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What Are the Health Benefits of Dried Cranberries?

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  • Written By: A. Gamm
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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Dried cranberries are increasingly consumed by many people for their apparent health benefits. They contain several beneficial nutrients including high levels of fiber, carbohydrates and protein as well as essential anti-oxidants. Many believe these nutrients in dried cranberries help to fight bacterial infections, promote good oral health, lower cholesterol, and reduce the development of cancers in the body.

One of the nutrients in almost all forms of cranberries is tannis, which contains several anti-bacterial characteristics. It may help to reduce the amount of bacteria that sticks to the intestinal tract, which aids in preventing food illnesses. Tannis may also help prevent urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. Polyphenols and phytochemicals, also found in cranberries, are said to have the same effect. In fact, some doctors recommend eating cranberries each day as a preventive measure.

Although the dried form of cranberries is usually infused with sugar, it may also encourage good oral health. This is because they contain a significant amount of calcium that may help to reduce the risks of tooth decay and, in fact, strengthen teeth. They is also believed to lessen the risk of getting gingivitis. The tannis in cranberries helps reduce the amount of plaque that forms on the teeth.

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Many health care professionals are also realizing the health benefits of cranberries for cholesterol and blood pressure. It is believed that the polyphenols and phytochemicals may also reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol and increase the beneficial high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol. These anti-oxidants are believed to also help improve the functioning of blood vessels, which may in turn help to decrease the risk of artery walls hardening, lower blood pressure, and lessen the risks of heart disease.

These anti-oxidants and the vitamin C found in dried cranberries may also benefit cancer patients. Studies suggest that such components in cranberries may slow down the growth and development of cancer cells. They also lessen the effects of free radicals in the body.

Several other health benefits are associated with cranberries. They contain quinic acid, which provides enough acidity in the urine to decrease the chances of kidney stones forming. The phytonutrients encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. High fiber levels also help the digestive system and may ease constipation. Some studies even suggest that dried cranberries may promote the removal of certain metals in the body and help to prevent both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

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Discuss this Article

donasmrs
Post 3

Cranberries also help prevent heart problems because they thin blood and prevent blood clots. My mom has high blood pressure and eats dried cranberries all the time for this reason.

I also eat dried cranberries, but for the vitamin C and antioxidants. During winter, I make my own trail mix with lots of nuts and dried fruits and I use lot of dried cranberries. I think it keeps my immune system strong in the winter.

turquoise
Post 2

@ysmina-- Dried cranberries might not treat a UTI, but eating them regularly will definitely help prevent one. I do agree with you that only unsweetened dried cranberries should be eaten for health benefits.

ysmina
Post 1

I highly doubt that dried cranberries will help prevent or treat urinary tract infections. Cranberries are good for UTIs, but one would have to eat a lot of dried cranberries to experience benefits and I don't think any of us can eat that much on a regular basis.

Also, if the dried cranberries have sugar, that won't be good for yeast infections because yeast feed on sugar.

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