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: https://www.instagram.com/p/CXRY3sBgXwr/]
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?
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?