The healing properties of cranberries.
Cranberries are evergreen shrubs with small ones, red and tart fruit, which once grew in peat bogs and swamp forests of northern and eastern Europe, and also in Siberia, in Canada and the North of the United States. Wild-growing mud cranberries are found in Poland (Vaccinium oxycoccus) mainly in the Knyszyn Forest, Białowieska, Biłgoraj forests and in Western Pomerania, characterized by a thin crust. A cultivated species, native to the north of the American continent is large-fruited cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), oval, thick, fleshy skin. Both of these species have red fruits with a characteristic sour taste.
The folk medicine of Poland has long appreciated the benefits of Żurawina. Its fruit was an important addition to the daily diet, influencing the improvement of their health. Old messages pass, that the taste and health benefits of cranberries were known even to the ancient Slavs, and the North American Indians were recommended cranberry by shamans. In some regions of Poland it was added to cabbage fermentation, to prevent the development of abnormal bacterial flora in the acidification process. Cranberry fruit, due to the high content of the strong antioxidant of benzoic acid and citric acid (excellent natural preservatives derived from nature), they can be stored raw for several months, flooded with water. Such highly preserving natural ingredients (benzoic acid and citric acid), are also used, as natural preservatives for the best natural products, e.g.. they are used for the highest quality products while maintaining biologically active medicinal ingredients. Our grandmothers also preserve meats, vegetables or milk were used by various plants (black currant leaves, grapes or cumin) with strong antioxidant ingredients, that is, extending the life of food products. For centuries, cranberries have been used to treat unpleasant bladder ailments, anginy, rheumatic diseases, colds, with stomach problems, intestines and pancreas.
However, only the modern world has made it possible to conduct detailed studies on the properties of cranberries, and the official statement of American scientists confirming the beneficial properties of this fruit, it made, that the so-called. Official medicine began to take cranberries really seriously. So, so one conclusion comes to mind, cranberry is it fresh, is it dried, or in the form of juice, it is a fruit full of nutrients, positively influencing health and beauty.
Cranberries, just like any other fruit from the same family, contain phenolic acids and flavonoids,
and anthocyanins - responsible for the characteristic bluish color or deep red - constitute their dominant group. Some of the fruits of this group, just like cranberries, they also contain condensed tannins, called proanthocyanins, which are used, as an astringent and anti-inflammatory
in medicine. Cranberries are also a rich source of vitamin C., A, B1, B2, PP, pektyn, fiber, carbohydrates, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine and substances that help the body fight flu and infections. It has also been scientifically proven, that cranberries are one of the richest sources of polyphenols (antioxidants) preventing neoplastic diseases. Below is an indicative list of the nutritional values of cranberries:
Water, fats, carbohydrates, proteins (g / 100 grams of cranberries):
Water: 87,3 g. Fats: – g. Proteins: 0,35 g. Carbohydrates: 9,9 g.
KJ = 200
Vitamins (mg / 100 grams of cranberries):
B1: 0,03 mg. B2: 0,02 mg. B6: -. C: 11 mg. E: -.
Carotene: 0,004 mg
Minerals (mg / 100 grams of cranberries):
Sodium: 1,76. Potassium: 90,0. Magnesium: 7,2. Calcium 14,4. Phosphor: 9,87
Iron: 0,86 and Iodine
To illustrate the mechanism, thanks to which the cranberry was appreciated, the research carried out by Professor Terri Camesano and the students of Yatao Liu and Paola Pinzon-Arango should be mentioned, which they showed, that a group of tannins called proanthocyanides change the bacteria in three different ways, each of which is enough, to prevent infection:
– change the shape of the bacteria from rod-shaped to spherical,
– change the cell wall of the bacteria,
– make it difficult for bacteria to attach to the cell.
Cranberries prevent many infections, has antibacterial properties, antifungal.
Recent research by scientists has shown, that the substances contained in the fruit:
– They have a beneficial effect on the digestive system, because cranberry has probiotic properties - it supports the growth of beneficial intestinal microflora, and at the same time destroys harmful bacteria. Fresh or dried fruit prevents constipation, and cranberry jelly and jelly help in the treatment of diarrhea.
– It prevents infections of the genitourinary tract, through the antibacterial action of the hippuronic acid contained in them, by removing Esherichia coli bacteria (E.coli). Good to remember, that cranberry also enhances the action of antibiotics administered in inflammation of the urinary system. The beneficial ingredients of cranberry make it difficult for bacteria to stick to the epithelium in the urinary tract, this allows the urine stream to flush them away and prevent infection from starting.
– They care for the oral cavity, prevent the formation of plaque, caries and gum disease.
– Support the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers by preventing the deposition of Helicobacter pylori bacteria (H.pylori) on the gastric mucosa.
– They prevent the formation of kidney stones, because they contain quinic acid, which protects against the formation of these stones.
– Drinking cranberry juice daily raises the level of good cholesterol (HDL), and at the same time lowers the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). Increases the level of "good" cholesterol in the blood by 10 proc., and thus reduces the risk of heart disease by 40 proc.
– It prevents cancer – can prevent tumors from growing, and even their formation. Large cranberries contain more antioxidant phenols than 19 the most commonly consumed types of fruit, and these antioxidants play an important role in preventing certain cancers.
– Cranberries also protect the brain. Consuming cranberry fruit, as well as cranberry juices and drinks
it slows down the aging process of gray cells, thereby preventing premature impairment of motor and cognitive functions. This is due to the high content of antioxidants (their number in 100 g of cranberries far exceed the amount of antioxidants in the same amount of spinach or oranges). Prof. Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton, conducting research on a group of selected volunteers, said, that cranberry raises o 121 proc. the level of antioxidants in the body to prevent degenerative diseases. In addition, Dr. James Joseph, USDA / Tufts University discovered a new property of cranberry: ability to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease thanks to the high content of vitamin. C.
– The ingredients of cranberry have a beneficial effect on the functions of the heart. Flavonoid complex, anthocyanin and vitamin C is a great protection against the damaging effects of free radicals (perpetrators of many diseases of the circulatory and nervous systems). Adequate amount of potassium (many times greater than sodium) contributes to the normalization of blood pressure, which is important for the smooth functioning of the heart.
– Cranberries in various forms were given to children in viral diseases, as a mild antipyretic and diaphoretic. At the same time, the administration of these fruits increased the body's resistance.
In sum, the miraculous healing properties of cranberries are known, so for ages. In-depth scientific research constantly provides confirmation and continues to bring new discoveries in this field. The list of healing effects of cranberry fruit briefly covers: antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, supporting the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, urinary system, action supporting anti-cancer prophylaxis, influence on the increase of the body's resistance, prevention of tooth decay and gum disease, counteracting fungal diseases, and common sense - the ability to slow down the aging processes of brain cells! Thread, so wonder, that more and more people are reaching for a glass of cranberry juice, not only to quench your thirst, but also take advantage of its health benefits.
Cranberries can also be used to make your own spirits. In the production of cranberry wine, we proceed in the same way as with other fruits.
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