When considering the health benefits of berries, most people tend to think of the types of berries that are commonly eaten raw and fresh, for example, blueberries and strawberries. But the cranberry, while typically not eaten fresh with cereal or a bowl of ice cream, is another berry that has excellent health benefits.
Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber and manganese, as well as other nutrients – including an impressive array of phytonutrients. Cranberries contain phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, flavonoids and triterpenoids. These antioxidant phytonutrients play multiple roles in the body, including helping to support immune response and cell-to-cell communication, reducing inflammation, repairing DNA damage caused by smoking and other toxic exposures and detoxifying carcinogens.
Historically, the berries and leaves of the cranberry plant have been used to treat a variety of health problems, such as urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments, liver problems, and to aid in the healing of wounds. Studies have shown that cranberries possess an unique characteristic that targets bacteria:
• Urinary tract infections are caused by an accumulation of bacteria in the bladder. Compounds in cranberries have been shown to block the bacteria from adhering to the cell walls, thus discouraging build-up and allowing the bacteria to flush easily from the body.
• Proanthocyanidine, is a compound found in cranberries, has been found to prevent the formation of plaque on the teeth, and also hinders the growth of other bacteria that can cause periodontal diseases and cavities.
• Regular cranberry juice consumption has been shown to kill certain bacteria that can cause stomach cancer and ulcers.
Research into the benefits of cranberries is continuing, and already the results have shown that the cranberry is a powerful friend in the quest for optimum health. While cranberry juice is the most popular means of gaining the health benefits of cranberries, sometimes it is difficult to find unsweetened juice in the grocery store. Fortunately, some natural supplement manufacturers are including cranberries in their health formulas. A2Zdiscountvitamins.com carries a selection of natural cranberry supplements that include the best brands in the vitamin and supplement industry. Adding a cranberry supplement to your daily supplementation regimen will support your health and longevity.
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