Soft drinks, soda or any other artificially sweetened beverages are many people’s go-to drinks whenever they find themselves in need of quenching their thirst.
Unfortunately, despite its refreshing taste, drinking these kinds of drinks regularly can greatly impact the state of your health negatively. With that, switching to natural fruit juices are one of the best alternatives not only to quench your thirst but also to boost your immune system and strengthen your body.
So now you’re probably wondering what kind of natural fruit juice will we recommend to you. Well, we carefully chose the one that is high in necessary vitamins and minerals to amplify your energy to keep you going while accomplishing your everyday tasks. And yes you guessed it right — cranberry juice.
In this article, we will not only dive deep into its benefits to your health, we will also provide a holistic guide on how you can prepare it at the comfort of your home.
Nutritional Content of Cranberry Juice
If you are looking for a fruit with a lot of benefits to offer to your health, it is imperative to take into account the nutrients that it contains. Why? Essentially, these nutrients are what determines how it can affect and benefit your health.
Cranberries are small evergreen shrubs that bear small edible fruits that contain vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are essential vitamins that help to build a strong immune system to fight off unwanted diseases.
In addition, cranberry juice is a great addition for people in diet as it serves as an additional source of nutrients. According to Webmd.com, it also has a high concentration of antioxidants and antibacterial properties, preventing free radicals from developing and damaging your cells.
How to make cranberry juice
Although there are numerous cranberry juices readily available on the market, taking the time to make your own is one of the more enjoyable ways to enjoy your drink.
However, if you are busy and short on time, you should consider purchasing a ready-made cranberry juice ( but make sure to look into its nutritional value).
So, why are we trying to encourage you to make your own juice? Not only because it’s quick and easy to make, but also because we want you to get the most out of the nutrients in it. You can also personalize your drink to your liking to give it a unique twist.
Here are 5 quick and easy steps that you can follow to enjoy your homemade fresh cranberry juice:
- Step 1: Pick fresh ripe cranberry and bring it to boil with water in a large saucepan.
- Step 2: Cover the berries with a lid and wait until they pop. This should take at least 20 minutes.
- Step 3: Place the strainer over a bowl and press it with a soft spatula or spoon to extract the juices.
- Step 4: Once you’ve extracted the juices, return it to the saucepan and bring it back to a boil. Depending on your taste and preferences, you can incorporate other fruits (such as oranges, lemons, and so on) into this process. If you want it to taste sweeter, you can add sugar.
- Step 5: Once all of the ingredients have been fully dissolved, chill your cranberry juice and serve!
Choosing cranberry to use for your juice
Hold on for a second, before we forget. We know that after reading the steps you are really eager to start making your own juice. But there is one more important factor that you should know before starting. And this is knowing how to choose a cranberry to turn into juice!
Yup, picking the right cranberry is also important to get the best quality taste for your drink.
Keep in mind that cranberries, when they are ripe, are deep-red in color and have a firm feeling when squeezed. So if you get a cranberry that is too white or pink in color, it simply means that it needs more time before it ripens.
Another way to know if a cranberry is ready to be consumed is through a bounce test. Basically, you want to take a few cranberries and give them a bounce. If the cranberry bounces then they are ready to be used for your cranberry juice.
Sweetened vs unsweetened cranberry juice
Ideally, unsweetened cranberry juice is the most likely to best drink to go as it is 100% fresh and is from the fruit itself. Which means that a pure cranberry juice is more rich in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, compared to its sweetened counterpart.
Although sweetened cranberry juice contains the same nutrient content, the added sugar can also indicate an increase in calorie. Keep in mind that too much sweetened beverage may increase your sugar levels and develop into diabetes.
You can still pair sweetened cranberry juice with your meals, but make sure to drink with moderation to control your calorie and sugar intake.
Cranberry juice: A refreshing drink that caters various health benefits
Cranberry as a fruit is already great because of it taste. But do you know what is greater? Cranberry when taken in the form of juice, cranberries can deliver a lot to keep you healthy and protected from ailments.
Here are some of the most popular health benefits of cranberry juice.
1. It helps to keep you protected from urinary tract infection.
Cranberry juice consumption is famous for being an effective agent to prevent urinary tract infections. It produces hippuric acid in the urine and it prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. Its antibacterial property functions to fight E. coli, enterococci and staphylococcus.
Aside from its ability to produce hippuric acid, cranberry juice also contains antioxidants called proanthocyanidins. This substance works to deter bacteria from attaching to the bladder cells. It also responsible in giving fruits its red, blue and purple color — which explains the color of cranberry juice.
2. It promotes the health of the cardiovascular system.
Cranberry juice contains polyphenols and other potent antioxidants that protect you from the harmful effects of free radicals. It also helps to raise the level of good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol in your body.
