You might think it’s just another fruit juice, but the benefits of pure cranberry juice to our body are anything but ordinary. Keep reading to learn more about it.
In this article:
- What Is Cranberry?
- Pure Cranberry Juice: Nutritional Facts
- What Is the Recommended Daily Amount for Drinking Cranberry Juice?
- What Are the Potential Risks of Pure Cranberry Juice?
- How to Make Cranberry Juice
- How to Make Cranberry Jelly and Cocktail
- Food Tips to Incorporate Cranberry in Your Diet
- Why Drinking Fresh Fruit Juice Is Important
Pure Cranberry Juice Benefits You Need to Know
What Is Cranberry?
Cranberry is an evergreen shrub that lives in wet places like wetlands and bogs. It is native to the northcentral and northeastern parts of the U.S.
Real cranberries have pink flowers, dark green leaves, and a dark red egg-shaped fruit. People rarely eat them raw because of their sharp and sour taste.
You can use this fruit for sauces, jelly, and cocktails, aside from juice.
Pure Cranberry Juice: Nutritional Facts
It’s important to know its nutritional content to understand better what pure cranberry juice does to your body. Data show that unsweetened cranberry juice contains the following essential nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Omega-6 fatty acids
With its impressive nutritional content, it comes as no surprise why cranberry juice is considered good for the body. Let’s take a look at how it can positively affect your health.
1. Clears Acne
Acne development may not always be caused by external factors. At times, this may be due to hormones released by the thyroid.
For those who are looking for natural ways to treat their acne problems, you may consider pure cranberry juice as a solution. This fruit contains an active ingredient called resveratrol that helps minimize pimples, whiteheads, and other types of acne.
Cranberries also possess anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties that help diminish acne and blemishes. The vitamin C content of the fruit also helps to fade away scars and acne marks.
For your acne, try a no-sugar cranberry juice, since sugar can cause acne. Go for more natural sweeteners such as carrots.
Cran-Carrot Juice Recipe:
- Cored apple
Chop the apple and carrots. Juice all the ingredients and serve over ice.
2. Increases Proanthocyanidins in the Body
Cranberries are natural alternatives for organic cleansing and preventing unhealthy cell production. They are a good source of detoxifying proanthocyanidins.
Proanthocyanidins Definition: Polyphenols that act as antioxidants to help stop cancer cell growth and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
You may try a cranberry juice detox, or you may try making cranberry smoothies.
Cranberry Smoothie Recipe:
- Frozen fruit (apples or strawberries)
- Carrots for an additional sweet taste (optional)
- Orange juice (optional)
Blend all the ingredients together in a mixer or blender.
3. Soothes Colds
Fruits like cranberries are rich in vitamin C that boosts the immune system. They may not prevent us from having colds, but they can shorten the lifespan of cold viruses in the body.
Doctors usually tell people with colds to drink lots of water to get rid of the virus fast, but since not everyone likes the lack of taste in water, pure cranberry juice may serve as a good flavor-rich alternative.
You may want to have your cranberry juice served hot—think of it like having tea—for an extra warm boost for the body.
Hot Spiced Cranberry Tea Recipe:
- Cinnamon sticks
- A tea bag
- Brown sugar
- Cranberry juice
- Orange juice
- Lemon juice
Create a tea bag with cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves stuffed inside. Dip the tea bag in a mixture of the remaining ingredients.
4. Helps Eliminate Kidney Stones
Cranberry juice contains a lot of acids that are good for the body. One of which is the quinic acid that helps prevent the formation of stones in our kidneys.
Regular drinking of a glass of cranberry juice every once in a while may ensure the proper operations of the kidneys and the prevention of stone development.
To help you in detoxifying your kidney, mix pure cranberry juice with barley green powder. The combination of cranberry and barley in your juice will help eliminate stone formation in your kidney.
Cranberry Kidney Detox Drink Recipe:
- Pure cranberry juice
- Barley green powder
Mix all ingredients and serve either hot or cold.
5. Works Against Respiratory Infections
Cranberries are not just all acids. They also contain nondialyzable material (or NDM) that is good for killing influenza viruses in our lungs.
For those who are having difficulty in breathing, cranberry juice may also aid in soothing the air passages in your body. Fermented cranberries combined with ginger will work in protecting your body against viruses that cause respiratory problems.
Fermented Cranberry Recipe:
- Cinnamon stick
- Whole cloves
Mash cranberries and then put them in a jar or container. Fill the jar or container with the remaining ingredients.
Stir and then serve.
6. Fights Ulcer Development
It’s not only viruses that pure cranberry juice kills in our bodies.
