Is cranberry juice good for you? Yes, the research shows that the juice and the berry are good for you. It is not easy to find cranberry in the market around the world. However, you can easily find cranberry juice brands in all markets. The advantages of drinking juice are enormous. However, the question here is whether the store-bought juice brands, even the top brands known for quality, hold the same value as a home-made cranberry juice?
Nutritious cranberry juice is good for you
A cupful of pure and unsweetened cranberry juice is rich in nutrients. Its daily value of copper and vitamins K1 and B6 is 15%, 11%, and 8%, respectively. The fruit also provides antioxidant-rich vitamin C and E with daily values of 26% and 20%.
The mineral-rich drink is acidic, and a half cupful of juice has 60 calories. The nutritional value of 1 cup of juice, 248 g or 8 ounces, has very little fat. Besides, the fruit has many beneficial minerals. The standard cupful of juice is not equivalent to consuming the same volume of fruit. Go through the facts table on labeling, and avoid packaged juice with additives.
What happens to the phytonutrients?
The fruit has powerful phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory benefits. Since blood vessels get damaged due to swelling, cranberries can be useful. The fruit’s chemical compounds can prevent or lower inflammation. They can delay arterial plaque and improve oxygen-rich blood supply. Consequently, the heart functions efficiently. A 2019 research on obese men confirms these medical benefits without any doubt.
But, these phytonutrients are not as rich in the store-bought brands as a natural juice. The reason behind this problem is the processing mechanism, which involves many preservatives, heat-induced processes, and more.
Cranberries have valuable bioactive compounds called phytochemicals. They are beneficial in improving the digestion process. Medical research confirms that the compounds can prevent the growth of H. pylori bacteria. Consequently, the stomach lining becomes stronger and healthier.
The phytochemicals are very susceptible to heat. Even a moderate heating process can alter the chemical structure and either disintegrate or change it into other components. There are no proofs that the resulting new components are beneficial or harmful. However, the advantages of those phytochemicals would disappear. The best option to overcome this problem is by choosing cold-pressed juice. The cold-pressed juice has very little shelf-life but would have phytochemicals in it. Moreover, pasteurized products will have zero phytochemicals.
Brands that use extracts
Please check the ingredients in the package before you buy. If the product uses cranberry extract, you are just buying flavored water with lots of sugar and preservatives.
The researches show that cranberry juice good for you in treating UTI. But, no proof is available for cranberry extract. Moreover, it is impossible to find how much sugar content goes in that extract and the process used for creating it. A heat-induced process would kill the phytochemicals in it, thereby reducing its value even further.
The natural cranberry juice contains several proteins that can help in the detoxification of your liver. The process makes your liver more efficient and removes toxins from your body. Unfortunately, the protein is not found in processed extracts of cranberry. So be careful and opt for home-made juices to achieve successful outcomes.
Blend a cupful of cranberry with 1/2 cup ice cubes, and add a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon. Complete the cocktail with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. This super combo drink can improve blood circulation and immune strength. It also enhances kidney functioning.
Is store-bought cranberry juice good for you to lose weight?
Raw, fresh, and dried cranberries are good for weight loss. They can be part of a balanced diet that fights obesity and high BP. Is cranberry juice good for you in losing weight? Yes, it acts as a natural diuretic and flushes out the excess water during urination.
So, juiced cranberries are beneficial to manage body weight. They may not lead to weight loss but help you manage your weight. But, check your brand’s label, and you will know the amount of sugar that goes into the product. Have you ever eaten a cranberry? It is sour, slightly even bitter if raw. So, making a juice out of this berry, even the best berries grown organically, would taste horrible. Thus, brands add juices of other fruits like apples, other berries, and more. Usually, these additional fruits are in the form of extracts. Those extracts might contain volumes of sugar. Sugar of any kind is never a good choice for weight management or weight loss.
Is cranberry juice good for you with chemicals in it?
This nutritious fruit juice offers multiple health benefits for everyone. It has powerful antioxidants that stave off diseases and infections. Besides, the fruit has anthocyanin to manage cholesterol levels. Apart from the heart, the kidneys and liver also function much more smoothly.
But, the brands add many chemicals to improve the shelf life of the product. The tasty red color that you see in the juice comes from several food-grade chemicals. Beyond those, some brands add chemicals for a good smell too. Thus, by buying a packaged cranberry juice, you are buying too many chemicals.
Is cranberry juice good for you if you make it out of dried berries?
The best way to consume natural cranberry juice throughout the year is by opting for dried cranberries. Dried cranberries have a rich volume of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and more. But, the dried berries should be sun-dried and not freeze-dried or hot-air dried. The worst among all is the hot-air dried, which retains the least nutrients. The fiber gets retained along with Vitamin E, A, K, B-complex, and minerals like manganese, iron, copper, and more.
The problem is the sugar and preservatives in it. Dried berries are usually rich in sugar. A cup of fresh cranberry has only 9% of your total recommended sugar requirement. However, the same volume of dried cranberry would offer 58%. Unless you dry the berries at home, it is a bad choice.