Health benefits of CranberriesMagalies Citrus
by Dr. Marli Botha
Cranberries are considered to be a superfood due to all its healthy nutrients that are beneficial for your health. In fact, research has linked the nutrients in cranberries to a lower risk of urinary tract infection (UTI), the prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, and decreased blood pressure.
- For centuries, cranberries have been valued for the medicinal, antioxidant properties and anti-ageing benefits.
- The high level of antioxidant pro-anthocyanin’s (PAC) contained in cranberries may also benefit oral health. They do this by preventing bacteria from binding to the surface of teeth, according to researchers at the Centre for Oral Biology and Eastman Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York. Cranberries may also be beneficial in preventing gum disease.
- Stomach cancer is a common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is considered a major cause of stomach cancer, stomach inflammation, and ulcers. Cranberries contain unique plant compounds known as A-type pro-anthocyanin’s, which may cut your risk of stomach cancer by preventing H. pylori from attaching to the lining of your stomach. One study in 189 adults suggested that drinking 500 ml of cranberry juice daily may significantly reduce pylori infections. Another study in 295 children found that daily consumption of cranberry juice for 3 weeks suppressed the growth of H. pylori in about 17% of those infected.
- People who use the blood thinning drug warfarin (Coumadin) should not suddenly increase their intake of cranberries. Although there is conflicting evidence regarding the potential for cranberries to enhance its anticlotting effects, they could lead to increased bleeding.
- Cranberry products may also lead to higher excretion of oxalate in urine. This could promote the formation of kidney stones in those who are susceptible to calcium oxalate-type stones. Individuals with a history of kidney stones should talk to their healthcare provider before increasing their intake of cranberries.
- Cranberry juice can temporarily make conditions, such as acid reflux, worse because it is mildly acidic. Some people find that cranberry juice leaves an unusual taste in their mouth, or that it temporarily irritates gums and lips.