Drinking cranberry juice also stops the formation of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria in the body, particularly in our digestive tract. This type of bacteria attacks the lining of our stomach and causes an ulcer.
Drinking pure unsweetened cranberry juice will do the trick.
Cranberry Pineapple Juice Recipe:
- Fresh or frozen cranberries
- Cranberry juice
- Pineapple juice
- Fresh pineapple tidbits
Mix all ingredients in a jar. Serve.
7. Promotes Skin Health
Having a good thyroid can be seen from the condition of the skin. Cranberry juice concentrate can help the thyroid to properly produce hormones necessary to maintain the right skin for us.
Also, cranberries are found to have antiseptic and antifungal properties. So, one may opt to use it to wash the areas affected by conditions such as psoriasis and alopecia.
8. Protects Bones and Teeth
Proanthocyanidin is also rich in vitamin C that keeps our bones and teeth strong and clean. Drinking this juice is beneficial, especially for the elderly, as it can prevent the weakening of bones.
Cherry Cranberry Punch Recipe:
- Cherry gelatin
- Boiling water
- Cranberry juice
- Cold water
- Lemonade concentrate
- Chilled club soda
- Lemon sherbet
Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water, and then stir in cranberry juice, cold water, and lemonade concentrate. Refrigerate and then stir in club soda and top with scoops of sherbet.
9. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
People, including children, experiencing urinary tract infections (UTIs) may also find relief from drinking cranberry juice as the fruit contains compounds that prevent the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder tissue. Aside from flavonoids, catechin, and anthocyanin, cranberry also contains organic acids like malic, benzoic, and citric acids.
The body excretes benzoic acid as hippuric acid, which is found to prevent bacterial growth by maintaining the urine’s acidic pH.
Hippuric Acid Definition: A carboxylic acid found in urine, which is formed when benzoic acid combines with glycine.
Urinary tract infection is common to most people, especially women. To help prevent this, add drinking pure cranberry juice as part of your regular dietary routine.
The components of this juice make urine very acidic, making the urinary tract unattractive to bacteria and viruses.
Spicy Cranberry Detox Recipe:
- Fresh cranberries
- Bulb fennel
- Purified water
Mix all the ingredients and drink up.
10. Helps Lose Weight
Having a good thyroid is reflected in one’s ability to maintain proper weight. This makes cranberry juice a suitable complement to your daily exercise.
The organic acids in the unsweetened juice contribute to having proper metabolism in the body. Just make sure you don’t add too much sugar to your cranberry juice to ensure its effectiveness in your weight loss regimen.
The good thing about this is there are no cranberry juice side effects that may hamper your weight goal. Mixing cranberry juice and lemon juice aids in flushing unnecessary waste material in the body and, eventually, helps in reducing body weight.
Fat Flush Cranberry Water Recipe:
- Pure unsweetened cranberry juice
- Lemon juice (optional)
Mix water with the cranberry juice and lemon juice. Serve and enjoy.
11. Has Anti-Aging Properties
There are antioxidants in cranberry fruit that are good for the body. Apart from keeping our body healthy, they also aid in helping our thyroid produce anti-aging hormones and in preventing our cells from developing unwanted free radicals.
In effect, cranberries contribute to maintaining the youthful glow on our skin and the proper functioning of all our body organs.
Cranberry Face Mask Recipe:
- Fresh cranberries
- Seedless red grapes
- Grapefruit juice
- Unflavored gelatin
Puree the cranberries and red grapes in a blender until you get the right consistency for a facial mask. Place the mixture in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to use, allow the mixture to sit at room temperature and then apply the face mask.
12. Helps in Hair Growth
Men and women suffering from too much hair loss may consider pure cranberry juice as a healthy option.
Among the vitamins present in cranberry juices are vitamins A and C, which both help in hair growth. These vitamins are responsible for giving us long and strong hair.
Cranberry Ale Punch Recipe:
- White grape juice
- Cranberry juice
- Ginger ale
Mix all ingredients and serve.
13. Prevents Scurvy
The deficiency of vitamins in the body contributes to the development of scurvy.
Scurvy Definition: A condition that results from vitamin deficiency and leads to symptoms such as gum pain, bruises, and shortness of breath.
Fruits like cranberries provide the body with enough vitamin C to prevent this condition from developing.
To give you the extra boost of vitamin C in your body, mix your cranberry juice with other citric fruits like lime and lemon. Drink it with minimal sweetener for maximum effects.
Cranberry Citrus Mix Recipe:
- Cranberry juice
Mix the ingredients together and serve chilled.
14. Assists in Liver Detox
Detoxifying the liver is important to allow the proper flushing out of toxins from the body. To help the liver maintain its normal function, have a daily glass of cranberry juice detox as part of your healthy routine.
