Cranberries are amongst the most popular all-American berries, and unlike most other fruits, the tiny red berries thrive in the cold, which makes them extra special.
Let’s face it, there’s no Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce, and what would the world be without the tart and sweet cranberry juice? We love cranberry juice because, yes, it’s tasty, but you know what? It’s super healthy as well!
Once called bearberries (because bears like them as well), there are lots to say about cranberries and cranberry juice, so let’s get started. Here are cranberries’ health benefits, plus a few delicious recipes for cranberry juice!
Cranberry Nutritional Facts
Cranberries alone are super nutritious. Along with all other berries, cranberries are all-natural superfoods with lots of nutrition and health benefits.
One hundred grams of cranberries or roughly 3.5 ounces contain 12 grams of carbohydrates, some as sugar and others as dietary fiber. Together they give your body only 46 kilocalories. Not bad, right?
Then you have the astounding vitamin levels in the fruit. You’ll get 17% of your daily vitamin C, 9% of vitamin E, and 6% of vitamin B5. You’ll also get vitamins K and others in the B-complex vitamin family. There’s more — cranberries have manganese, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
11 Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice
The easiest way to make the most out of cranberries is to snack on them or drink cranberry juice. Here’s a warning, though. Cranberry juice can be packed with added sugar, making it not all that healthy.
Make sure you always drink 100% fruit juice, or if you buy sweetened cranberry juice, drink low-sugar cranberry juice or the ones sweetened with low-calorie sugar alternatives. Having said that, cranberry juice is incredibly healthy. Here are 11 health benefits of cranberry juice.
1. Cranberry juice is great for your urinary tract.
A unique all-natural compound present in cranberries has proven to be excellent to prevent urinary tract infections. The name is proanthocyanins, and although hard to spell, it’s super easy to add to your diet — just drink cranberry juice.
Cranberry juice won’t only prevent infections by keeping your urinary tract clear but also treating minor infections if you already have them. More scientific research is needed to assess the juice’s effectiveness in the area, but everything looks promising so far. Urinary tract infections are not fun, so preventing them should be everyone’s priority.
2. Cranberries are a natural anti-inflammatory.
There’s nothing wrong with inflammation. After all, it’s the way your body treats damaged areas, like a sprained ankle. Chronic inflammation, though, that’s something to worry about, as this type of inflammation increases your blood pressure causing your heart to work extra hard.
Cranberry juice has phytonutrients that can reduce chronic inflammation, reducing the risk of heart disease and other disorders. There’s no doubt this is one of the most relevant health benefits in cranberries and cranberry juice, and reason alone to drink it every day.
3. Cranberry juice is a good source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are found in most fruits and veggies, but some foods have more than others. Amongst the most antioxidant-rich foods, there are berries, including cranberries.
Antioxidants bind with scavenging free radicals that floating your bloodstream, damaging your cells at a DNA level. That’s what experts call oxidative stress, and it’s one of the causes of chronic inflammation.
A diet rich in antioxidants will also keep your skin young and shiny, and you’ll feel better at many levels. Green tea, blueberries, and even dark chocolate are other sources of antioxidants.
4. Cranberries promote good digestive health.
Cranberries have lots of fiber, and to make the most of it; you want to either eat whole cranberries or juice them yourself and leave the juice chunky.
There are two types of fiber: dietary fiber, which finds its way into your bloodstream, where it cleanses your arteries. And then you have insoluble fiber that comes out of your system just as it came in, cleaning your digestive tract in the process, promoting good digestive health, and preventing constipation.
Cranberries have two types of fiber, so they’re incredibly healthy for your circulatory and digestive systems.
5. Cranberry juice can prevent some types of cancer.
Consuming cranberries or cranberry juice could be a way to prevent the formation of some types of cancer. It’s precisely because of the explained above: antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. All these compounds help keep your body working like a clock.
Where there’s no inflammation, oxidative stress of clogged arteries, there’s less risk of getting colon, breast, prostate, and lung cancer.
Although cranberry juice alone is not enough to prevent cancer, everything helps, so treat yourself with a glass of cranberry juice every day and fight cancer even before it shows up.
6. Cranberries protect your liver.
Saying that some foods detox your body is controversial since it’s your liver that does just that, eliminating impurities in your blood. Still, keeping your liver healthy is a way to help it detox your system, and cranberry juice can help with that thanks to its dietary fiber, antioxidants, and antibacterial properties.
There are a good chance cranberry’s nutritional levels, along with its healthy compounds, can help you cleanse your liver, extending its life and keeping it working in top condition. Your liver cleans your blood, and cranberry juice can cleanse the liver in some way. That’s a win-win.
7. Cranberry juice can keep your eyes healthy.
Eye health is all about maintaining healthy blood irrigation into those tiny veins. And to do that, you must keep your blood vessels clear and your blood pressure low. Cranberry juice can help you have a healthy circulatory system that will help maintain your eye health.
Again, keep your cranberry juice low in sugar since high sugar levels in your bloodstream will damage your eyes, and that’s irreparable damage we’re talking about. In a nutshell, cranberry juice is good for your eyes, but sugar isn’t, so keep that in mind.
