Cranberry Benefits- Spring 2008 Catalog
If there were a religion for cranberry juice drinkers, my mother would join it. A chronic sufferer of cystitis (bladder infections), Mama has kept a supply of cranberry juice in the fridge for years. Although she still has flare-ups, she vows that the juice keeps them from being as bad or as frequent as they otherwise would be.
Health experts affirm her conviction. The virtues of pure, unsweetened cranberry juice-especially for the urinary tract-are unparalleled. Drinking it, though, is not without its downside unless you happen to enjoy a severely bitter daily beverage. For a person with even a mild sweet tooth, drinking six to eight ounces of cranberry juice twice a day may be an unendurable torture no matter what the benefits.
Is There a Bitter End?
Many people aware of cranberries’ benefits but averse to the harshness of straight juice drink cranberry juice cocktail instead. It’s cheaper and tastes much better, but it’s also doctored with high fructose corn syrup, an ingredient so pervasive and so bad for you another entire article would be necessary to explain it. Cranberry juice cocktail is simply not a healthy substitute for plain cranberry juice.
So why drink cranberry juice instead of tastier orange or apple juice? People have known for centuries that raw cranberries are beneficial for the urinary tract although they thought for a long time the benefit comes from the acidity of the little red fruit. Now, however, scientists know cranberries contain a natural compound called proanthocyanidins which effect a chemical and physiological change in the lining of the urinary tract. They make it “slippery” so that E. coli, the bacteria responsible for urinary infections, cannot adhere and cause sickness. Only cranberries (and to a lesser extent blueberries) inhibit bacteria from sticking. Orange and apple juices may be friendlier, but they won’t do the job.
If you suffer from chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs), cranberries are a must. And now, the end of bitterness is at hand with healthful, handy, and less expensive Beeyoutiful Cranberry Power Cleanse. Three vegcaps per day (two in the morning and one in the evening or vice versa) provide the same protection as those two glasses of juice doctors recommend, but there’s no bad taste, dirty cup, or refrigeration to dissuade you from using it regularly.
Cranberry Power Cleanse also contains the herb uva ursi, long used for its healing powers over UTIs, cystitis, and kidney stones. The primary compound in uva ursi is arbutin, which the stomach absorbs and converts into a substance with disinfectant, antimicrobial, and astringent properties. Arbutin fights infection, soothes irritation, and reduces inflammation.
Not Just for Bladders Any More
Even if you don’t suffer from ongoing urinary tract infections, there are a multitude of benefits for the rest of your body that make Cranberry Power Cleanse worth adding to your health arsenal. Here are two that matter to everyone:
- Oral Health. The anti-adhesion properties of cranberry may also inhibit the bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers, and the benefit starts in your mouth. The removal of tooth plaque is the most important reason to visit a dental hygienist regularly. Plaque is a build-up of oral bacteria that have attached themselves to tooth and gum surfaces and to each other. This biofilm hangs on in spite of the best brushing and is largely composed of S. mutans-one of many strains of Streptococcus- and the main bacteria which causes dental caries and gum disease. Thanks to the “no- tick” property of cranberries, these destructive bacteria are less able to attach in the mouth.
- Gastrointestinal Health. If you think stomach ulcers happen only to people who let stress get the better of them, think again. Helicobacter pylori, a virulent bacteria that thrives in the mucosal lining of the stomach and upper intestinal tract, is increasingly considered to be the culprit for peptic ulcers in adults as well as children. Left untreated, H. pylori infection has been linked to stomach cancer, acid reflux disease, and gastritis (inflamed stomach). Again, the anti-adhesive quality of cranberries, makes it hard for the bad bacteria to stick in gastric mucus.
The buzzword in health products these days is antioxidants. These stalwart disease fighters are compounds that are both naturally manufactured by the body and ingested by eating fruits and vegetables. But because of the many harmful molecules we are exposed to every day, our bodies can’t keep up with the need for antioxidants.
Cranberries contain copious amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart attack, cancer and other diseases. To the antioxidants in the cranberries themselves, Cranberry Power Cleanse adds grape seed, known for its superior antioxidant capabilities.
Antioxidants help protect you from atherosclerosis, plaque build-up in the arteries that restricts blood flow. This “bad cholesterol” leads to chest pain, blood clots, and even heart attacks. The American Heart Association says one person in the U.S. dies every 33 seconds from a cardiovascular illness, and that startling number suggests most of us are at risk if we don’t protect ourselves with a diet high in antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables.
Ranking far higher than strawberries, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, and oranges in antioxidant power, cranberries have been shown in animals to protect brain cells from free radical damage and the consequent loss of motor and cognitive function.
I wouldn’t blame you if you just can’t bring yourself to join Mama in a toast with pure, unsweetened cranberry juice twice a day. But nothing’s stopping you from filling your glass with water and chugging it down with a couple of Cranberry Power Cleanse Vcaps®. You’ll toast health to your urinary tract, your mouth, stomach, heart, and your brain cells. And that’s no bitter pill.
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