Thanksgiving is this Thursday! Bring on the turkey, dressing, and desserts. Oh yeah, your relatives will be there too! A Thanksgiving day is not totally complete without cranberry sauce. Personally I never eat it. Something that slides out of a can and maintains its tubular shape isn’t appetizing to me, but there is a large segment of the population that obviously enjoy the taste. This article isn’t about cranberry sauce. In this article we will discuss some of the health benefits of cranberry juice.
Dental Caries and Gum Disease
Like most dark colored fruits, cranberries are loaded with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. The polyphenols in cranberries reduce the affects of bacteria that form plaque buildup on your teeth. Also cranberry juice provides gum protection because the polyphenols inhibit the process of gum inflammation and the destructive enzymes that damage the gums.
Eating fruits and vegetables has an inverse risk for chronic diseases and cancer. In this study cranberry extract was used on breast cancer cells. The cranberry extract significantly decreased breast cancer cell replication/ reproduction. This study used cranberry extract; thus this study is limited in benefits for actual cranberry juice.
Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
This study shows low calorie cranberry juice reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors. Risk factors included blood pressure, c reactive protein (inflammation marker), triglycerides, and glucose concentrations. Low calorie cranberry juice has shown to have similar effects of an ACE inhibitor/high blood pressure medications.
The power of the cranberry is a result of the antioxidants it possesses. That’s why it’s so important to eat dark colored fruits and vegetables. Not only are you optimizing many cellular functions through its vitamins and minerals, but you’ll also be receiving the fiber you need. Drinking cranberry or pomegranate juice is a convenient way to get these important micro nutrients. Pass on the cranberry sauce, and drink 3-4 oz daily of cranberry juice. You can eat them whole which would be more beneficial. When you buy cranberry juice (try this one) make sure it’s not from concentrate or has added sugars.
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