A study shows that cranberry juice significantly improves the heart health of people with coronary heart disease. In fact, drinking cranberry juice has proven to lower LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, which is known to increase the risk of developing heart disease.
3. It helps to prevent tooth decay.
If there is one thing helps build up a person’s confidence, the answer would probably having a white bright teeth when they smile. Thus, it is a must to keep the teeth health by regularly brushing, flossing and gargling.
But what if we tell you that cranberry juice can also help you maintain your teeth’s health.
New studies suggest that cranberry juice contains chemicals that inhibit bacteria from sticking to the teeth. This helps to prevent the formation of dental plaques and cavities.
4. It helps to prevent cancer.
Remember the proanthocyanidins that we previously mentioned, this compound offer numerous health benefits that goes beyond preventing urinary tract infections.
Cranberry juice is packed with proanthocyanidins. These are compounds that prevent the growth of cancer cells. Recent research suggests that proanthocyanidins can stop the growth of micro tumors in the blood vessels. Regular consumption of cranberry juice can also help to prevent breast cancer.
5. It helps to protect you from colds and sore throat.
With the prevalence of highly contagious diseases, like Covid-19, natural remedies that can boost immune system has become an essential companion of everyone. Drinking cranberry juice and any other alternative fruits juices that are rich in vitamins are one of the best ways to keep you away from diseases.
Cranberry juice is rich in vitamin C and if it is taken on a regular basis, it can effectively protect you from colds, sore throat and other infections.
To prevent the risk of getting colds and other infection make sure to:
- Regularly wash your hands before and after eating
- Avoid close contact with people that are sick
- Make sure to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing
- Frequently use disinfectant when touching objects or surfaces outside
6. It helps to promote weight loss.
If you are thinking of losing weight but are having a hard time cutting of sodas, drinking cranberry juice may help you with that.
Cranberry juice is rich in organic acids which work to emulsify the fat deposits in the body. It is therefore good for people who desire to lose extra pounds.
According to Livestrong.com, incorporating cranberry juice to you weight loss plan can help fasten the fat-burning process. Due to its vitamins and minerals, it is a much better alternative to sugary and high calorie beverage as it helps increase hydration and naturally remove toxins.
7. It helps to protect children from respiratory infections.
Cranberry juice protects children from Haemophilus influenzae, a bacterium which is responsible for the ear and respiratory infections in children. It works by preventing the bacteria from attaching to the skin’s surfaces.
Moreover, it is also rich in vitamin C which is beneficial in preventing upper respiratory infections.
8. It helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Cranberry juice contains high amounts of acid components which help to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
There are several studies that shows the link between high level of calcium in urine and its correlation with the increased risk of kidney stone development. Drinking cranberry juice and pairing it with your favorite healthy meals, can help reduce the amount of calcium found in the urine, as well as decreasing it pH level.
9. It helps to strengthen bones and teeth.
Minerals, such as calcium, are one of the most important components that help your bones grow stronger in order to support and protect our internal organs.
It is critical that we continue to promote bone health development before the age of 30, as this is the average age at which we reach our peak bone mass. If you weren’t able to achieve adequate bone mass increases the risk of bone loss and having weaker bones to support our movement.
Cranberries are natural food sources of calcium and vitamin K which work to keep your teeth and bones healthy. It also helps to protect you from osteoporosis.
10. It helps to protect you from stomach ulcers.
Regular consumption of cranberry juice helps to kill H. pylori bacteria. These are harmful microorganisms that can cause stomach ulcers and cancer.
These are the most popular health benefits of cranberry juice that you should know. Incorporating cranberry juice to your meals can significantly increase you immunity and have a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
How often should you drink cranberry juice?
Drink a blend of two ounces of cranberry juice and eight ounces water daily to enjoy its benefits. You should drink it unsweetened for optimum effect.
Although, cranberry juice offers lots of benefits for the heart and urinary tract health, it is not recommended too drink too much than the recommended amount. Keep in mind that cranberry juice still contains sugar regardless whether it is sweetened or unsweetened. Drinking at least 1 to 2 glasses per day should be enough.
Is too much cranberry juice harmful?
Cranberry juice are safe to drink with moderation. As we have previously mentioned in this article, you should not exceed the drinking amount that is recommended per day.
Too much cranberry fruit and juice, can cause you to experience an upset stomach and diarrhea. Moreover, cranberry juice, just like orange and lemon juice, are also high in acid. In fact, it has higher pH level compared to the other mentioned citrus fruit juices. According to SFGate, cranberry juice contains an approximate pH value of 2.3 to 2.5.
Juice up your body protection with cranberry juice
There are tons of fruit juices in the market that will cater the essential nutrients that you will need. But what sets cranberry juice apart from these variety of juices is has versatile benefits that aids in the long term growth of a person.