A Closer Look at Cranberries

Sometimes, you just know something, and simply knowing it is enough. But, sometimes you long for a deeper understanding of that which you know. 

Take the cranberry. Small, round and tart — it is an essential part of Thanksgiving dinner and the source of Ocean Spray's success. It is also the understood natural way to prevent urinary tract infections (UTI). Every woman who has ever suffered from a UTI knows that cranberry juice is the way to avoid the next one. Why do we know this? We just do. But how does it work? Of that, we're not so sure.

Here's the scoop: cranberry juice prevents microorganisms from sticking to the cells that line the urinary tract. This makes it harder for E. coli and other infectious bacteria to settle in and wreak havoc. Cranberry juice is also high in vitamin C, another player in the fight for a healthy urinary tract.

Though cranberry juice can increase the efficacy of antibiotics taken for UTIs, it is primarily recommended for the prevention of infections. Drinking it daily can help to keep the urinary tract infection-free. But, here's the catch: drinking the above-mentioned brand's “cranberry cocktail” will do little good. Skip the sugar water and go for the real stuff — 100 percent cranberry juice is available at most health food stores. But you'd be wise to dilute – this is tart times ten.

 

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