8. Cranberry juice might lower your blood pressure.
There are many causes for blood pressure, but the most common are blocked arteries and oxidative stress, causing chronic inflammation. A weak heart can also be part of the problem, meaning you might not be in good shape.
Cranberry juice can help you with the first two — clearing your arteries and keeping inflammation at bay. The rest is up to you; you must work out and stay active to keep your blood pressure levels where they need to be.
Blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, so you might want to check yourself regularly.
9. Cranberries can reduce antibiotic resistance.
Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, but the bacteria are getting stronger since we all overuse the microbe killers. Well, it turns out consuming cranberry juice can make bacteria in your body more susceptible to antibiotics, therefore, easier to eliminate.
This has been confirmed with E. Coli bacteria, responsible for cholera, the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, and even the microbes accountable for giving you pneumonia.
Although encouraging, there’s a bit more research to be done around the topic, but you want to start drinking cranberry juice if this is true for everyone.
10. Cranberry juice keeps your immune system strong.
There’s lots of vitamin C in berries and fruits in general, but cranberries are particularly tart — and that’s the ascorbic acid or vitamin C.
We all know vitamin C is the best way to prevent getting a cold. And although we often think of oranges and other citrus fruit as our go-to source for vitamin C, cranberries are a tasty alternative.
Drinking cranberry juice in the morning is the best way of making sure your immune system is strong — ready to fight any virus and bacteria that comes our way.
11. Cranberry juice can help you meet your weight goals.
When all-natural and not sweetened with too much sugar, Cranberry juice is quite low in calories for the nutrients you get. This means it is an excellent addition to any weight-loss diet.
Cranberry juice is over 90% water, and it’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals with relatively small amounts of sugar. Just remember, you need to either eat fresh or dried sugar-free cranberries or find a 100% cranberry juice with no added sugars — that’s the secret behind cranberry’s weight-losing properties.
Why you Should Drink Cranberry Juice in the Morning.
Cranberry juice is incredibly concentrated, particularly with vitamins, so you want to consume it in the morning when your nutrient levels are low. Replenishing your vitamin and mineral levels while hydrating yourself is a great way to start the day, and cranberry juice might just be the best way of doing it.
Besides, consuming cranberry juice in the morning will improve your appetite to enjoy a wholesome breakfast. Here are a few other reasons why you want to drink cranberry juice in the morning.
Cranberry Juice is Natural
Let’s start with the obvious. 100% cranberry juice is an all-natural drink with no additives or sweeteners, and since you must press lots of berries to get a glass of juice, you’re eating a whole bunch of healthy fruit.
Fruit is critical for enjoying good health and is a cornerstone in every health-oriented diet. Drink cranberry juice because it’s fruit — and the same goes for any other fruit you like to have for breakfast.
Cranberry Juice Wakes Your Senses
Cranberry juice is sweet but not cloying, it’s tangy but not abrasive, and it’s also pleasantly bitter.
This flavor combination is a great way of waking up your taste buds and keeping your senses alert. Our senses, particularly our sense of taste, need to be awakened in the morning to fully appreciate everything we eat and drink during the day.
In other words, cranberry juice is thrilling. It just makes you smile, and you don’t get that from a glass of water.
Cranberry Juice is Delicious at All Hours!
Cranberry juice is quite versatile. Sure, it’s a fantastic morning drink, but try pairing your dinner with cranberry juice — you’ll be surprised to know the juice has many similarities with wine — it even has the gritty tannins that make your mouth feel a bit dry.
Cranberry juice is also a delicious cocktail mixer, and although alcohol is not all that good for you, a drink now and then is more than recommended. Just take it slow!
Classic Cranberry and Apple Juice Recipe
- 2 cups cranberries
- 2 cups of water
- 2 apples
- 1 celery stalk (optional)
- Sweetener as needed
- Remove the apple’s cores and cut the apples into medium-sized chunks.
- In a blender, blend the apple chunks with the cranberries and water. Add the celery if using.
- Strain the juice through a fine mesh and dilute if necessary. (Straining is optional)
- Enjoy as-is or sweeten with sugar or your favorite sweetener.
- Enjoy with ice or ice-cold (24h in the fridge) in the morning for the best results!
Honey-Lemon Cranberry Juice Recipe
- 2 cups cranberries
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Fresh cranberries as a garnish
- To make this more creative cranberry juice, blend the cranberries with the water and strain it through a fine mesh to remove the grittiest bits.
- Once strained, sweeten it with honey and liven it with the lemon juice. Stir and store in a pitcher in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Serve in glasses filled with ice and throw in a few tablespoons of fresh cranberries as an edible garnish.
Are You Now a Fan of Cranberry Juice? We Are!
Cranberries are awesome, and when you find them fresh, there’s no way you can turn them down. If you can’t find fresh cranberries, make your own juice with frozen cranberries. If the above fails, buy high-quality, unsweetened, all-natural cranberry juice and enjoy its tasty flavor and impressive health benefits.
Few fruits are as complex and nutritious as cranberries, and there’s no denying they’re pretty tasty as well, so they’re easy to add to your diet! Snack on dried cranberries, drink cranberry juice or cook with the lovely fruit — but please, eat or drink the berries; you’ll thank us later!