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.


Fruit & Vegetables – The Colors of Your Health


The Colors of Health

Consuming a full range of different colored fresh fruit and vegetables is important for you get enough vitamins and minerals. Fight cancer, heart disease, the effects of aging and more with the help of colorful fruits & vegetables
* Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.

“For optimum health, scientists say, eat a rainbow of colors. Your plate should look like a box of Crayolas.”
– Janice M. Horowitz, TIME, January 12, 2002

Colorful fruits and vegetables provide the wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals your body uses to maintain good health and energy levels, protect against the effects of aging, and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.*

Many of the phytochemicals and other compounds that make fruits and vegetables good for us also give them their color. That’s why it’s essential to sample the complete color spectrum every day to get the full preventive benefits of fruits and vegetables.

But how many of us actually accomplish this? The cost of fruit and vegetables is soaring making it even more difficult. Plus there is the often misunderstood issue of lack of digestive enzymes. These enzymes provide you with ability to assimilate the nutrients in your food.

There is an easier way to consume your 5 a day, plus enzymes – Click HERE to find out how.

BLUE/PURPLE

Blue/purple fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of health-promoting phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phenolics, currently being studied for their antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. Include BLUE/PURPLE in your low-fat diet to help maintain:

* A lower risk of some cancers *
* Urinary tract health
* Memory function
* Healthy aging

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors.

Get blue/purple every day with foods such as:

Blueberries
Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Black currants
  • Dried plums
  • Elderberries
  • Purple figs
  • Purple grapes
  • Plums
  • Raisins
  • Purple asparagus
  • Purple cabbage
  • Purple carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Purple Belgian endive
  • Purple peppers
  • Potatoes (purple fleshed)
  • Black salsify

GREEN

Green vegetables contain varying amounts of phytochemicals such as lutein and indoles, which interest researchers because of their potential antioxidant, health-promoting benefits. Include GREEN in your low-fat diet to maintain:

* A lower risk of some cancers*
* Vision health
* Strong bones and teeth

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors.

Go green every day with fruits and vegetables like these:

Pears
Pears
  • Avocados
  • Green apples
  • Green grapes
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwifruit
  • Limes
  • Green pears
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoflower
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Green beans
  • Green cabbage
  • Celery
  • Chayote squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Endive
  • Leafy greens
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Green onion
  • Okra
  • Peas
  • Green pepper
  • Snow Peas
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

WHITE

White, tan, and brown fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of phytochemicals of interest to scientists. These include allicin, found in the garlic and onion family. The mineral selenium, found in mushrooms, is also the subject of research. Including WHITE in your low-fat diet helps maintain:

* Heart health
* Cholesterol levels that are already healthy
* A lower risk of some cancers*

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors.

Get all the health benefits of white by including foods such as:

Cauliflower
Cauliflower
  • Bananas
  • Brown pears
  • Dates
  • White nectarines
  • White peaches
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Jerusalem artickoke
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes (white fleshed)
  • Shallots
  • Turnips
  • White Corn

YELLOW/ORANGE

Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of antioxidants such as vitamin C as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, two classes of phytochemicals that scientists are studying for their health-promoting potential. Including YELLOW/ORANGE in your low-fat diet helps maintain:

* A healthy heart
* Vision health
* A healthy immune system
* A lower risk of some cancers*

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors.

Choose Yellow/Orange fruits and vegetables like:

Apricots
Apricots
  • Yellow apples
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cape Gooseberries
  • Yellow figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Golden kiwifruit
  • Lemon
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Yellow pears
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapples
  • Tangerines
  • Yellow watermelon
  • Yellow beets
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Yellow peppers
  • Yellow potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabagas
  • Yellow summer squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yellow tomatoes
  • Yellow winter squash

RED

Specific phytochemicals in the red group that are being studied for their health-promoting properties include lycopene and anthocyanins. Include a variety of RED fruits and vegetables in your low-fat diet to help maintain:

* A healthy heart
* Memory function
* A lower risk of some cancers*
* Urinary tract health

* Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors.

Include RED fruits and vegetables in your diet such as:

Blood Orange
Blood Orange
  • Red apples
  • Blood oranges
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Red grapes
  • Pink/Red grapefruit
  • Red pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Beets
  • Red peppers
  • Radishes
  • Radicchio
  • Red onions
  • Red potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Tomatoes

Information courtesy of www.5aday.org