This juice serves as an organic alternative in cleaning the entire body.
Cranberry Liver Detox Recipe:
- Orange juice
- Cranberry juice
- Lemon juice
Create a hot mixture of cranberry juice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stevia. Allow the mixture to cool and then add the lemon and orange juices.
15. Aids in Sleeping Fast
Having a hard time sleeping at night? Head over to the fridge and get yourself a glass of cranberry juice.
Studies show that cranberry juice can eliminate hypothyroidism that contributes to sleep disorders.
Honey has components helpful in treating sleep apnea. To induce sleepiness, you may mix some honey in a hot cup of cranberry juice to drink before going to bed.
Hot Bedtime Cranberry Recipe:
- Cranberry juice
Put a teaspoon of honey on hot cranberry juice, stir well, and enjoy.
16. Improves Thyroid Function
To maintain the wellness of the thyroid, one needs the right amount of iodine intake in the body. Among all foods available, pure cranberry juice can provide this benefit.
Cranberry juice is found to contain the right amount of iodine needed by the thyroid.
Cranberry Recipe for Thyroid Improvement:
- Cranberry juice
- Lemon or orange
Mix cinnamon, ginger, and cranberry juice in boiling water. Cool down the mixture and then add the remaining ingredients.
17. Aids in Hormonal Imbalance
There are a lot of hormones responsible for the various functions of the body. All these are being controlled by the thyroid, and so hormonal imbalance may signal some level of deficiencies in the thyroid.
Cranberry juice offers the right components to ensure the thyroid works at its optimal best in balancing hormones in the body.
Pure Green Cranberry Mix Recipe:
- Large kale leaves
- Pear or apple
Mix all the ingredients except for the turmeric that you need to add after all the ingredients have been mixed up.
18. Promotes Heart Health
One of the outstanding health benefits of cranberry juice is its positive effect on heart health.
Cranberries also contain phytonutrients. They help prevent damage in blood vessels and arteries, lowering the risk of heart disease.
One study found that overweight and obese adults showed less inflammatory biomarkers for heart disease after consuming a high-polyphenol cranberry drink daily for eight weeks.
Cranberry Apple Ginger Juice:
- Kale leaves
Wash all the produce, and then remove the core of the apples. After that, juice all the ingredients, and serve.
19. Supports Post-Menopausal Health
Women increase their risk of heart problems after menopause. One study found that rats with removed ovaries reduced their total cholesterol after consuming cranberry juice daily for eight weeks.
Sparkling Cranberry Punch Recipe:
- Unsweetened cranberry juice
- Sparkling water
- Pink lemonade concentrate
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!
20. Boosts Circulation
Cranberries have also been shown to enhance the flexibility of the arteries, improving circulation. As a result, they help to rid the heart of pressure and boost energy levels and brain function.
Crazy for Cranberries Juice Recipe:
- Large oranges
Wash the produce properly, then peel the oranges. Use a juicer to juice all ingredients, and then serve.
21. Promotes Digestive Health
Cranberries were also shown to positively influence the beneficial gut bacteria linked to mood, immunity, and digestive health. Its fiber content also helps prevent constipation and promote the overall health of the digestive system.
Honey-Sweetened Cranberry Juice Recipe:
- Cinnamon stick
- Filtered water
- Lemon juice
- Raw honey
Put the cranberries, cinnamon stick, and filtered water in an instant pot and cook on manual. After that, strain the ingredients, and add more water.
Squeeze lemon juice and add it to the mix. Add honey before serving it hot.
22. Fights Vaginal Infections
Polyphenols in pure cranberry juice help decrease Escherichia coli production in the vaginal epithelial cells, preventing infections.
This bacterium is also the most common cause of urinary tract infections. It can travel from the anus to the vagina.
23. Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
Cranberry juice is naturally low in calories, which is why it is a healthy option for people with diabetes. A study found out that half of the participants who consumed pure cranberry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a decrease in their serum glucose levels.
What Is the Recommended Daily Amount for Drinking Cranberry Juice?
There is no suggested amount in consuming cranberry juice, but ideally, 1-2 cups of it daily are good for preventing urinary tract infections. You can drink 3-6 cups of the juice per day, but ensure it is pure and with no added sugars.
For pregnant and lactating women, it’s better to consult with your doctor first before taking the juice.
What Are the Potential Risks of Pure Cranberry Juice?
With these impressive cranberry juice benefits, it’s no longer surprising why more and more people are adding it to their regular diet. However, it comes with potential risks as well, especially when taken in uncontrolled amounts.
