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April 25, 2016
Strawberry (The Blood Master)
June 6, 2016

Cranberries

Did you know?

Cranberry is one of the most healthy and best fruit for body.Among the fruits and vegetables richest in health-promoting antioxidants berries such as cranberries rank right up there at the top of the list. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. Provided that you do not experience any digestive difficulty, we recommend enjoying cranberries raw because they provide you with the best flavor and the greatest benefits from their vast array of nutrients, and may also offer the benefit of digestion-aiding enzymes.

 

What’s New and Beneficial About Cranberries

For many years, researchers believed that the ability of cranberries and cranberry juice to help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) was partly related to the strong acidity of the cranberries. Recent research has shown that it’s not the acidity of the cranberries, but the unusual nature of their proanthocyanidins (PACs) that is related to prevention of UTIs. The special structure of these PACs (involving A-type linkages between their components) acts as a barrier to bacteria that might otherwise latch on to the urinary tract lining. In many studies, the UTI-preventing benefits of cranberries are somewhat modest and limited to women who have recurrent UTIs. But this whole area of investigation has opened the door to an understanding of other possible cranberry benefits. For example, stomach ulcers are often related to overgrowth and over-linking of one particular type of stomach bacteria (Helicobacter pylori) to the stomach lining. In much the same way as cranberries may help prevent bacterial attachment to the lining of the urinary tract, they may also help prevent attachment of bacteria to the stomach lining. There is already some preliminary evidence that cranberry may help protect us from stomach ulcer in this way. We expect to see future studies confirming this fascinating type of health benefit.

 

Vitamins:

18%  manganese

18%  vitamin C

18%  fibre

8%  vitamin E

7%  copper

6%  vitamin K

6%  pantothenic acid

 

Immune Support

While research in this area is somewhat limited, recent studies on the immune support benefits of cranberry are exciting. In studies on very small numbers of human participants, intake of cranberry extracts has shown the ability to improve multiple aspects of immune function, and to lower the frequency of cold and flu symptoms in the subjects. In several of these studies, the cranberry extracts were standardized to contain a known, higher-end amount of proanthocyanidins (PACs)—somewhat comparable to a double-strength cranberry juice. From our perspective, the doses of cranberry extract used in these studies match up fairly well with generous intake of whole, raw cranberries, and we look forward to future studies focused on precisely that: intake of whole, raw cranberries and resulting changes in cold and flu symptoms.

 

Protection against Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Long before researchers started investigating from the standpoint of science, cranberry has been used to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). While the acidity of cranberries was at one time an important target of research, we now know that cranberry’s ability to provide UTI benefits is not primarily related to its acidity, but rather to its proanthocyanidin (PAC) content. The PACs in cranberry have a special structure (called A-type linkages) that makes it more difficult for certain types of bacteria to latch on to our urinary tract linings. Include in these types of bacteria are pathogenic (infection-causing) strains of E. coli—one of the most common micro-organisms involved in UTIs. By making it more difficult for unwanted bacteria like E. coli to cling onto the urinary tract linings, cranberry’s PACs help prevent the expansion of bacterial populations that can result in outright infection. The age group in which researchers are least sure about this process involves children—it’s just not clear when cranberry’s health benefits fully extend to this age group. The area where benefits have been most pronounced are in middle-aged women who have experienced recurrent UTIs. In some studies, UTIs in this age and gender group have been reduced by more than one—third through dietary consumption of cranberry.

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