health benefits of cranberries

What you need to know: Aside from their foundational role as a holiday side, cranberries have a profound effect on the health of the body. Cranberries are rich in a wide range of phytonutrients including phenolic acids, proanthocyanins, anthocyanins and flavanoids. These phytonutrients have been found to prevent cancers such as breast, colon, lung and prostate; lower inflammation; protect against heart disease; lower cholesterol levels; and protect cells from damage. Cranberries can also prevent gout and the development of certain types of kidneys stones by reducing uric acid excretion.

Why you should try it: Cranberries are one of the most effective and potent agents for addressing conditions of the urinary tract. They contain a compound called proanthocyanidins, which forms a barrier on the urinary tract lining. This barrier inhibits harmful bacteria from latching on, thus preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Research also hypothesizes that proanthocyanidins may be effective in preventing stomach ulcers. Ulcers can be caused by a bacteria called H. pylori, which adheres to the stomach lining. In the same way cranberries prevent bacterial attachment to the lining of the urinary tract, they may prevent attachment of bacteria to the stomach lining.

Let’s get together: Research has discovered that eating whole cranberries is more therapeutic than isolated cranberry nutrients found in liquids and powders. There is a synergy among the cranberry nutrients (rather than individual cranberry components) that is responsible for cranberry’s health benefits. This is great news because we’ve been loving this Cranberry Almond ‘Leftovers’ Smoothie. Made with fresh Pressed Juicery almond milk, tart cranberries and superfoods spirulina, goji and chia, this smoothie is our answer to staying healthy throughout the holiday season.

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