Ocean Spray, Old Orchard, Lakewood, Dynamic Health, does any of this brands ring a bell? If you grew up in a household that used to believe how these brands can help in treating colds and even urinary tract infection, you probably heard about them.
The mentioned brands are brands of cranberry juice. They were very famous because a lot of people believed that cranberry is a powerful fruit. However, it is still hard for researchers to prove that cranberry can indeed help in the treatment of colds and urinary tract infection, instead they have provided what real benefits the cranberry fruit can give.
The History of Cranberry Fruit
It was 1550, the Native Americans started to use small, cherry-like fruits for different purposes. They can be used as a remedy or medication for some health conditions, as food ingredients, and as fruit juices – the cranberry.
That date in history is what started to open doors for the cranberry fruit, and it was the Native Americans who paved the way. They also started to introduce the health benefits of the fruit by using them as a crucial ingredient for energy bars that were consumed by the traders every winter as a great source of energy.
When 1816 came, the beginning of commercially sold cranberries became a thing. It was a man named Captain Henry Hall, who is a known ar veteran during that time, who first discovered and began the cultivation of the fruit. It is said that he stumbled upon the vines of the fruit somewhere in Cape Cod, which is a part of Massachusetts. Also, this marked the abundance of cranberries in North America, making the continent one of the largest harvesters of the said fruit.
It was in 1912 when the first ever canned cranberries was introduced. This way, Americans enjoyed the fruit in any season, and they used it in Thanksgiving meals. This is thanks to a man named Marcus Urann; who left his career as a lawyer in order to work with cranberries and made this improvement possible. That was also the date where the brand name Ocean Spray began; they started from the canned cranberry sauce which is ready to cook and is a staple ingredient for Thanksgiving turkey and developed a wider variety of cranberry products from dried cranberries to cranberry juices; also in different types.
The Cranberry Fruit
A fresh cranberry fruit is said to bounce whenever it’s dropped, and also bears love to eat these berries which is why they are sometimes referred to as bearberries.
The popularity of this fruit mostly relies on how it is beneficial to health. A few of the reason why they are considered healthy and nutritious are because of the following facts:
- The fruit is rich in antioxidants that effective against certain types of diseases.
- It contains low counts of calories and may even help in promoting weight loss.
- The fruit has sorts of vitamins such as vitamin C, A, and K.
- The fruit is said to work against urinary tract infection and may also help prevent it; but this claim is in need of further studies.
- Though not health-related, cranberries are delicious and considered a staple ingredient in Thanksgiving celebrations.
Cranberry: Benefits and Best Ways to Use it
The characteristic of cranberries as a nutrient-rich fruit makes it a lot more beneficial. The nutrients that are available in a cup of cranberries are:
- 50 counts or calories
- 0.50 grams of protein
- 0.14 grams of fat
- 12.1 grams of carbohydrates
- 4.7 grams of sugar
- 4 grams of fiber
- 10 milligrams of calcium
- 0.24 milligrams of iron
- 7 milligrams of magnesium
- 12 milligrams of phosphorus
- 88 milligrams of potassium
- 2 milligrams of sodium
- 0.10 milligrams of zinc
- 14.1 milligrams of vitamin C
- 1.44 milligrams of vitamin E
- 5.5 micrograms of vitamin K
- 0.10 micrograms of folate
- 70 international units of vitamin A
- 16 percent DV of manganese
Also, here are some of the best benefits one can get from consuming healthy amounts of cranberries:
Cranberries are high in fiber and are deemed to be effective in losing weight.
For some reasons, people have always consumed cranberries as part of their diet. These people have believed that the fruit contains such nutrients that can help them lose weight, well they are not wrong.
The insoluble fibers that are present in the berries are actively working to do wonders in the digestive system, like helping the passage of the food particles in the intestines and preventing the development of certain digestive issues. Plus, it can control the eating habits of a person since it has the ability to keep hunger at bay, thus resulting to weight loss.
Cranberries may help in regulating blood sugar.
These berries are famous for having low sugar content. The high fiber content of the fruit is also said to work against possibilities of getting high sugar levels.
Add the fact that cranberries contain adequate amounts of manganese makes it believable that they can actually work in regulating blood sugar levels. This has been proven from a previous study published by Journal of Research in Medical Science wherein type 2 diabetic male patients are asked to intake about a cup of cranberries everyday and it resulted in a positive note that cranberries are able to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Cranberries may be effective against colds and minor sinus infections.
The vitamin C content of cranberries is said to take effect against colds. A cup of these fruits can provide the body with 19 percent of its required daily intake. This can also help in boosting the body’s immune system to avoid further chances of getting minor viral infections.
Cranberries contain antioxidants that can prevent cancer risks.
The antioxidants polyphenolics and isoprenoids are present in these berries; they are known to be the types of antioxidants that fight against cancer cells. This was proven by a few studies in which the consumption of the fruit was effective in preventing the development of cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Cranberries can aid in the lowering of cholesterol levels in the body.
These berries contain another antioxidant which is called anthocyanins; which is the type of antioxidant that prevents cardiovascular diseases by lowering the person’s cholesterol. This antioxidant is also responsible for the deep red color of cranberries.
Some of the best ways of consuming cranberries are by adding them to some meals, but they can also be made into other consumable forms.
Cranberry fruits can be made into juice.
Cranberry juices are everywhere; they are sold in almost all supermarkets. However, be sure to read the label properly since most of these juices are already added with other ingredients that may oppose the already good benefits of the fruit. It is somehow best to make your own cranberry juice, or find those that are all-natural and organic; and avoid adding too much sugar in it.
They make great smoothie toppings.
Try freezing a handful of cranberries and make them into topping for your smoothie. Or you can also opt in making the berries into smoothies themselves.
Try eating them as snacks.
Dried or fresh cranberries are delicious when eaten as snacks together with other healthy nuts and seeds.
Make them into muffins, cookies, or other baked goods.
This trick will even make the kids love eating cranberries. Plus, they are just like other berries that become more delicious and fun to eat when made into tasty treats.
Add them into your favorite cereals or oatmeal.
Cranberries somehow are favorable as food toppings. Adding them into your favorite bowl of whole grain cereals and oatmeal will boost the foods delicious flavor and at the same time its health benefits.