Should You Drink More Cranberry Juice?
So, there’s a lot of hype, but what does cranberry juice do for the body anyway? In the never ending quest many of us engage in to live forever, it is common to hear touted cranberry juice benefits. A search of the internet regarding the topic reveals many articles on the point, with some containing very extravagant claims for this alleged wonder juice. Still, sometimes there is a lot of hype about how wonderful something is, simply because it works.
At the outset, it should be mentioned that most of the available information regarding the health benefits of cranberry juice pertains to pure cranberry juice rather than cranberry juice cocktail, which is the formulation most people are familiar with and which is what we’re likely to find stocked on the shelves of our local grocery or mega-mart.
Cranberry juice cocktail is a blend of cranberry juice with water and sweeteners which make it more palatable. Pure cranberry juice tends to be rather bitter and many people dislike its taste, so producers sweeten it up and decrease its strength until it is delivered to us in a form more like soda pop than medicine.
We should keep in mind when adding cranberry juice cocktail to our dietary regimen that we need to account for the presence of perhaps unhealthy sweeteners. We should also be aware that the concentrations of beneficial compounds in cranberry juice cocktail will be significantly lower than in pure cranberry juice. In other words, you’ll want to drink actual cranberry juice, not the watered down and sweetened up cranberry juice cocktail.
Because some people desire the health benefits of cranberries but find the pure juice not to their liking, another form of delivering cranberry’s chemical compounds has been made available. This is cranberries in pill form. It’s not clear that cranberry pills have just the same health effects as cranberry juice, however.
What Does Cranberry Juice Do for the Body?
Cranberry juice contains substantial levels of antioxidants. These important chemical compounds inhibit the development of oxidizing agents in the process of our metabolism. While oxidation is a necessary component of our life processes, if left unchecked they can generate chemical components that can be destructive of cells. It’s not apparent that the body can function optimally without the introduction of supplemental anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C. Cranberry juice is known to contain high levels of this important nutrient.
It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, a very good source of dietary fiber, and a good source of manganese and vitamin K. The latter is involved in blood coagulation and supplementation is especially important for persons suffering from liver dysfunction. Although manganese is found in very small amounts in the body, it is a very busy nutrient. Among other things, it is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and the functioning of the sex hormones.
Certainly the most widely touted health benefit of cranberry juice is its claimed role in managing or avoiding urinary tract infections. Anecdotal evidence in support of this claim is very strong, and millions of women consume cranberry juice either to ward off UTI’s or to cure them. It appears that certain simple sugars in cranberry juice facilitate the development of compounds that dislodge e.coli bacteria from the walls of the urinary tract and allow them to be flushed from the body with the urine. Some studies show that cranberry juice can start fighting off bacteria in your urinary tract within eight hours (read more here).
Is Cranberry Juice Good for Your Liver?
Your liver plays a big part in keeping toxins out of your system. If you’ve got any harmful stuff floating around your bloodstream, you’ll be wanting your liver to clean it out. Cranberry juice can help to keep your liver working efficiently. If you think your liver could use a detox, you might want to read this article. This caught my attention after my doctor put me on some medications that left me feeling drowsy. That got me wondering about what unseen effects all of these meds might be having on my system. Keeping my liver working at peak efficiency suddenly seemed like a good idea.