A Cranberry is not just for Christmas!
At this time of year when most of us hear the name cranberry we tend to think of sauce to add to the turkey. However, the fruit also offers us certain health benefits and has long been valued primarily for its use with supporting the urinary tract.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) belongs to the same family as bilberries and blueberries and has, for many years, been valued as a food, especially in North America where it is found growing in boggy areas and along lake shores. During the last century the use of cranberry for medicinal purposes became much more commonplace leading to the increased popularity of cranberry juice drinks.
Cranberry has been used to support the urinary tract, particularly in women, for those prone to cystitis and other urinary tract infections. Unfortunately cranberry juice also often contains added sugars and this can support the very bacteria that cranberry is trying to eliminate.
Cranberry tablets and capsules can help to avoid this unwanted sugar.
Cranberries are a unique source of substances known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which exhibit strong anti-adhesion properties, therefore stopping the build up of bacteria in the urinary tract.
Cranberries also contain a substance known as hippuric acid which is known to have antibacterial properties.