July 25, 2024

Cranberries are small, tart berries that are packed with various nutrients and offer several health benefits. Known for their bright, tart flavour, they are often consumed in juice form and are part of various desserts and salads. Cranberries are often regarded as a superfood owing to their abundant nutrients and antioxidants. Numerous studies have associated the nutrient profile of cranberries with a reduced likelihood of urinary tract infections (UTIs), protection against specific types of cancer, enhanced immune function, and lowered blood pressure, among other benefits.

Speaking with indianexpress.com, Guru Prasad Das, Senior Dietitian, CARE Hospitals, Bhubaneswar shared, “Cranberries can be enjoyed in various forms such as fresh, dried, frozen, or as juice. Including them as part of a diverse and balanced diet can contribute to overall health and well-being”.

Nutritional profile of cranberries

Here is the nutritional profile of cranberries per 100 grams, along with their daily value (DV) percentages based on a 2,000-calorie diet:

– Calories: 46 kcal
– Carbohydrates: 12.2 grams
– Dietary Fiber: 4.6 grams (18% DV)
– Sugars: 4 grams
– Protein: 0.4 grams
– Fat: 0.1 grams
– Vitamin C: 13.3 milligrams (22% DV)
– Vitamin E: 1.2 milligrams (6% DV)
– Vitamin K: 5.1 micrograms (6% DV)
– Manganese: 0.3 milligrams (15% DV)

Cranberries are rich in antioxidants that can protect the body against free radicals, which may contribute to various chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants that can protect the body against free radicals, which may contribute to various chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. (Pic source: Pixabay)

Health benefits of cranberries

Cranberries offer various health benefits. Das shared them as:

1. Beneficial for urinary tract health: Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, which may help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) by inhibiting the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract walls.

Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, which may help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) by inhibiting the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract walls. Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, which may help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) by inhibiting the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract walls. (Pic source: Freepik)

2. Rich in antioxidants: Cranberries are rich in antioxidants that can protect the body against free radicals, which may contribute to various chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.

3. Beneficial for heart health: The antioxidants and phytonutrients present in cranberries may help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing inflammation and improving blood lipid profiles.

The antioxidants and phytonutrients present in cranberries may help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing inflammation and improving blood lipid profiles. The antioxidants and phytonutrients present in cranberries may help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing inflammation and improving blood lipid profiles. (Pic source: Getty/Thinkstock)

4. Good for digestive health: The dietary fiber content in cranberries promotes healthy digestion and can help prevent constipation.

5. Promotes oral health: Cranberries may help prevent gum disease and tooth decay by inhibiting the growth of bacteria responsible for oral infections.

Can diabetics consume cranberries?

Cranberries can be a suitable option for diabetics. “Although they contain natural sugars, their low glycemic index means they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels when consumed in moderation,” explained Das. However, he added that it is always advisable for individuals with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels and consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice.

Can cranberries cause kidney stones?

Cranberries or cranberry juice do not cause kidney stones. “In fact, cranberries may have a protective effect against kidney stone formation due to their high-water content and the presence of certain compounds that can inhibit crystal formation,” said Das.

Things to keep in mind

When consuming cranberries or cranberry products, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Das shared them as:

1. Moderation: While cranberries offer numerous health benefits, it’s crucial to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

2. Added sugars: Be cautious when consuming cranberry products like juice or dried cranberries, as they may contain added sugars, which can increase calorie intake and potentially have adverse health effects.

3. Interactions: If you are taking any medications, especially blood-thinners like warfarin, consult your healthcare provider before consuming cranberry products, as they may interact with certain medications.

4. Individual sensitivities: Some individuals may be allergic or intolerant to cranberries, so it’s important to be aware of any adverse reactions and seek medical advice if needed.

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