Does Cranberry Juice Help Clean Out Your System? Finding The Truth
Over time our body accumulates various toxins from the foods and drinks we consume and pollutants in the air we breathe. The body has natural processes to remove these toxins; however, some foods can help to accelerate the process of flushing out your system. Cranberry juice is often seen as one of these cleansing foods, but why?
Which Nutrients Does Cranberry Juice Contain?
Cranberry juice contains a range of vital nutrients, including several that act as powerful antioxidants, giving it the reputation of being a cleansing food:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Cranberry also contains the following antioxidants, although these are mostly found in the skin, which is usually not included in juice, so cranberry juice has less of these minerals:
As a result, you can gain even more of the health benefits of eating cranberries by using whole cranberries to make smoothies and other healthy treats.
Cranberry juice inhibits the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your body that can contribute to digestive and gastrointestinal issues such as stomach ulcers and urinary tract infections. These bacteria often also release toxins that accumulate in your bloodstream and tissues around the body.
In particular, drinking cranberry juice is known as an effective preventative measure to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. This is because of its high proanthocyanidin content, which prevents bacteria from attaching to the lining of your bladder and urinary tract. This is not an effective method of treating active infections, however, only reducing the risk of getting them in the first place.1
Lymphatic System Cleansing
Among other things, your lymphatic system is used to carry nutrients such as fats and fatty acids around the body to where they are needed. It also plays an important role in removing toxins and waste from the body. Excess fats can congest the lymphatic system, which prevents it from performing these vital functions and creates a build-up of toxins that can leak into the bloodstream. Cranberry juice acts as an emulsifier of fat, helping to break down excess fat, making it easier for the lymphatic system to transport it, and helping to prevent congestion.2
Cranberry juice contains a lot of antioxidants, which help your body cleanse toxins in a number of ways. They can help eliminate free radicals from the liver, reducing the damage they can cause to liver cells. The antioxidant properties of cranberry juice improve your liver’s ability to remove toxins from your bloodstream.
Free radicals are waste substances produced by various cells in the body as by-products of chemical processes. The body cannot easily break them down, damaging healthy cells when they interact with them. They are associated with a number of chronic conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Improved Heart Health
Anthocyanins may help reduce the hardening of the arteries, and cranberry juice may also help reduce the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure.3
Improving Oral Health
The proanthocyanidins contained in cranberries help prevent bacteria from binding to your teeth and gums. This can help prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth and may help reduce your risk of developing gum disease.4
High Vitamin C Content
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is also used in many other processes throughout the body. Cranberry juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 39% of your recommended daily intake in a single serving. Besides acting as an antioxidant, vitamin C:
- Helps your body heal after injuries
- Is used in the production of collagen
- Increases absorption of iron from your diet
- Boosts your immune system
High Vitamin E-Content
Vitamin is another powerful antioxidant that cranberry juice offers in a plentiful supply. One serving of cranberry juice contains 20% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E. Vitamin E helps maintain your skin, blood vessels, and heart.
High Fiber Content
Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can have a number of health benefits, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improving insulin sensitivity, and aiding with weight loss. It also helps waste pass through your digestive system and reduces the risk of a range of conditions including:
- Coronary heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Various gastrointestinal issues
Side Effects of Drinking Cranberry Juice
Some brands of cranberry juice can contain large amounts of added sugar. This can cause blood sugar spikes, an upset stomach, or diarrhea. Cranberry juice with no added sugar will only contain about 4 grams of sugar per ounce. Cranberry juice can be very tart when unsweetened, however, which is why cranberry juice products often contain other fruit juices to act as natural sweeteners.
Cranberry juice may also interfere with some blood-thinning medications when consumed in large quantities. If you take blood-thinning medications, check with your doctor to find out how much cranberry juice it is safe for you to drink.
Additionally, consuming large amounts of cranberry juice can increase the levels of oxalate in your urine. Some people are genetically predisposed to be more likely to suffer from kidney stones formed from calcium oxalate. Increased oxalate levels in your urine can increase the likelihood of this type of kidney stone-forming if you are already at risk. However, for most people, cranberry juice is not believed to increase the risk of kidney stones meaningfully.
Cranberry juice is a very healthy drink that provides a wide range of useful nutrients. These nutrients support many functions throughout the body that work to cleanse your system of toxins, waste, and bacteria. As a result, its reputation as a cleansing superfood is well deserved; however, further studies are needed to confirm or debunk other claims.
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