The cranberry is a plant native to North America, where it grows in peat bogs and mountains. It belongs to the Ericaceae family, like the bilberry. Its fruit are small red berries with a tangy, astringent taste, which are eaten in a variety of forms: juice, jam, sauce, capsules, etc. Cranberries are also known as cranberries in English-speaking countries, where they are much more popular than in France!
The cranberry is a plant with many virtues, both nutritional and therapeutic. It is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, fibre and minerals. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-adhesive properties. It is best known for preventing and treating urinary tract infections, but also has beneficial effects on cardiovascular, gastric and oral health.
Cranberry against urinary tract infections:
Urinary tract infections are inflammations of the bladder or urethra caused by the presence of bacteria, most often Escherichia coli. The symptoms are burning, pain, frequent urination and sometimes fever. They mainly affect women, who are more exposed because of the anatomy of their urinary tract. Cranberries are an effective natural remedy for preventing and treating urinary tract infections. It contains substances called type A proanthocyanidins (PAC-A), which prevent bacteria from attaching themselves to the walls of the bladder and urethra. As a result, bacteria are eliminated through the urine flow, without being able to cause an infection.
Cranberry for cardiovascular health:
Cranberries also have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. It helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, prevent lipid oxidation, and improve endothelial function (the ability of blood vessels to expand or contract). It also has an antiplatelet action, that is to say it prevents blood platelets from agglomeration and forming clots which can block the arteries. These effects are due to the presence of antioxidants in cranberries, including flavonoids and anthocyanins. These substances protect cells from oxidative stress, which is involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Cranberries also contain condensed tannins, which have a hypocholesterolemic (which reduces cholesterol) and hypotriglyceridemic (which reduces triglycerides) action.
Cranberry for gastric health:
Cranberries also have positive effects on gastric health. It helps fight the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for the majority of gastric and duodenal ulcers, as well as certain stomach cancers. Cranberry inhibits the growth and adhesion of this bacteria on the gastric mucosa, and promotes its eradication by antibiotics. Cranberry also contains substances that have an anti-inflammatory and healing action on the gastric mucosa. It can therefore relieve the symptoms of ulcers, such as pain, burning or nausea. It can also prevent the recurrence of ulcers by strengthening the protective barrier of the mucous membrane.
Cranberry for oral health:
Finally, cranberries also have beneficial effects on oral health. It helps prevent and treat dental caries, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (infections of the tissues that support the teeth). Cranberry works by preventing the bacteria responsible for these conditions from attaching to teeth and gums, and by reducing their production of acids and toxins. Cranberries also contain substances that have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action on oral tissues. It can therefore relieve pain, bleeding or redness linked to periodontal disease. It can also improve breath, by eliminating the bacteria responsible for bad odor.
Cranberry is therefore a natural ally for taking care of your body, provided you respect the doses and precautions for use. People with diabetes should consult their doctor before consuming them, as cranberry-based juices may contain added sugar. People with allergies to berries should also be careful, as cranberries can cause allergic reactions. If in doubt or experiencing an adverse effect, it is recommended to stop consuming cranberries and consult a healthcare professional.
Several years ago, Ecosystem Laboratoire developed a fantastic detoxifying food supplement based on cranberries: Li Ksirel! This product which contains only 4 ingredients (Cranberry Powder, Green Tea, Pomegranate Extract, Goji Extract) helps your body eliminate toxins from your body.