Amazing benefits of cranberry that you should know

The red-black, ripe fruit of the cranberry or Vaccinium Macrocarpon has been used as both a food and a medicine for centuries. Cranberries are a member of the heather family and related to blueberries, bilberries, and lingonberries. You can eat cranberries raw, but you may not want to due to their very sharp and sour taste.  Cranberries are rarely eaten raw and most often consumed as juice for its rich in various healthy compounds. This article tells you everything you need to know about cranberries, including their nutrition facts and health benefits.

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin C. One of the predominant antioxidants in cranberries. It is essential for the maintenance of your skin, muscles, and bone.
  • Manganese. Found in most foods, manganese is essential for growth, metabolism, and your body’s antioxidant system.
  • Vitamin E. A class of essential fat-soluble antioxidants.
  • Vitamin K1. Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is essential for blood clotting.
  • Copper. A trace element, inadequate copper intake may have adverse effects on heart health

Other Plant Compounds

  • Quercetin. The most abundant antioxidant polyphenol in cranberries. In fact, cranberries are among the main fruit sources of quercetin, nature’s anti-histamine [1].
  • Myricetin. A major antioxidant polyphenol in cranberries, myricetin may have a number of beneficial health effects, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes [2].
  • Peonidin. Alongside cyanidin, peonidin is responsible for the rich red color of cranberries and some of their health effects such as protection from several bacterial pathogens, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation. Cranberries are among the richest dietary sources of peonidin [3].
  • Ursolic acid. Concentrated in the skin, ursolic acid is a triterpene compound. It’s an ingredient in many traditional herbal medicines and has strong anti-inflammatory effects [4].
  • A-type proanthocyanidins. Also called condensed tannins, these polyphenols are believed to be effective against UTIs [5]

Health benefits of cranberry

Cranberries are considered a superfood and loaded with health benefits that stretch through the whole human body, and researchers are certain that the extent of their benefits are growing as more and more research is conducted. The health benefits of cranberry include:

  1. Fighting age-related damage

Chemicals called free radicals accumulate in the body as people age. Free radicals cause oxidative damage. There is a link between oxidative damage and health issues, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease etc.

Did you know that cranberries succeed almost all fruits and vegetables in disease-fighting antioxidants, including strawberries, raspberries, spinach, broccoli and cherries? One cup of cranberries in fact has a total of 8,983 antioxidant capacity. Cranberries contain antioxidants or compounds that fight harmful free radicals, and the presence of antioxidants means that cranberries might help fight age-related damage to the body’s tissues. A study found that chemicals in cranberries promoted better antioxidant activity the lower their pH was. That study also found that the berries were significantly more potent antioxidants than cranberry juice, although cranberry juice still offered some benefits. 

  1. Improving heart health

Studies show that various ingredients in cranberry juice may improve heart health since cranberries are high in polyphenols that may support heart health. A study of females with metabolic syndrome found that cranberry juice increased the antioxidants in the blood plasma. People who drank cranberry juice also had lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL is known as the “bad” type of cholesterol. Another study found that cranberry juice could improve health in people with coronary artery disease. Mean carotid-femoral artery pulse wave velocity, which is a way to measure the stiffness of arteries, was reduced among the people in the study who drank a laboratory preparation of double-strength cranberry juice.

  1. Treating or preventing urinary tract infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections — especially among women (6). They’re most often caused by the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), which attaches itself to the inner surface of your bladder and urinary tract. Cranberries contain unique phytonutrients known as A-type proanthocyanidins or condensed tannins. A-type proanthocyanidins prevent E. coli from attaching to the lining of your bladder and urinary tract, making cranberries a potential preventive measure against UTIs (7) In fact, cranberries are among the richest fruit sources of proanthocyanidins — especially the A-type (8). The antibacterial effects of cranberry were reported to reduce the incidence of UTIs in mice, according to a study, the reduction of UTI incidence is thought to be due to the ability of antibacterial properties to reduce the colonization of Escherichia coli in the bladder. The bacteria, which is known better as E. coli, is the cause of most UTIs.

Meanwhile, a study concluded that cranberries might be beneficial against the growth of bacterial pathogens as less bacterial infections in urine cultures from uncircumcised boys who drank cranberry juice and had previously had repeated UTIs compared to those who drank a placebo and those who had been circumcised who also drank the placebo.

