Cranberies the yummy yummy red berries that are used in a variety of desserts and syrups has been the childhood favourite for many.
Cranberries have various medicinal and nutritional benefits in addition to delighting our tast buds. This post is a spotlight on the various health benefits of cranberries, its side effects and how it should be used during pregnancy.
These tiny fruits have all the nutrients that your body needs. They are rich in Vitamins, Potassium, Fibre and Phytochemicals. These phytochemicals also make them a powerful anti-oxidant.
Cranberries have lot of anti-microbial properties and can be great to fight infections and build the immune system. The taste is great and hence could also be a healthy choice for kids. You could give them cranberry shake with milk and some nuts to make it more yummy. You could also add these berries to fruit salads.
Cranberries are excellent anti-oxidants and a glass of cranberry juice can do wonders for your body. They help to flush out toxins and also give your great skin and hair. The anti-oxidant property also means that cell damage is considerably reduced. Dried cranberries are available but do not have Vitamin C in them. For those of you who do not have access to fresh cranberries,dried ones could be a good option although the fresh ones are still the best choice.
Research has been been conducted by various organisations that show how cranberries help to fight cancer. A study conducted by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2008 showed how the triterpenoid ursolic acid found in cranberry, its anti-oxidant property and the flavonoid called quercetin present in cranberries helped to fight cancer effectively.
Cranberries are a healthy breakfast choice. Make these part of you breakfast – say fresh fruits with cereal or oat meal. You can place frozen cranberries outside for a while before eating to bring them down to room temperature.
If your place does not have cranberries, you may buy cranberry extracts that are available over the counter and consume them. While these are safe, those who are currently undergoing treatments or are under medication for any specific condition should consult with their doctor before taking these regularly. This is especially important for those with kidney stones.
Cranberries during pregnancy
One problem that many women face during pregnancy is urinary tract infections. While you can avoid this by maintaining proper hygiene, in spite of that some women are just prone to the infection. Cranberries are very helpful in preventing these infections. The reason being cranberries are extremely rich in vitamin C and anti-bacterial properties which help to keep the infection at bay.
Another benefit is that the Vitamin C in cranberries helps to boost the immune system. Many pregnant women (including me when I was pregnant) so not prefer to take medicines when pregnant. Cranberries help to wade away many diseases and infections which is a great thing – honestly!
How to consume:
Cranberries are naturally sweet. Hence you could make a thin juice of cranberries and drink it with a dash of mint.
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you can still eat cranberries in smaller quantities as a fresh fruit instead of as a juice. This is not only for cranberries – any fruit that you eat, make sure you eat the fleshy fruit and refrain from drinking juices since they might cause spikes in your blood sugar level.
Side effects of cranberries
- You can consume cranberries occasionally and is not known to cause any side effects. But regular consumption in large quantities may have certain side effects:
- Stomach problems
- You can consume cranberry juice in an unsweetened form by people with diabetes occasionally.
- If you currently have UTI (Urinary tract infection) and are under medication, please consult with your doctor. Those with UTI may experience blood in urine due to consuming higher amount of cranberry juice. If this is the case, stop cranberries immediately.
Although some precautions have been listed above, these berries are indeed wonderful in many aspect and consuming them regularly can give you amazing health benefits.