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So what's with all this 80s stuff? Meet Vegan Vince

Cranberries, Health WARRIOR Extraordinaire

I’ll bet that you already know that cranberries combat urinary tract infections by inhibiting bacteria from attaching to the bladder and the urethra. You might have also heard that raw cranberries are a good source of polyphenol antioxidants. Polyphenols benefit the cardiovascular system, immune system, and show anti-cancer properties.¹¯²

In a clinical trial, cranberry juice significantly increased plasma antioxidant capacity and decreased both oxidized low-density lipoprotein and malondialdehyde, a marker for oxidative stress (at eight weeks compared to a placebo). Malondialdehyde (MDA) is a potentially mutagenic³ chemical that is found in heated oils such as sunflower and palm oils⁴. People suffering from eye disorders such as keratoconus and bullous keratopathy have been found to have increased levels of MDA in their corneas.⁵ MDA is also found in the joints of people with osteoarthritis.⁶

Cranberries have even been found to fight tooth decay by inhibiting the formation of plaque buildup by Streptococcus mutans, a pathogen that causes tooth decay.⁷

When comparing 277 of the commonly consumed foods in the United States, cranberries rank near the top with an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score of 9,584 units per 100 grams.

Raw cranberries have a balanced array of numerous essential nutrients including vitamin C, manganese and protein! They are also an abundant source of health-promoting flavonoids such as proanthocyanidins, flavonols,⁸ and quercetin.⁹¯¹⁰

With all the scientifically proven health benefits of cranberries, I suggest including some of these amazing and reasonably priced berries as part of a healthy diet.

Dr. Craig B Sommers

Learn more about Dr. Craig Sommers

[1] Seifried HE, Anderson DE, Fisher EI, Milner JA (September 2007). "A review of the interaction among dietary antioxidants and reactive oxygen species". J Nutr Biochem.18 (9): 567–79.doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2006.10.007.PMID 17360173.

[2] Halliwell B (January 2007). "Dietary polyphenols: good, bad, or indifferent for your health?".Cardiovasc Res. 73 (2): 341–7.doi:10.1016/j.cardiores.2006.10.004. PMID 17141749.

[3] Hartman PE, Putative mutagens and carcinogens in foods. IV. Malonaldehyde (malondialdehyde) Environ Mutagen. 1983;5(4):603-7

[4] Dourerdjou, P.; Koner, B. C. (2008), Effect of Different Cooking Vessels on Heat-Induced Lipid Peroxidation of Different Edible Oils" Journal of Food Biochemistry, 32: 740–751. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-4514.2008.00195.x

[5] Buddi R, Lin B, Atilano SR, Zorapapel NC, Kenney MC, Brown DJ (March 2002)."Evidence of oxidative stress in human corneal diseases". J. Histochem. Cytochem. 50 (3): 341–51. doi:10.1177/002215540205000306.PMID 11850437.

[6] Tiku ML, Narla H, Jain M, Yalamanchili P (2007). "Glucosamine prevents in vitro collagen degradation in chondrocytes by inhibiting advanced lipoxidation reactions and protein oxidation". Arthritis Res. Ther. 9 (4): R76. doi:10.1186/ar2274.PMC 2206377. PMID 17686167.

[7] "Blocking tooth decay". Webmd.com. 2005-11-23. Retrieved 2009-11-13.

[8] Flavonoid composition over fruit development and maturation in American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. Irina O. Vvedenskaya and Nicholi Vorsa, Plant Science, Volume 167, Issue 5, November 2004, Pages 1043-1054,doi:10.1016/j.plantsci.2004.

[9] Duthie SJ, Jenkinson AM, Crozier A, et al.(March 2006). "The effects of cranberry juice consumption on antioxidant status and biomarkers relating to heart disease and cancer in healthy human volunteers". Eur J Nutr 45(2): 113–22.doi:10.1007/s00394-005-0572-9.PMID 16032375.

[10] Zheng W, Wang SY (January 2003). "Oxygen radical absorbing capacity of phenolics in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries". J Agric Food Chem. 51 (2): 502–9 doi:10.1021/jf020728u.PMID 12517117.

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