Why is cranberry so important for urinary health?

cranberries on a spoon

Why cranberry is so important for urinary health

Cranberries are a well-known superfood that require little introduction. We often enjoy them as a refreshing juice (Cosmopolitan cocktail, anyone?), and you’re likely aware of their reputation for aiding the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, you may be surprised to learn that cranberries are actually related to blueberries, and have a higher antioxidant level than most fruits and vegetables.

So, what does all of this mean? Thanks to their amazing nutritional properties, cranberries are a great ingredient to include in our diet – whether as a juice, a supplement, or both.

Keep reading to learn more about cranberries, their health benefits for both men and women, and whether cranberry supplements or juice are more effective for treating UTIs.

What is cranberry and what is it good for?

Cranberries are small, round, red fruits that have a tart flavour. They are high in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K, as well as manganese and fibre. Cranberries have long been valued for their potential health benefits, and were used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans. Today, they’re one of the most popular natural ingredients for helping us maintain good urinary health.

As well as having a delicious flavour, cranberries are packed with antioxidants, compounds that work to keep us healthy and protect our bodies from oxidative stress, which damages our cells.
So we should look to include cranberries as part of a healthy balanced diet, where possible. However, although fresh cranberries are low in sugar, cranberry juice and dried cranberries can be high in sugar. That means those watching their sugar intake might prefer to take cranberries as a supplement.

Also read: What does vitamin C do? Everything you need to know

Why are cranberries a popular ingredient for urinary health?

[Insert instagram link:]

Many of us have heard that drinking cranberry juice can help treat a urinary tract infection. But what is the actual link between cranberries and urinary tract health? Spoiler alert: it has a lot to do with the superfruit’s precise nutritional profile.

Cranberries are high in proanthocyanidins (PACs), an antioxidant that is also responsible for the superfruit’s deep red colour. However, although research suggests that fruits high in PACs, such as cranberries, may have antimicrobial properties, there is no solid evidence that cranberries can completely treat a UTI.

This isn’t to say that taking cranberry can’t be beneficial; in fact, including this centuries-old natural remedy may still help support your overall urinary health. Think of cranberries as a preventative measure, rather than a cure, and you’ll get the best from them.

Just a reminder: If you do need help treating a persistent UTI, be sure to see your GP.

Can cranberries be beneficial to both men and women?

Couple at breakfast drinking hot beverage

Because of its association with post-sex aftercare and UTIs, cranberry is frequently perceived as a female-specific product. But the good news is that men could benefit from cranberries as well, as their anti-inflammatory properties may help with prostate issues.

Cranberries might even help boost your sex life – rumours abound as to whether cranberries can alter the flavour of vaginal secretions, though the truth is there is no real evidence to support this. Meaning there’s no need to go overboard on the cranberries!

If you’re looking for ways to supplements to support your sexual health, why not try Nature’s Truth Maca Root? The botanical extract has been linked to an improved libido and improved male fertility (though more research is needed to confirm these effects).

What other health benefits does cranberry have?

This polyphenol-rich berry is thought to help with heart health, reduce inflammation, aid digestion and offer immune system support. Although you should be wary of its high sugar content, some research suggests that unsweetened cranberry juice may help prevent tooth decay due to its alleged bacteria-repelling properties.

Other claimed advantages include reducing PMS and menopause symptoms, though again, we need more research. Because of its high vitamin C and E content, cranberry may also be beneficial to your beauty routine, promoting a healthy and vibrant complexion.

Also read: Can skin problems be linked to a vitamin deficiency?

Should I take cranberry juice or cranberry supplements?

When choosing between taking cranberry juice or cranberry supplements, consider how much cranberry you’d like to take. Cranberry supplements are more concentrated, while the juice as a standalone product isn’t (meaning you’d have to drink a large quantity to get the same effects). This might mean you’d benefit more from taking supplements, especially if you’re looking for a low-sugar option.

What’s the best cranberry supplement to try?

Ready to reap the benefits of cranberry? Depending on your health goals, you can look to add a cranberry supplement to your routine – and if you need help picking the right one out, here are the top ones we suggest:

Looking to support your urinary health? Consider including the Nature’s Truth Cranberry in your health kit. This must-have, with added vitamin C, is the best supplement for upping your urinary health game.

Are you looking for a vegan-friendly cranberry supplement for UTI prevention? We’ve got you covered with our D-Mannose Complex, which includes a natural cranberry extract for additional support.

Also read: 7 probiotic foods to add to your diet

Adding cranberry supplements into your routine

Aside from its ability to support urinary health, cranberry has a slew of other benefits that we can take advantage of.

However, it is best to consult your doctor before starting a cranberry supplement regimen, especially if you have a history of kidney stones (as cranberry can contribute to these forming, due to the oxalate it contains), or are taking blood-thinning medications.

Your GP will be able to tell you whether it’s appropriate for you, and inform you on the right dosage to take, so you can avoid any potential side effects.

Keep up with the latest health advice from Nature’s Truth here.

Nature's Truth

Nature's Truth

Writer and expert