The common cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris) is an evergreen shrub in the heath family, which is known for its sourish berries. In Estonia, there is also the small cranberry (Oxycoccus microcarpus) in addition to the common cranberry. It resides in almost all of Northern and Central Europe, but also Western and Middle Siberia, and North America; Estonia is also a common habitat for cranberries. The sourish taste of common cranberries comes from the concentration of different acids, including oxalic and citric acids. Benzoic acid, which has a strong antibacterial effect, can also be found in cranberries.
What do cranberries contain?
The berries contain vitamin C and potassium. There are special ingredients, proanthocyanidins (PAC), in cranberries that keep the bacteria that cause inflammation from attaching to the bladder wall.
Why are cranberries healthy?
It is possible to make healthy and refreshing drinks from cranberries, which among other things decrease blood pressure. The drink can also, for example, improve a person’s feeling during fever. In case of liver or stomach problems, one shouldn’t overdo it with cranberries, the excessive acid concentration can have a negative effect on these organs. Recent studies by American chemists confirm that no other fruit than cranberry is more successful in preventing for example cancer, stroke or cardiovascular diseases.