Cranberry - Everything you need to know
The healthiest fruit in the food chain!
Tasty and refreshing cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpa), according to Western experts, is the healthiest fruit in the food chain. Traditional medicine also acknowledges it because few plants have such a strong antibiotic effect. It is extremely rich in Vitamin C, which gives it a specific, acidic taste.
It comes from North America, where the natives used it as a cure for many ailments, it was "discovered" by the Indians by settlers in the first half of the 17th century. She arrived in Europe much later and her great health impact was not immediately noticed. Today, cranberries are the most sought after in the UK, France and Germany, the most valuable is the agricultural crop of the US state of Massachusetts, a major world producer.
In addition to Vitamin C, it also contains a large amount of Vitamin A, minerals, cellulose and many nutrients. It can be used in the diet as: fresh fruit, dried fruit, jam, juice, syrup, jelly, wine or tea, and is also used as a medicine in the form of syrups for children and tablets for adults.
Research has shown that three glasses a day increase the levels of antioxidants and good cholesterol (HDL), reducing the risk of heart disease and blood vessels by as much as 40 percent.
Hippuric Acid from this plant acts as a natural antibiotic, with a pronounced action against fungi. Anthocyanins and Proanthocyanidins help to restore cells, which are responsible for the sense of sight. Thanks to the minimal amount of sugar, it lowers blood glucose and is recommended for diabetics.
In the alternative medicine, cranberries are used to treat urinary infections. It is extremely important for women because as many as 60 percent of ladies have this problem at least once in their lifetime. Urinary tract infections are very persistent, and in one third of patients return within one year after treatment. And especially the elderly, pregnant women, menopausal and postmenopausal women suffering from diabetes ...
Scientific studies have shown that condensed tannins in cranberries prevent the entry of bacteria into the urinary tract, bladder and kidneys. And if they are already inside, cranberry juice prevents them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, making it easier for the urine to eject them.
What has made cranberry a real hit among European consumers is its successful action on the most common and most unpleasant bacterium - Escherichia coli.
Cranberry is also said to be extremely effective against Helicobacter pylori, which is largely responsible for the appearance of gastric ulcers. But to completely eliminate the bacterium, it is necessary to drink its juice daily for several months. It also reduces the number of bacteria in the oral cavity, preventing plaque and inflammation of the gums.
It has also been shown to have anticancer properties, its constituents suppress the growth of cancer cells and their spread in the body.
Cranberry is not only a medicinal fruit, but also a leaf. In alternative medicine it is used to raise immunity. 2 dl (1 large cup) of boiling water is poured over a teaspoon of ground dry leaf (or filter pack), covered and left to stand for five to ten minutes, and drink immediately while it's fresh.