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Nutrition

Cranberries - A super fruit

Cranberries - A super fruit

Cranberries are evergreen shrubs belonging to the subcategory of the genus Vaccinium oxycoccos. Cultivated in northern Europe, the northern United States, Canada and Chile. Fresh Cranberries contain 90% water, while their dry weight consists mainly of carbohydrates and fiber.

Carbohydrates and fiber

The carbohydrates contained in Cranberries amount to 12.2 g / 100g, are mainly simple sugars, such as sucrose, glucose and fructose. In addition, they contain insoluble fibers such as pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose, but also soluble fibers. For this reason, excessive consumption can cause diarrhea. They have a bitter and sour taste and are therefore more often consumed in the form of juice with added sugar.

Vitamins and minerals

Cranberries are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, with a prominent position to hold vitamin C.

• Vitamin C: is in high concentration 13.3 mg / 100 g is essential for maintaining skin, muscle and bone.

• Manganese: its concentration is 0.36 mg / 100g, it is necessary for the development, metabolism and antioxidant system of the body.

• Vitamin E: 100 g of product contain 1.2 mg of vitamin E, a vitamin vitamin base fat with antioxidant properties

• Vitamin K: is at a concentration of 5.1 μg / 100 g and is indispensable for blood clotting.

Phytochemicals

Cranberries contain very high concentrations of phytochemicals and antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Many of these substances are concentrated in their bark, while their content is significantly reduced during the preparation of juice.

• Quercetin: The richest antioxidant polyphenol in Cranberries (20-30mg / 100g). It has been found to inhibit the growth and proliferation of breast, colon, prostate, lung and other tumor cells.

• Myrisectin: An important antioxidant polyphenol that can have a number of beneficial effects on health.

• Peonidin: A type of anthocyanin which is responsible for the rich red color of cranberries.

• Ursolic acid: It is concentrated and high in the Cranberries cortex. It is an ingredient for many traditional herbal medicines and has strong anti-inflammatory action. It has also been found to be able to reduce carcinogenicity in the prostate.

• Type A-proanthocyanidins (PAC): A class of antioxidant polyphenols that appear to act effectively against urinary tract infections when taken at a dose of 72 mg.

• Cecidic acid: Protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation, prevents DNA damage and neutralizes the action of cancer cells.

Prevention of urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections are mainly caused by the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli, which adheres to the internal surface of the urinary bladder and urinary system. Cranberries are one of the richest sources of A-type proanthocyanidins that prevent the bacterium Escherichia coli from attaching to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract, making it a potential preventive measure against urinary tract infections. A large number of studies have shown that drinking Cranberries juice, or taking it as a supplement, can reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in children and adults.

Other health benefits

• Helicobacter pylori infection is thought to be the leading cause of ulcer, stomach inflammation, and cancer. Cranberries due to their content of A-type proanthocyanidins can reduce this risk. In addition, it appears that daily 3-week juice consumption can suppress the growth of Helicobacter pylori.

• Cranberries due to the antioxidants they contain (anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and quercetin) can be beneficial to heart health. They appear to increase HDL levels and lower LDL cholesterol in diabetic patients. They also lower blood pressure and blood homocysteine ​​levels, reducing the risk of inflammation in the blood vessels.

• Contribute to the fight against harmful bacteria in the mouth and prevent them from producing acids that damage the tooth enamel, thereby helping to fight gum disease. In addition, their consumption can reduce the inflammation caused by the bacteria responsible for periodontitis.

Cranberries and Side Effects

In moderate amounts, Cranberries are usually considered safe for most people. However, excessive consumption can cause stomach upsets, diarrhea and increase the risk of developing kidney stones in predisposed individuals. Most stones are created from calcium oxalate, excessive amount of oxalate in the urine is one of the main risk factors. Cranberries or their concentrated extracts may contain high levels of oxalate. They also contain high levels of vitamin C, which is converted to oxalate in some people. Therefore people who are predisposed should limit the consumption of Cranberries and other foods rich in oxalate.

How to consume them

• You can make juice from fresh Cranberries in combination with other fruits

• Make cottage cheese sauce for turkey, chicken and fish

• They are ideal for jams and jellies because of their high pectin content.

• Dried Cranberries can be enjoyed neat, with yogurt, in cakes, biscuits or salads

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. "Nutrition facts for raw cranberries". Nutritiondata.com. Conde Nast. 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2014.

2. Pappas. E, Schaich K.M. Phytochemicals of cranberries and cranberry products: characterization, potential health effects, and processing stability. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009; 49 (9): 741-81

3. Grace M.H. Et all. Comparison of health-relevant flavonoids in commonly consumed cranberry products. J Food Sci. 2012; 77 (8): 176-83.

4. Catherine C. Neto. Cranberry and its phytochemicals: a review of in vitro anticancer studies. J Nutr. 2007; 137 (1): 186S-193S.

5. Ong K. C., Khoo H.E. Biological effects of myricetin. Gen. Pharmacol. 1997; 29 (2): 121-6.

6. Kondo M. et al. Ursolic acid and its esters: occurrence in cranberries and other Vaccinium fruits and effects on matrix metalloproteinase activity in DU145 prostate tumor cells. J Sci Food Agric. 2011; 91 (5): 789-96.

7. Amy B Howell et al. Dosage effect on uropathogenic Escherichia coli anti-adhesion activity in urine following consumption of cranberry powder standardized for proanthocyanidin content: a multicenter randomized double blind study. BMC Infectious Diseases2010; 10:94

8. Afshar K, et al. Cranberry juice for the prevention of pediatric urinary tract infections: a randomized controlled trial. J Urol. 2012; 188 (4): 1584-7.

9. Kontiokari T, et al.Randomized trial of cranberry-lingonberry juice and Lactobacillus GG drink for the prevention of urinary tract infections in women. BMJ. 2001; 322 (7302): 1571.

10. You WCet all.Gastric dysplasia and gastric cancer: Helicobacter pylori, serum vitamin C, and other risk factors. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000; 92 (19): 1607-12.

11. Gotteland M, et al. Modulation of Helicobacter pylori colonization with cranberry juice and Lactobacillus johnsonii La1 in children. Nutrition. 2008; 24 (5): 421-6.

12. Ruel G, et al. Favored impact of low-calorie cranberry juice consumption on plasma HDL-cholesterol concentrations in men. Br J Nutr. 2006; 96 (2): 357-64.

13. Lee I.T. Et all. Effect of cranberry extracts on lipid profiles in subjects with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Med. 2008; 25 (12): 1473-7.

14. Gettman M.T. Et all. Effect of cranberry juice consumption on urinary stone risk factors. J Urol. 2005; 174 (2): 590-4;

15. Baxmann A.C. Et all. Effect of vitamin C supplements on urinary oxalate and pH in calcium-forming patients. Kidney Int. 2003; 63 (3): 1066-71.

16. Bodet C. et all. Anti-inflammatory activity of a high-molecular-weight Cranberry Fraction on Macrophages Stimulated by Lipopolysaccharides from Periodontopathogens. Journal of Dental Research. 2006; 85 (3): 235-9

17. Vattem D.A. Et all. Synergismof Cranberryphenolics with ellagic acid and rosmarinic acid for antimutagenic and DNA protection functions. Journal of Food Biochemistry. 2006; 30 (1): 98-116