The Complete Guide to the Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice

There are so many foods and drinks globally that have hidden health benefits that nobody really knows about. Without even knowing, you may have come across a few foods or drinks that you had no idea were super healthy.


Everyone knows candy is bad for you, and apples are good for you. The same can be said for most fruits and vegetables, including the berry family. Everyone knows they’re good for you, but not a lot of people could specifically tell you why. 


Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and, of course, cranberries are all popular types of berries in the berry family. The berry family falls under a particular category within fruits mainly because there are so many different kinds. 


Cranberries, in particular, have a lot of health benefits other berries don’t have. Cranberry juice, specifically, can work wonders for your overall health. 


So, everyone knows (cran)berries are good for you. But why? What makes cranberries so healthy? Why do other berries and fruits pale compared to the health benefits of cranberries and their juice? 


Well, there are a lot of reasons, and when we say a lot, we mean it. 


Whether you’re trying to be healthier or just want to try something new, we highly recommend cranberries and their juice. 


Below, you’ll find a complete guide on cranberry juice. From preventing tooth decay to helping your heart, the health benefits of cranberry juice range far and wide.


Let’s take a look. 


What Are Cranberries? 

Cranberries are a part of a large sub-category of fruits: the berry family. Cranberries are grown in wet, marshy land areas and are native to North America. 


When cranberries are ready to be harvested, they are typically picked after floating in water for long periods, exposing them to all different types of nutrients and minerals. 


Cranberry juice is made from the liquid inside cranberries and expands when the cranberry is harvested from water. You can also make homemade cranberry juice by boiling a cup of cranberries in hot water until they pop. 


Cranberries normally aren’t the most popular fruit or berry, mainly because growing them organically is difficult. Cranberries can be very hard to find during certain seasons, and their popularity has been on a downward trend since the early 2000s. 


But just because cranberries aren’t the most desirable berry anymore doesn’t mean they don’t have a whole world of health benefits. 


There are a ton, so we’ve broken down and shortened our list to the most important and researched health benefits of cranberry juice. 


The Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice

You will get the most health benefits from any fruit by eating them whole. However, cranberries can be difficult to find when they’re out of season. Luckily, cranberry juice is sold year-round. 


Additionally, if you aren’t a fan of the taste of cranberries, their juice can be added to a lot of different recipes and drinks, which we’ll get to later. 


For now, let’s focus on the health benefits of cranberry juice and how it can help you in a variety of different ways. 


Vitamins and Minerals

Cranberry juice is abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients. It’s also relatively low in calories, with roughly 116 per cup (253g). 


A cup of cranberry juice also has plenty of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which all play an essential role in keeping you healthy and preventing chronic illnesses. 


The real gem of cranberry juice is its vitamins; specifically vitamin C. Vitamin C is  necessary to grow and repair body tissue and has also been found to maintain the function of our immune system and promote bone and oral health.


Other vitamins include vitamin E, K1, and B6, which are all huge helps when it comes to maintaining our health. 


Heart Health

Drinking one or more glasses of cranberry juice per day has been shown to decrease blood pressure and glucose levels. 


When your blood pressure is low, your heart is healthier, putting you at a significantly lower risk for strokes or heart attacks.


Additionally, cranberry juice also has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can harm your arteries which may then lead to heart-related illnesses. 


Immune Support

Fresh and natural cranberry juice can be used to relieve symptoms if you are sick by giving your immune system a huge boost.  


Cranberry juice is especially efficient with sinus blockages and sore throats. There’s nothing better than feeling a few hours of relief when we're feeling sick. 


Next time you’re home from school or work because of some cold and flu symptoms, try some fresh cranberry juice and see if it gives you a little perk up.


Does Cranberry Treat Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)? 

We couldn’t write a list of the health benefits of cranberry juice without including a part about UTIs. A UTI happens when there’s a bacterial infection in the urinary tract, and cranberry juice is probably best known as a treatment against them.


However, this is a common misconception. There is actually no scientific proof showing that cranberry juice treats UTIs. There is research that suggests a very small protective benefit for women, but it’s not substantial enough for cranberry to be considered preventative. 


Cranberry juice does contain properties that help maintain urinary tract health, which is likely where the misconception stems from. So no, cranberry juice isn’t a miracle worker against UTIs, but it is still a big help and important for the health of the urinary tract.


Things To Look Out For When Buying Cranberry Juice

When shopping for cranberry juice, it is essential that you read the labels listed on whichever products you end up purchasing. 


As it is with many fruit drinks, there are some options that are really high in sugar and sweeteners with little to no real cranberry juice involved — be watchful for “cranberry juice cocktails” which usually have as little as 10 to 20% juice and tons of added sugar. 


Drinking these products is extremely unhealthy as these unnatural cranberry juices offer virtually none of the benefits listed above.


Additionally, overindulging in cranberry juice can be unhealthy. Too much cranberry juice can lead to bad stomach aches because of its natural mild acidity. 


So, while cranberry juice does contain a wide variety of health benefits, just be careful what kind you’re drinking and how much of it you’re consuming. 


How To Incorporate Cranberry Juice Into Other Foods

Sometimes you just can’t get over the taste of something, no matter how healthy it is. We understand, but there are plenty of other ways you can reap the benefits of cranberry juice without tasting a thing. 


There are many ways you can include cranberry juice in your diet besides drinking it straight up. Whether you’re getting sick of the taste, don’t like it, or are just looking to spice up your routine, here are a couple of healthy ways you can incorporate cranberry juice into other foods.


Smoothies

In general, smoothies are a great meal replacement if you’re looking for something light and filled with nutrients. You can combine your favorite fruits, vegetables, and other healthy toppings to create a drink that tastes the best to you. 


If you want to make your smoothie even healthier, try adding some cranberry juice into the blender next time. With the right amount of juice and other ingredients, you might not even taste the cranberry, but you’ll be getting all of the health benefits and more. 


Homemade or Store-Bought Juices

Whether you own a juicer and prefer to create your own, or you have a preferred juice shop close to your house, adding cranberry juice to these drinks can make a huge difference. 


The same rules apply to juices as they do for smoothies: with the right ingredients, you can wipe out the taste of cranberry while still receiving the benefits. 


Your go-to can be anything from a combination of pineapple/apple/cucumber to ginger/lemon/turmeric. Whatever it is, add some cranberry juice to the mixture! 


Looking to support your health beyond just drinking more cranberry juice? 

If you’re looking for more ways to support a new health goal that you’re planning on starting, you’ve come to the right place. 


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Are you trying to lose weight? Able’s got you covered. Are you trying to gain weight and muscle mass? Able can help. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re aiming for,  Able can help you figure it out. 


With our calorie tracker, macronutrient breakdown, and calorie budget, Able can help keep track of just how much cranberry juice you’re drinking everyday so you can still reap the benefits without adding way too many carbs (in the form of sugar) into your diet.


Able is your new best friend for health. Feel like yourself again, and start becoming a healthier and happier you with Able. 


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Sources: 


Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infections | Michigan Medicine 

Cranberry | NCCIH 

Cranberry Juice – Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects | Organic Facts 

The effects of cranberry juice consumption on antioxidant status and biomarkers relating to heart disease and cancer in healthy human volunteers | NCBI 

Vitamins, Minerals, And Chronic Diseases | NCBI