Cranberry Juice: Advantages and Disadvantages

Photo by Rirri on Unsplash

Cranberry juice is made from cranberries. Cranberries are tiny, red berries mainly found in Canada and the United States of America. Cranberry juice is quite popular among ladies, but that is not why we are here.

This article is going to narrow down to:

  • The health benefits of cranberry juice
  • The disadvantages of cranberry juice

The health benefits of cranberry juice

Cranberries are packed with tonnes of nutrients beneficial to the human body and help improve its immunity. Here are some of the health benefits of cranberry juice:

Source of Vitamins C and E

Cranberries are a rich source of vitamins C and E. These vitamins are essential for healthy and glowing skin and healthy joints. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps the skin tissue grow and repair itself by helping it make collagen. This in return helps the skin repair any damage caused by exposure to the sun. Vitamin C also boosts the body’s immunity against the flu or cold.

Vitamin E also helps the skin regenerate itself. Other than that, vitamin E may also help in treating osteoarthritis by increasing the growth of cartilage cells.

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Improved heart health

Cranberry juice is rich in polyphenols which act as antioxidants against chronic inflammation of blood vessels that could otherwise lead to heart disease. Research has also shown that polyphenols lower blood pressure and reduce the amount of cholesterol levels, enemies of a healthy heart.

Prevent occurrence of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are caused by the E.Coli bacteria. This bacteria makes its way from the anal region to the urinary tract leading to an infection. UTIs are way common among women since they have a shorter urethra compared to men. It is because of this reason that cranberry juice is popular among women.

Cranberry juice contains properties that may help in preventing the E.Coli bacteria from building up on the bladder walls and the urinary tract. This reduces the chances of getting a UTI.

NOTE: Cranberry juice does not cure an already present Urinary Tract Infection.

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Improved stomach health

Cranberry juice has properties that prevent the growth of Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) bacteria in the stomach lining. This bacteria when left unchecked leads to stomach ulcers.

Antioxidants

Apart from vitamins C and E, cranberry juice is rich in other antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that prevent damage from exposure to free radicals that may otherwise lead to heart disease or cancer.

Other antioxidant properties present are; anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, quercetin, peonidin, and myricetin. They may be in lower concentration in the cranberry juice form since the skin of cranberries contains most of these.

The disadvantages of cranberry juice

I am sure you have heard of the saying, “too much of something is poisonous”. Cranberry juice has no exception. Here are some potential risks associated with cranberry juice.

Interaction with medicine

Cranberry juice interacts negatively with blood-thinning medication. This could lead to the formation of blood clots or enlargement of already existing blood clots. If you are under blood-thinning medication, consult with your doctor about how much cranberry juice you can consume.

Stomach problems

Although safe, consuming a lot of cranberry juice may lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea in some people.

Kidney stones

Cranberry juice contains a compound called oxalate in high concentrations. A high amount of oxalate in the body is related to kidney stones. Research has shown that consuming large amounts of cranberry juice may increase one’s chances of getting kidney stones. Kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is being made by the kidneys.

Allergies

If you are allergic to aspirin, it’s best to avoid cranberry juice. Cranberry juice contains a substantial amount of salicylic acid. This acid has similar characteristics to the drug, aspirin. Consuming large quantities of cranberry juice can be detrimental as a result.

There you have it folks, the benefits, and risks associated with cranberry juice. Leave a comment on your experience with cranberry juice.

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