Cranberry juice is likely one of the most overlooked fruit juices on the market. While it is not a taste all people prefer, it does provide some of the best potential benefits. The most well known being the prevention of Urinary Tract Infections. According to the American Family Physician, dosage for UTI prevention is recommended at or around 8 ounces of pure unsweetened cranberry juice three times a day.
And for those of you who might be looking to get some of the benefits of cranberry juice, but don’t want to drink it, there are even convenient pills you can take.
While this research has yielded mostly right, others are still in the works. Recent studies have been centered around using cranberry to prevent ulcers caused by the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori. It is thought that just as the compound in cranberry believed to prevent the attachment of the bacteria which causes UTIs, the same may be possible for ulcers. Of those studies which have been conducted, there are significant results, but it is firmly believed more trials are necessary.
In a 2005 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 189 subjects who had H. Pylori drank two 250 milliliter juice boxes a day. By the end of a 90 day period, the H. Pylori was eliminated in three times as many subjects who received the cranberry juice than subjects who received the placebo.
Meanwhile, similar benefits are being tested with periodontal disease. A study conducted at the University of Rochester led by oral biologist Hyun Koo in 2005, discovered that traits about the cranberry that prevent UTIs might also hold true for preventing cavities. In a statement, Koo said, “Scientists believe that one of the main ways that cranberries prevent urinary tract infections is by inhibiting the adherence of pathogens on the surface of the bladder. Perhaps the same is true in the mouth, where bacteria use adhesion molecules to hold onto teeth”.
Another lesser-known benefit of cranberry juice is that it can be used as a mild natural laxative. It is understood when consumed in large amounts to induce upset stomach and diarrhea so overindulgence should be avoided. Bearing this information in mind, as with any addition to your diet, it is essential to consider which brand best suits your needs.
To receive the best dose of cranberry, you should look for brands that contain fresh fruit and are unsweetened. For this same reason, you should avoid fruit cocktails. Although they may sound better when it comes to taste, the excess fruits will not be enough to hold other benefits, and always include more sugar. Consider what juice or concentrate factors would be the most beneficial to you or consult a doctor.
Here are a few of the most highly rated brands and some of their best qualities.
- Ocean Spray Unsweetened Pure Cranberry. This ready to drink juice is full of over 900 cranberries per bottle and contains 60 calories per serving. It has 9 grams of sugar, none of which are added. It also lacks any preservatives, artificial flavors, and GMOs. Most consumers recommend diluting it with your preferred amount of water to taste.
- Lakewood Pure Cranberry Juice. This product packs 3 pounds of cranberries in every bottle and contains 80 calories per serving. It has 11 grams of sugar, as well as vitamins E and C. It is also organic, Kosher, non-Gmo and gluten-free. Around 3 to 4 ounces are recommended daily and can be diluted with 6 to 8 fluid ounces of water.
- Life Tree Unsweetened Cranberry Juice Concentrate. This pure juice concentrate is raved about and recommended at 8 teaspoons daily. It is best served diluted and sweetened to taste; around 5 parts water to 1 part juice. It contains no preservatives, artificial ingredients, and only 11 grams of natural sugars.
- Dynamic Health Cranberry Juice Concentrate. This concentrate is another syrup-like juice best diluted with water and sugar to taste. Two tablespoons per day are recommended, at 85 calories and 21 grams of sugar. It is vegan, gluten free, and contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
- Only Natural Organic Cranberry Concentrate. This product requires that what be added to be drinkable; 3 parts water and 1 part concentrate. It contains 58 calories per serving, 15 grams of sugar, as well as vitamins A and C. It is gluten free, and contains no preservatives or added sugars.
In summary, cranberry juice can be used for constipation and other potential health benefits. Studies have shown that there are lots of good reasons to drink cranberry juice; and almost no reason to not enjoy at least a glass a day. Next time you are out for grocery, make sure to grab a bottle of 100% cranberry juice for your enjoyment, and your body’s well-being.