Cranberries constitute a collection of evergreen and dwarf shrubs from the genus Vaccinium and the subgenus Oxycoccus. The plants or trailing vines are generally cultivated in northern and central Europe, the United States, Chile and Canada. The plants are generally seen in acidic bogs across the cooler sections of Northern Hemisphere. Cranberries are generally processed into sauce, juice, jam and dried cranberries while the rest are sold fresh. Cranberries are not only tasty but they are considered to have some strong health effects as well.
How do cranberries help you?
• Cranberries have been found to be particularly helpful in preventing Urinary Tract Infections and more particularly for those who suffer from recurrent infections. The rather liberal dosage of proanthocyanidins present in cranberries aids in reducing the adherence of a few species of bacteria to the walls of the urinary tracts. This, in turn, reduces the infections.
• Some research studies have found out that the polyphenols present in cranberries have the potential to prevent cardiovascular syndromes by stopping the platelets build up and decreasing the pressure of the blood through its anti-inflammatory ability.
• Some studies suggest that cranberries help in slowing down the rate of progression of tumours. Cranberries are known to positively impact liver, prostate, ovarian, breast and colon tumours.
• The proanthocyanidins in cranberries have been shown to enhance oral health as well by stopping the bacteria from getting stuck in the teeth. This has been revealed by scientists at the University of Rochester. The berries have been shown to be helpful in stopping gum diseases as well.
• A number of studies have found out that cranberry juice has the potential to prevent a number of strains of the Haemophilus influenza bacteria, a rather usual reason for respiratory and ear infections amongst children. Again, the juice plays an instrumental role in stopping the bacteria from sticking to the exterior of the organs.
• Cranberries are endowed with organic acids that exert an emulsifying impact on the deposits of fats in our bodies. Thus, it could be helpful to people who want to get rid of a few pounds.
• If a person suffers from a deficiency in Vitamin C, there are chances that the concerned person might suffer from the deadly scurvy disease. Cranberries have fairly high levels of Vitamin C. Vitamin C also plays an important role in the normal performance of tissues.