Cranberry Juice Benefits for UTIs

by Sam Malone

Cranberry juice is made from the small berries that grow on the evergreen cranberry shrubs. The berries take on a red color when ripe. The juice obtained from the ripe berries is edible, but bitter. Most varieties of cranberry juice that are commercially available are sweetened using artificial flavoring. Fresh cranberry juice doesn't just taste great and refreshing, but it also has considerable health benefits. The purer the form of juice, the greater the health benefits.

There are many health problems that can be controlled through the consumption of cranberry juice. Due to the high content of acids and other beneficial components contained in the juice, the formation of kidney stones is prevented. The juice also helps in breaking down existing stones. Cranberry juice contains phytochemicals that are known to destroy certain types of cancer cells, such as breast cancer cells. They also help to delay the process of ageing. The organic acids present in the juice loosen the fat deposits accumulated in the body and this helps in shedding excess weight. The juice is also a good source of calcium and this helps to strengthen the bones and teeth. Dental problems and bone conditions such as osteoporosis can be prevented through the regular consumption of cranberry juice. The juice is also known to help improve the health of the skin and in reducing cellulite.

Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice

Another important health benefit of cranberry juice is its effect on urinary tract infections or UTI. Such infections take place when bacteria enter the urethra and move up the urinary tract. Bacteria are normally present around the anus and may sometimes enter the urinary or genital region. Bacteria may also be transmitted during sexual intercourse. The infection can affect any part of the urinary tract. In most cases, the urethra and bladder are affected. Urinary tract infections can lead to certain signs and symptoms that can cause significant discomfort. The most common symptom is a burning sensation during urination. There may also be a strong urge to urinate. However, during urination, only a small amount of urine may be passed. The urine may also have a cloudy appearance and a strong odor. In severe cases there may be blood in the urine. Pain and pressure in the lower abdomen and sides of the body are also common in most urinary tract infections. In case treatment is not provided promptly, high fever and chills may also occur.

Cranberries contain certain substances that give it antibacterial properties. One such substance is fructose which is a type of sugar present in fruits. Another beneficial component is proanthocyanidins which is a type of tannin contained in plants. Both fructose and proanthocyanidins work together in fighting against bacteria. They prevent the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder and thus restrict their growth and spread. When cranberry juice is consumed, these beneficial substances are transferred directly to the bladder where they work against the bacteria.

In order for cranberry juice to be effective against urinary tract infections, a minimum of 10 ounces should be consumed each day. Those who are watching their weight should keep in mind that the juice also contains calories and hence it is advisable to opt for sugar-free or light varieties. It is also important to check the labels on commercial cranberry juice to see that the juice has at least 30 per cent of cranberry content. Many varieties of the juice do not contain adequate amounts of the juice and these prove to be ineffective against UTIs. For optimum effect against the bacterial infection, it is best to look for 100 per cent cranberry juice. Avoid products labeled as cranberry cocktails or juice blends. There are also cranberry juice tablets available today. It is advisable to follow the instructions on the label properly when taking such tablets. You may also consume cranberries in other forms although the effect may not be as strong as pure cranberry juice. Some health experts recommend adding dried cranberries to foods.

It is important to keep in mind that proper medical attention is also necessary when there is a UTI. Antibiotic treatment is very effective in clearing the symptoms quite rapidly. UTIs tend to recur and hence it is particularly important to complete the course of treatment. Medical treatment is advisable because of the high risk posed from kidney infections, if a bladder infection is not contained effectively.

In addition to cranberry juice, it is also essential to consume plenty of water when affected with a urinary tract infection. The water promotes frequent urination and this helps to flush the bacteria out of the bladder. It is also advisable to wipe the genital region from front to back as this prevents the spread of bacteria from the anal area to the urethra. Taking baths may sometime encourage the entry of bacteria into the urethra and hence it is advisable to take showers instead. Urinary tract infections should be treated early as the infection can travel upwards and affect the kidneys.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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