Cranberries Healthy for sure. Cranberries are tart and flavorful fruit that are native to North America. They are known for their bright red color and unique taste, and they have long been recognized for their potential health benefits. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which cranberries can be considered healthy, and discuss the potential benefits and risks of consuming this fruit.

  1. High in Nutrients: Cranberries are a good source of several important nutrients, including vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. They are also a rich source of antioxidants, which are compounds that help to protect the body against oxidative stress and free radical damage. These antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  2. May Help to Promote Urinary Tract Health: Cranberries have long been known for their potential benefits for urinary tract health. They contain compounds known as proanthocyanidins, which may help to prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder and urinary tract. This may help to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are a common problem for both men and women. Some research has suggested that consuming cranberries or cranberry juice may help to reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs.
  3. May Help to Lower Cholesterol Levels: Some research has suggested that consuming cranberries may help to lower cholesterol levels. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who consumed cranberry juice had lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol compared to those who did not consume cranberry juice. It is not yet clear exactly how cranberries may have this effect, but it is thought to be due to the combination of antioxidants and other compounds found in the fruit.
  4. May Help to Improve Heart Health: The antioxidants and other compounds found in cranberries may help to improve heart health in several ways. They may help to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, and improve blood vessel function. Some research has suggested that consuming cranberries or cranberry juice may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  5. May Help to Improve Digestive Health: Cranberries are a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps to bulk up the stools, making them easier to pass and reducing the risk of constipation. In addition, the antioxidants found in cranberries may help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, which may be beneficial for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  6. Possible Risks: While cranberries can provide a number of potential health benefits, there are also some possible risks to consider. One concern is the risk of allergic reactions, which can occur in some people after consuming cranberries. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis. In addition, cranberries can interfere with certain medications, including blood thinners and medications that are metabolized by the liver. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before consuming cranberries if you are taking any medications.
  7. Recommended Intake: There is no specific recommended intake for cranberries, but it is generally recommended to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure adequate intake of important nutrients. One serving of cranberries is about 1/2 cup, or about 100 grams. Cranberry juice is also a popular way to consume cranberries, but it is important to choose a product that is 100% cranberry juice and does not contain added sugars or other sweeteners.

You may only think of eating cranberries around Thanksgiving, but this fruit can add some zing (and plenty of health benefits) year-round.

Cranberries, which are mostly carbs and fiber, contain about 90% water. They also contain vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and manganese.

But fresh cranberries tend to be sour and are rarely eaten raw. You’ll mostly see cranberries in juice form, but cranberry juice also tends to include added sugars.

So is it worth it to add cranberries to your diet? And what’s the best way to eat them?

Registered dietitian Candace O’Neill, RD, LDN, talks about the benefits of cranberries and how to work them into your meals.

Cranberries Health benefits

Cranberries can be very nutritious. “They’re a powerhouse of antioxidants,” says O’Neill. Here’s how cranberries can benefit your health.

Prevent urinary tract infections

Probably the most known benefit of cranberry juice is that it can prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). But O’Neill stresses that cranberries don’t treat the infection once you have it.

“A-type proanthocyanidins prevent the binding of E. coli in the bladder, which is normally the first step of getting a UTI,” says O’Neill.

If you’re someone who gets UTIs often, adding cranberries to your diet can be beneficial.

“If you’re someone who struggles with UTIs, including cranberries as a part of a healthy diet is something that you can do that won’t harm you,” says O’Neill. “It could be a proactive approach.”

Prevent cavities

You may not immediately think of cranberries as a way to prevent cavities, but research shows the same a-type proanthocyanidins that help prevent UTIs can help in other ways.

“Researchers think a-type proanthocyanidins are responsible for preventing bacteria formation in the mouth as well,” explains O’Neill.

By controlling those harmful acids in your mouth, cranberries could help prevent not only cavities, but also gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer.

Reduce inflammation

Cranberries have anti-inflammatory effects, thanks to their high amounts of antioxidants, especially anthocyanins and flavanols, which give cranberries their dark hue.

“Antioxidants have been shown to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases because they can help lower inflammation in our bodies,” says O’Neill. “That’s why it’s recommended to consume enough servings of fruits and vegetables because those foods will use antioxidants.”

Maintain digestive health

If you eat an animal-based diet, cranberries can help put good bacteria into your digestive system.

“A-type proanthocyanidins, which are only found in cranberries, can help with reducing the bad microbes that live in your colon,” says O’Neill.

More research still needs to be done, but there’s a chance that cranberries could help prevent colon and gastrointestinal cancers.

Improve heart health

From lowering blood pressure to improving your cholesterol levels, cranberries can help improve your overall heart health.

“There’s limited evidence that cranberries can potentially help improve someone’s lipid profile by raising their HDL (good) cholesterol,” notes O’Neill.

Cranberries may also help lower your LDL (bad). O’Neill says it’s important to know that many of these studies used a low-calorie cranberry juice.

Prevent cancer

As you’ve probably learned by now, a-type proanthocyanins are a powerful antioxidant. So researchers are starting to study if and how they may have anticancer properties.

“We know in general that eating enough non-starchy vegetables and getting enough fruits in your diet reduces your risk of certain cancers,” says O’Neill.

Are cranberries healthy?

It’s a tricky question to answer. In their raw state, they can be healthy. But if you get your cranberry fix through juice or dried cranberries, be aware that there’s plenty of added sugar used in both forms.

“In general, one serving of dried cranberries has around 25 grams of added sugar.”. “That’s actually how much added sugar some people can have in a day.”

That sugar is added to offset the tart flavor of cranberries. “They need that sweetness to be a little bit more palatable.”

But that doesn’t mean you need to avoid cranberry juice or dried cranberries. You just need to be smart about your sugar intake and pair cranberries with foods that contain less sugar.

For example, you can make trail mix at home by using lightly salted roasted nuts and dried cranberries instead of the candy pieces you typically find in store-bought trail mix.

Pair plain yogurt or oatmeal with dried cranberries instead of honey for a sweet treat. O’Neill suggests looking for unsweetened dried cranberries, but says they are hard to come by. You may be able to find them at a health food store or online.

When it comes to juice, most options are a “juice cocktail” that combines cranberry juice with apple juice to make it sweeter.

“When you’re consuming it in that form, you’re not getting 100% cranberry juice,” says O’Neill.

And watch how much juice you consume. O’Neill says the recommendation is no more than 4 to 8 ounces of juice per day. You can try this tip from O’Neill: Dilute juice with sparkling water or plain water to add a touch of sweetness to your beverage.

Cranberry side effects

Most people can eat or drink cranberries with no issue. But cranberries can be a risk factor for those with kidney stones.

Kidney stones are commonly made of calcium oxalate. Cranberries contain high levels of oxalate.

Also, those who take blood thinners should limit their consumption of cranberries due to their amount of vitamin K, which can interfere with the medication.

If you’re considering adding cranberries to your diet, O’Neill suggests buying fresh cranberries when they’re in season, typically September through October. You can freeze them and keep them on hand for a variety of recipes like smoothies, sauce or salad dressing.

Try our Masala Cranberry, which will taste amazing and add up to your health. Cranberries Health Benefits are vast enough.

Karchi Kadhai
Healthy Food