  1. Supporting digestive health

There is growing evidence that the phytochemicals contained in cranberries play an important role in digestive health. Evidence for the digestive health benefits of cranberry, in addition to other benefits, was reported in a study that inhibiting the production of another bacterium called H. pylori in the stomach is thought to promote digestive health. 

  1. Warding Off Kidney Stones

Cranberries positively affect the chemical composition of urine, including pH, volume, and calcium excretion. Overall, they help with the issues that can lead to kidney formation. According to research, when a group of men took 500 mL of cranberry juice diluted with 1,500 mL of water for two weeks, their urine changed for the better. These men excreted less oxalate and phosphate in their urine which are two of the main compounds that can form kidney stones. Beyond that, a study noted that cranberry juice can make urine more acidic, which may help prevent stones in the first place.

  1. Preventing infections

Studies suggest that cranberries may inhibit the growth of bacterial microbes. Some chemicals in cranberries may help fight viruses and bacteria. A study found that cranberries inhibited the growth of seven bacterial microbes. The study did not assess whether cranberries or cranberry juice could prevent infection with these microbes in humans. Similarly, another study found that cranberries may fight some viruses, including norovirus, which is a common cause of food-borne illness. 

  1. Supporting post-menopausal health

The risk of heart problems increases after menopause compared to the risk in all other groups of people of the same age. A study investigated this phenomenon in rats that had their ovaries removed. Researchers found that daily cranberry consumption reduced total cholesterol, suggesting cranberry products might be useful dietary supplements after menopause.

Flora Cran·Essence

Cran·Essence is a full spectrum-blend of 9 herbs in a base of no sugar added cranberry juice concentrate as a great-tasting liquid, Kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free supplement.

The thoughtfully chosen additions are traditionally used for their diuretic and antiseptic properties. Further, they help the body flush the bladder and urethra. They include:

  • Juniper berries- traditionally used against urinary tract and intestinal infections
  • Uva ursi- long used to support the health of the urinary system
  • Yarrow- with toning and astringent properties that soothe the urinary tract and encourage cleansing with its diuretic properties
  • Calendula- bringing antiseptic, diuretic, and soothing effects to the whole urinary system

Read more: Ginger Cranberry Cider Tea

Finally, don’t just embrace cranberries for a season. Embrace them daily with Cran•Essence, and raise a glass to optimal urinary tract health.


  1. Foxman B. Epidemiology of urinary tract infections: incidence, morbidity, and economic costs. Dis Mon. 2003 Feb;49(2):53-70. doi: 10.1067/mda.2003.7. PMID: 12601337.
  2. Zhang K, Zuo Y. GC-MS determination of flavonoids and phenolic and benzoic acids in human plasma after consumption of cranberry juice. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jan 28;52(2):222-7. doi: 10.1021/jf035073r. PMID: 14733499.
  3. Pappas E, Schaich KM. Phytochemicals of cranberries and cranberry products: characterization, potential health effects, and processing stability. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Oct;49(9):741-81. doi: 10.1080/10408390802145377. PMID: 20443158.
  4. Kondo M, MacKinnon SL, Craft CC, Matchett MD, Hurta RA, Neto CC. Ursolic acid and its esters: occurrence in cranberries and other Vaccinium fruit and effects on matrix metalloproteinase activity in DU145 prostate tumor cells. J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Mar 30;91(5):789-96. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4330. Epub 2011 Feb 23. PMID: 21351105.
  5. Neto CC. Cranberry and its phytochemicals: a review of in vitro anticancer studies. J Nutr. 2007 Jan;137(1 Suppl):186S-193S. doi: 10.1093/jn/137.1.186S. PMID: 17182824.
  6. Foxman B. Epidemiology of urinary tract infections: incidence, morbidity, and economic costs. Dis Mon. 2003 Feb;49(2):53-70. doi: 10.1067/mda.2003.7. PMID: 12601337.
  7. Howell, A.B., Botto, H., Combescure, C. et al. Dosage effect on uropathogenic Escherichia coli anti-adhesion activity in urine following consumption of cranberry powder standardized for proanthocyanidin content: a multicentric randomized double blind study. BMC Infect Dis 10, 94 (2010).
  8. Gu L, Kelm MA, Hammerstone JF, Beecher G, Holden J, Haytowitz D, Gebhardt S, Prior RL. Concentrations of proanthocyanidins in common foods and estimations of normal consumption. J Nutr. 2004 Mar;134(3):613-7. doi: 10.1093/jn/134.3.613. PMID: 14988456.

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