Cranberries contain considerable amount of essential nutrients including vitamins, fibers and minerals. They are commonly manufactured into the juice products and to some extent, processed for making cranberry sauces. In addition to their pleasant flavour to many people, they can provide a number of health benefits when ingested in the body.
Antioxidants are chemical molecules that are able to suppress the oxidation of other molecules (liable to be oxidized in response to the production of free radicals involved in the chain reactions). In other words, antioxidants exert effects against the incidence of cell damage in the body. Phytochemicals and polyphenols constitute significant percentage in cranberries. They are able to protect the body against heart disease and cancer in addition to supporting the immune system. The major compounds of cranberries include flavonoids, anthocyanidin, peonidin and cyanidin which have been reported to be protective based on their anti-carcinogenic functions.
The urinary tract infection arises from the adherence of some pathogenic bacteria, most notably Escherichia coli (E.coli) to the urothelium. The adhesion activity of these microorganisms can be significantly curtailed by the regular consumption of cranberry juice. The protective effect of cranberries is prominently attributed to the presence of their polyphenolic components, namely proanthocyanidins. Furthermore, the acid components of cranberry juice are capable of suppressing the harmful bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall by making the pH of the urine more acidic.
In general, cranberry juice is protective against the risk of kidney failure. It may even act as a treatment for minor kidney stones by decomposing the existing stones to smaller particles that are likely to be eliminated from the body via the liquid waste excretion. The acid ingredients of the juice are usually emulsified with the extra fats in the body in which the two immiscible liquid phases are mixed together (dispersed phase in continuous phase). This may highly contribute to preventing obesity and obtaining weight loss and healthy system in the body.
Cranberry juice significantly helps protecting the body against the severe disease of stomach ulcer and stomach cancer. In this regard, the functional components of the juice can degrade certain bacteria including helicobacter pylori. These bacteria are able to develop stomach ulcer by destroying the beneficial coating of the stomach (mucous structure) that may lead to a more serious condition i.e. stomach cancer.
Respiratory infection may be suppressed/reduced by regular consumption of cranberry juice. This is attributable to the ability of cranberries to discourage
haemophilus influenzae bacteria from being linked to the cells in throat and nose. Sufficient intake of cranberry juice is also believed to be effective in reducing cellulite (orange peel) and relatively restoring the skin appearance to its former shape.
Cranberries contain substantial amount of calcium that can help maintaining healthy structure of the bones and teeth and subsequently reducing the risk of osteoporoses disease. The development of the tooth plague and the gum disease can be extensively minimized using no-added sugar cranberry juice that inhibits the microbial harbouring in gums and teeth.
Cranberry-based products should be used in a balanced daily proportion. The excessive consumption may lead to some health problems like gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea, etc.