Cranberries are one of several evergreen plants, belonging to what is called the health family. Cranberries are related to the bilberry and the blueberry family. Historically, the health benefits of the cranberry has been based on folkloric remedies. The health properties of this fruit were first recognized by the American Indians and New England sailors. It is said they ate the wild cranberries to help prevent from getting scurvy.
Cranberry juice was first made by American settlers in 1683. Today we use cranberry juice not only for there high vitamin C and anti-oxidants, but for so many other important health factors. Cranberries are known to ease the symptoms of cystitis. In 1998 researchers proved that the chemical proanthocyanidins, which has been found in cranberries, helps to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract cells. Hence this tiny fruit is helping us to prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberries are also helping to aid in the fight of breaking down kidney stones, and help to eliminate bladder infections.
Cranberries are known to help in the battle of heart disease by raising our levels of HDL’s (the good cholesterol) by as much as 10%, and lowering our LDL’s (bad cholesterol). Which also helps with fighting blood disease.
The cranberry juice contains components that help prevent the formation of oral bacteria, that can lead to gum disease and plaque.
Recent studies have shown cranberry juice to work great for the elderly by reducing the growth of peptic ulcers. Which is something that over 50% of the population over sixty years old is affected by.
Cranberries are available fresh in stores during the Fall months. There peak harvest time is October and November. Fresh cranberries can be refrigerated for up to four weeks and can be frozen for several months.
Many Cranberry juices are only 30% juice and not all of that is cranberry. While it will be sweeter and easier to drink, it needs to be 100% cranberry juice with no artificial ingredients to give you these full health benefits. If the taste of 100% real cranberry juice is to bitter or tart, it can be mixed with 100% pure apple juice.