Excessive serving sizes of cranberry juice may lead to side effects such as:
- Upset stomach
- Increased blood sugar levels
Additionally, some studies found that cranberry juice may interact with certain medications. This includes blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.
Cranberry juice may also interact with other medications including:
To be on the side of caution, speak with your doctor first if you are taking medicines or have a certain health condition before taking cranberry products.
How to Make Cranberry Juice
You can always make the juice from scratch, and all you need are three ingredients:
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups cranberries
- 1/2 to 1 cup sugar of choice (raw honey or agave nectar)
- Place the cranberries in a pot and pour in the water.
- Bring it to a boil for 10 minutes and make sure the fruit pops.
- Drain the juice with a fine strainer as you push the berries a little bit to get the juice.
- Add the sugar of choice, like raw honey or stevia, to the pure cranberry juice and place in a jar.
- Store in the fridge before using it. This can last for months.
You can use the cranberry flesh for a sauce. Reheat the berries until the texture is thick.
Place it in a separate jar for future use.
How to Make Cranberry Jelly and Cocktail
If you want to explore more of how you can consume this healthy fruit, you can also enjoy it as a jelly or a cocktail. For this jelly recipe, you can already make three cups.
- 2 cups sugar of choice
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 4 1/4 cups cranberries, frozen or fresh
- In a large pot, put the cranberries and pour the water. Bring it to a boil.
- When their skin bursts, remove them from the pot and blend them using a food processor or hand-held stick blender until smooth.
- Place the cranberry mixture back to the pot, add sugar, and mix well. Set aside.
- Prepare the stockpot by pouring it with water and then bringing it to a boil.
- Heat lids and jars with the hot water but don’t boil. Set aside.
- Boil the cranberry jelly mix to 118°F before placing it into the jars. Leave 1/2 inch for the headspace.
- Remove the air bubble in the jelly and then wipe the rim.
- Cover and seal the jars with the lids and then apply a band to the jars until their fit is fingertip tight. Place the jars in the stockpot for 15 minutes. Make sure the water covers the lids by about 2 cm.
- Remove the jars and let them cool.
- Check the lids for seal. The center of the lids should not flex up and down when pressed.
For the cranberry cocktail, there are many types of recipes. Below is just a common recipe you can try:
- Grapefruit slice
- 30 ml grapefruit juice
- 89 ml cranberry juice
- 44 ml vodka
- Secure a highball glass and pour some ice cubes in it.
- Pour cranberry juice and vodka into the glass and stir well.
- Top it with grapefruit juice.
- Garnish the cocktail with the grapefruit slice and serve.
Food Tips to Incorporate Cranberry in Your Diet
You don’t have to always drink pure cranberry juice if you want it to be included in your daily diet. There are many other ways you can add cranberry to your meals, such as:
- Blending the cranberry cocktail with frozen or fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt for a healthy smoothie
- Making cranberry juice popsicles for snacks
- Freezing cranberry cocktail in an ice tray and using them in your drinking water
- Enjoying cranberry sorbet by freezing the juice overnight and letting it melt the following day
- Drinking a glass of cranberry juice during breakfast and another at night during or after dinner
Why Drinking Fresh Fruit Juice Is Important
Aside from the fact that drinking fresh fruit juice is a natural way of getting many essential nutrients, it also has other benefits for the body.
Aside from water, fresh fruit juice can cleanse the body effectively. It has naturally-occurring water that goes into the cells of the body to detoxify and heal.
- Weight Loss
Fresh fruit juice promotes better digestion. It also lets you eat less if you drink the juice while eating meals because it can make you feel full.
If you don’t feel like drinking water when you’re thirsty, consume fresh fruit juice. It can naturally hydrate your cells with the added flavor, usually sweet, to make it tastier to drink.
- Craving Reduction
Food cravings can make you gain weight unhealthily. By drinking fresh fruit juice, you can substitute it with your favorite snack.
If you’re craving sugar, many sweet fresh fruit juices can give you that. Just make sure to take the juice in moderate amounts because natural sugars from fruits can still contribute to weight gain.
Let this infographic be your guide. Download it now and use it as a reference later:
Knowing what kind of cranberry juice mix is good for you helps in keeping your body healthy. While drinking pure cranberry juice is an easy option, you can also try mixing it up with other nutritious ingredients as shown in the recipes above or consuming the fruit in other ways.
It’s good to know you’ll get all these good cranberry juice benefits not just for the thyroid but for the entire body as well. Add this fruit to your diet and start your cranberry juice detox now!
What other cranberry juice benefits do you want to share? What other ways to consume cranberries do you know? Tell us what you know in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 2, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.