries were used for medicinal purposes for stomach ailments, liver problems, and blood diseases. They were also used as protection against scurvy. The healing properties of cranberries are based on the high content of tannins. It prevents the passage of bacteria through cell membranes. Thus, regular consumption of cranberries can significantly improve the immune system.
In addition, cranberries increase the effect of antibiotics, especially when it comes to treating diseases of the digestive system and urinary tract infections. As with most fruit juices, cranberry juice comes in two variants: unsweetened and with added sugar, and the healthier version is, of course, unsweetened.
Cranberries and urinary tract infections
Preservatives in food and beverages and poor hygiene contribute to an increase in bladder infections. The mechanism of action is based on the natural acidification of urine, resulting in reduced bacterial growth. In addition, cranberries suppress the adhesion (sticking) of pathogenic bacteria to the walls of the urinary tract, thereby suppressing their reproduction and the development of the inflammatory process.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, richness in antioxidants and compounds that act as a natural antibiotic, cranberry is also used to strengthen immunity and prevent the development of cancer. The most well-known effect is that related to urinary tract infections. Namely, cranberries contain anthocyanin that prevent the accumulation of bacteria inside the urinary tract. Therefore cranberry juice and tea are often used in the treatment of urinary tract infections.
Regular consumption of cranberries significantly reduces the risk of food poisoning and prevents the development of enteroviruses. It is because of the ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, which most commonly attack the urinary system.