The Health Benefits of Cranberries

November 28, 2014 Updated: November 25, 2014

Cranberries are also called “bounceberries” because they bounce when ripe.

Only three fruits – the blueberry, the Concord grape and the cranberry (all powerfoods) – can trace their roots to North American soil.  The cranberry is versatile. They are commonly consumed during Thanksgiving and Christmas but can, and should, be used every day.

Did you know?

  • Sex and the City made the red juice of cranberries popular in the 90s with their favorite cranberry cocktail, the Cosmopolitan.
  • The estimated value of cranberries grown in the United States is several hundred million dollars.
  • Native Americans treated a variety of illnesses, including bladder infections, with cranberry preparations.

Nutritional Tips:

Cranberries are high in vitamin C, and have antioxidant and antibacterial effects in the body.

Benefits of the Cranberry:

  • Cranberries are a rich source of the flavonoid quercetin which can inhibit the development of both breast and colon cancers.
  • Preliminary studies show that drinking cranberry juice is good for the health of the heart.
  • Research indicates that cranberries are an excellent source of antioxidants which may protect against cancer, heart disease and other diseases.
  • Found to decrease production of cavity and plaque producing bacteria in your mouth.
  • Also found to reduce the bacteria associated with peptic stomach ulcers.
  • In clinical studies, cranberries have been shown to help maintain a healthy urinary tract.
  • Cranberries are especially beneficial to the eyes (they significantly improve symptoms of cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy).
  • Evidence on how cranberry juice fights bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.

But…The health benefits of cranberries are almost totally depleted when generous amounts of sugar is added. Thus the cranberry cannot provide you with its full phytonutrient benefits when there has been lots of sugar added.