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Cranberry for slimming

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Cranberry

More and more in vogue these days, the cranberry is a small red fruit known for its antioxidant virtues and numerous health benefits. Indeed, for years this fruit has been consumed daily, especially in Canada and the United States. A few years ago, however, it made its way to Europe, and since then the industry has been overflowing with juices and supplements based on this little red fruit.

Let’s find out how this tart-tasting fruit benefits us, how it can be used when dieting and, above all, whether it has any real slimming effects on our bodies.

Fact sheet

Cranberries for slimming

Common name: Cranberry, Atoca or Marsh Cranberry. Better known by its English name: Cranberry.

Scientific name: Vaccinium macrocarpon, Oxycoccus macrocarpus.

Family: Ericaceae.

A relative of the bilberry or blueberry, the cranberry is distinctive in that it is creeping, grows in acid soil and is white before turning red. Cranberries can be picked at this time to produce a colorless juice that is just as rich in antioxidants as ripe cranberries, but less tart.

Origins

The use of cranberries began with the Amerindians. Under the name Atoka, it was used in cooking and added to many dishes, including meats and vegetables. As for its therapeutic use, it was mainly used to fight infections, whether external, in powder form, or internal, as a herbal tea to combat urinary tract infections.

Cranberry benefits

To combat urinary tract infections

Consumed in tablet, capsule or juice form, cranberries are particularly effective in preventing and even treating urinary tract infections, especially in women. It has recently been proven that the properties of cranberries derive from their components, which prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract, and are therefore eliminated more rapidly.

In fact, a study published in The Journal Of the American Medical Association demonstrated the efficacy of cranberry juice in reducing the effects of urinary tract infections in a group of 153 women with an average age of 78.

Against gastrointestinal disorders

Recent studies have shown that cranberries increase the quantity of good intestinal bacteria, while preventing infections caused by Helicobecter pylon bacteria, which cause many stomach problems such as ulcers, duodenal ulcers and chronic gastritis, thanks to their high content of protective polyphenols.

Preventing cardiovascular disease

In vitro in vitro research has shown that flavonoids extracted from cranberries prevent an increase in bad cholesterol, for example by drinking one glass of cranberry juice a day.

What’s more, drinking cranberry juice increases levels of good cholesterol and significantly lowers blood pressure.

This reduces the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease over the long term.

cranberry picking

Against cancer

In vitro in vitro show that cranberry extracts and compounds may slow the growth of many cancer cells. These include prostate cancer, which is inhibited by cranberry proanthocyanidins, and tumors of the colon and rectum, whose growth is slowed by the butyrates found in dietary fiber, of which cranberries are rich in.

Cranberries also help prevent breast and lung cancer.

Find out more about cranberry’s cancer-fighting benefits on this bulletin.com article..

For neuron protection

The antioxidants present in cranberries neutralize the harmful free radicals that damage DNA and can cause brain inflammation. In this way, cranberries can halt the loss of communication between brain cells.

It may also help prevent certain age-related deficiencies that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Consumption of fruits such as cranberries and bilberries could therefore have a protective effect on the brain, preventing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Helps manage blood sugar levels

Cranberries can help people with type 2 diabetes to regulate their blood sugar levels and maintain a balanced glucose level.

However, it is important to consume fresh cranberries (dried cranberries are acceptable, but have a higher glycemic index than fresh cranberries) or homemade sugar-free juice, and to avoid industrial cranberry-based juices and drinks, which are often full of sugar.

For healthy teeth and skin

Regular consumption of cranberries helps reduce plaque, protect gums and prevent cavities, thanks to their acidity and high polyphenol content, which cleanses both the body and teeth.

Rich in collagen, cranberries also help protect the skin from aging. But also from inflammation caused by free radicals, thanks to its high antioxidant content.

Cranberry’s slimming virtues

Cranberries are a low-calorie fruit: 100g of fresh cranberries, or a glass of pure juice with no added sugar, contains 10g of carbohydrates and only 46 kcal.

Dried cranberries, however, should be avoided, especially when processed industrially, as their caloric value rises to 250-300 Kcal per 100g.

It’s therefore important to remember that excessive consumption of cranberries (especially dried) during weight loss should be avoided, as it will lead to the opposite of the desired effect.

Slimming cranberries

From another point of view, cranberries are powerful antioxidants, rich in proanthocyanicidins. In vitamins, since a 100g portion of cranberry provides around 22% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. And fiber, since a 100g serving of cranberries provides around 18% of the recommended daily intake.

Cranberries detoxify the body and provide the energy it needs to function properly.

Its acidity also means it has an appetite-suppressant effect, helping to prevent cravings and unnecessary snacking.

Cranberries can therefore be considered an effective weight-loss ally, provided you don’t overuse them and prefer a natural product with no added sugar to industrial juices and sauces, which are packed with additives and sugar and often lack nutritional value.

The best way to consume cranberries is to crush them a little and mix them with sugar-free tea or water, to obtain a healthy, tasty drink that’s good for your body.

How to prepare cranberries

Purchase

As mentioned above, it’s best to buy fresh cranberries, ideally organically grown. You can find it in specialized stores, herbalists or online.

You can also buy dried cranberries in sachets, or in juice (but be sure to read the ingredients first, and check that the juice is natural and contains little or no sugar).

Storage

Natural cranberry juice
Fridge

Good news! Cranberries can be stored in the fridge for weeks, or even months if stored properly. Simply place in airtight cans.

Freezer

It’s best to place cranberries on a tray for initial freezing. Then place in a bag and return to the freezer.

Use

  • Cranberries can be added to fruit salads, accompanied by apples, pears or bananas, soaked in sugar-free orange juice or even natural.
  • Cranberries are perfect for juicing, and you can enjoy a glass every morning to recharge your batteries.
  • They can also be crushed and added to plain tea or herbal tea for a tangy, fruity taste.
  • As a sauce, cranberries can be simmered in low-fat butter, without adding sugar.

Contraindications

  • Cranberries are not recommended if you are taking anticoagulants.

Indeed, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has highlighted the possibility of interaction between cranberries and the anticoagulant warfarin, which could increase the effect of the drug and cause bleeding. This study has now been refuted, but it’s best to remain vigilant and consult a specialist if you really want to consume cranberries.

  • For diabetics, it’s best to avoid all industrial cranberry-based products such as juices and sauces, which are often very sweet, and to recommend fresh cranberries, which have a lower glycemic index than dried cranberries.

In this particular case, we recommend taking cranberry-based supplements.

  • In the case of pregnancy or breast-feeding, it is always preferable to consult a specialist before starting a course of treatment or taking a supplement.
  • If you are allergic to bilberry or blueberry, it’s best to remain vigilant with regard to cranberry consumption, and to consult a specialist if allergy symptoms appear.

Last updated on 20 January 2024.