Cranberry – Tiny Fruit With Huge Health Benefits

Cranberries are perhaps best known for their effects on urinary tract health.


Cranberry
Cranberry

However, recent research indicates that these tiny berries are also great for your tummy, skin, gums and teeth because they are packed with powerful antioxidants and organic acids, including ellagic acid, citric acid, malic acid, quinic acid, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, and vitamin C. Several studies have shown that cranberries may even play an important role in reducing cardiovascular risk and preventing cancer.

Cranberries for Preventing Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

UTIs are usually caused by E. coli, a type of bacteria that is normally found in the digestive tract. They can also be found on the skin around the rectum, and may even make their way up into the bladder. Although UTIs are often associated with women, men and children can suffer from UTIs too. Symptoms of UTIs include an urgent desire to empty the bladder, frequent urination, burning sensation during urination, the feeling of having to urinate(even though little or no urine actually comes out), lower abdominal pain, and cloudy or foul-smelling urine. If left untreated, bacteria can travel up to and infect the kidneys, causing serious complications.

Due to the fact that strong antibiotics can irritate the stomach and kill off the friendly bacteria in the gut (and that more E. coli strains are becoming resistant to them), antibiotics are no longer the best solution for UTIs. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), cranberries can offer great protection and relief from UTIs — including the ones that are resistant to antibiotic treatment.

Studies show that cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) which are more effective in inhibiting the adhesion of E. coli to the urinary tract epithelium than the B-type proanthocyanidins found in other sources. When E. coli bacteria are unable to stick to the urinary tract walls, they are unable to cause any mischief. The beneficial effects start within two hours after intake and can last up to 10 hours in the urine.

Canberry extract inhibits UTI
Cranberry extract inhibits UTI

Other Benefits of Cranberry

Improves gastric ulcers

Helicobacter pylori infects up to 60% of the world’s population, causing gastric and duodenal ulcers and increasing the risk of gastric cancer. Although there may not be any obvious symptoms until a gastric ulcer has reached an advanced stage, some of the earlier symptoms include bloating, frequent burping, nausea, change in appetite, or a burning pain in the stomach. Helicobacter pylori is transmitted through saliva, so sharing food or eating out may pose a risk if the food or eating utensils are contaminated. Fortunately, studies show that cranberries can effectively stop Helicobacter pylori bacteria from attaching to the stomach crevices that can protect them from stomach acids. When exposed to stomach acids, the bacteria are destroyed, flushed out and expelled from the gastrointestinal tract.

Encourages healthy gums & teeth, & keeps breath fresh

Cranberries prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth, keeping teeth cleaner longer. This helps to prevent the formation of plaque, tooth decay and bleeding gums. Cranberries have the power to crush offensive-smelling bacteria that can build up in the mouth and lead to bad breath.

Encourages healthy heart & reduces stroke damage

Cranberries contain significantly high amounts of flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds that help prevent the oxidation of LDL (‘bad cholesterol’). This reduces the risk of plaque formation that would otherwise restrict blood flow. Studies, including one by the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, concluded that cranberries may reduce the brain cell damage associated with stroke. These findings suggest that cranberries can reduce the severity of stroke, and aid in recovery, particularly during the earliest stages, when the most severe damage occurs.

Reduces the risk of kidney stones

The quinic acid in cranberries reduces ionised calcium, thus, reducing the risk of kidney stone formation, even among those prone to recurring kidney stones.

Promotes a fairer & more youthful-looking complexion

Free radicals destroy collagen in the skin, causing wrinkles and sagging skin. They can also cause skin to appear dull, red or inflamed. Cranberries have a very high ORAC value (which means that they have potent antioxidant capabilities and can effectively quench free radicals for fairer, more youthful skin)

Alleviates gout

Cranberries help to eliminate uric acid that could otherwise crystallise around the joints and cause the painful symptoms of gout.

Improves anaemia & relieves tiredness

Cranberries are naturally rich in vitamin C and aid the absorption of iron, which is crucial for the red blood cells in the body. Without sufficient iron, one can feel persistently tired, due to a lack of oxygen caused by low haemoglobin levels.


Diet Product Comparisons – Which type is best for you?

How many diet products have you heard about? How many have you tried for yourself? If you are like the average person who wants to lose a little weight, you have probably tried quite a few. So what is the best?

This summary comparison will focus on two broad categories. Chemical and Natural.

Chemical based products, which has two sub-categories, prescription only and “over the counter”, include:-

  • Dermal patches which pass chemicals through your skin to change your thyroid activity.
  • Pills which claim to block your body’s absorption of carbohydrates by changing the way you digest them.
  • Pills which block your body from absorbing fat and oil, allowing it to pass through your digestive system.
  • Pills which use caffeine to boost your metabolism.
  • Pills which claim to imitate your brain’s signals to make your brain think your stomach is full.

People often turn to chemical based diet products looking for a “quick fix”, however as you can see from the summary above, these products interfere in some way or another with your body’s natural processes. In addition, by definition, they involve adding chemicals to your body.

We are all individuals and have our own particular metabolism and chemistry, so the effects of these chemical based diet products can be unpredictable. Unpleasant and even dangerous side effects have been reported by many people.

Chemical based diet products do not aim to provide you with any nutritional benefit, in fact they often aim to interrupt your body’s absorption of nutrients.

Natural diet products do not require any prescription. They are food. Natural diet products include:-

  • Wu Yi Tea. Green tea’s health benefits are undisputed. Hundreds of years of usage have proven the benefits which have now been backed by scientific studies. Green tea adds nutrition to your diet, with high levels of antioxidants, catechins, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. The natural ingredients in green tea promotes thermogenesis and naturally boost your metabolic rate causing you burn calories faster.
  • Hoodia Gordonii a cactus plant from Africa which is proven to suppress appetite. So you simply eat less.
  • Acai Berries (euterpe oleraceae) -a dark purple berry from an Amazonian palm tree which is now known as one of the top ten superfoods. Acai berries are proven to be rich in minerals, vitamins, including natural vitamin E, fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, oleic (omega-9) fatty acids, antioxidants (including anthocyanidins), phytosterols and polyphenols. Acai berries, available as a juice product or in convenient capsule form, help you lose weight by detoxifying your system, eliminating built up waste and reducing water retention.
  • Pure Acai – One of the most Nutritious & Powerful foods in the World!

  • Maqui Berries (aristotelia chilensis) – a new superfood discovery from Patagonia. Maqui (pronounced mah-key) berries are like Acai berries on steroids. They have more than twice the antioxidant ORAC score of Acai berries. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)is a measure of a foods ability to neutralize damaging free radicals.

  • Chlorella – is a microscopic dark green algae superfood nutrient source. Is 60% protein with all 8 essential amino acids, has 23 vitamins and minerals and a special ingredient called Chlorella Growth Factor which supplies RNA and DNA. It’s superior nutritional qualities reduce food cravings which can cause over-eating. Additionally, chlorella’s fibrous cell wall has the ability to remove heavy metals from your system. Read all about Chlorella HERE
  • Spirulina – a blue-green algae which is considered to be a whole food. Spirulina provides total nutrition, so like chlorella, it nourishes your body so you don’t feel the need to eat junk foods or overeat. Read all about Spirulina HERE

This summary comparison clearly shows which group is the most beneficial to your body. The products you select to help you lose weight will be your individual choice. Do your self a favor – choose wisely.