Cranberries are a real health source by providing dietary minerals, organic acids and other useful things. Cranberries contain different minerals, vitamins, organic acids, flavonoids, phytocides, pigments and pectins. Cranberries are rich in acids, which is shown by their sour taste. Acids include citric, benzoic, malic, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and others, which give cranberries a special taste, the ability to disinfect your stomach and intestines, and to stimulate the production of enzymes in the body. Organic acids inhibit the development of disease-producing bacteria. Citric acid acts as an antioxidant as it strengthens the cell system. Benzoic acid and its salts have both a killing and inhibiting effect on microbes. Benzoic acid is used as a preservative in the food industry. The acids hide cranberries’ sweet taste. Sugars are mainly represented by glucose and fructose. Thanks to the dietary fibres (cellulose and pectin) found in cranberries they have the ability to cleanse the body.
Medicine has always paid attention to cranberries. Cranberries and their juice stimulate digestive glands and increase appetite. Raw berries are the most useful for the body. Cranberries stimulate the production of gastric and pancreatic juices, and are therefore good to use in case of hypochlorhydria or the first stage of pancreatitis. The usefulness of cranberries lies in their great amounts of healthy antioxidants in polyphenols. Polyphenols supposedly have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic characteristics.
Cranberry juice quenches thirst and eases fever pains. In case of high blood pressure, it is good to take candied cranberries or crushed cranberries with honey and garlic. Standard treatment will also become more effective thanks to eating these berries. Cranberries are helpful in case of renal, bladder or urinary system diseases as they have diuretic effect and they destroy microbes. Cranberry extracts and pills, which are very efficient for people with bladder or urinary system diseases, are available in pharmacies. Cranberry juice, which cures angina and bronchitis, is used in many cold medicines. Eating berries constantly helps to prevent infectious diseases. Due to containing dietary fibres, they are good in the prophylaxis of atherosclerosis. Cranberries are healthy because they strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system as they make a person’s arteries softer and more elastic, and prevent the formation of clots. Consuming cranberries has a positive effect on the body’s biggest artery, the aorta. Consuming cranberry juice and preparations daily increases the amount of HDL aka “good” cholesterol in blood and decreases the amount of LDL aka “bad” cholesterol. Cranberries are recommended when treating pulmonary tuberculosis but they can also relieve arthritic conditions.
NB! Cranberries are contraindicated in case of gastric and duodenal ulcers and liver diseases. People with hyperchlorhydria have to careful. They can drink diluted juice and only use the berries in foods.