Cranberry and your cardiovascular health



This is probably not the first time that you heard it – cranberry is good for your health. Especially cardiovascular health. And Thanksgiving is the best time to remind us of this. Here are some of the latest good news about cranberries:

This paper reviewed the cardioprotective properties of cranberry.

“Cranberries are one of the most important sources of flavonoids that have a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities. Thus, consumption of cranberries or their related products could be of importance not only in the maintenance of health but also in preventing CVD.”

You know what damage oxidative stress can do to your cardiovascular health. This study by researchers at Texas A&M University showed that cranberry juice increases antioxidant status, thus counteracting oxidative stress. This was demonstrated in the lab using rats.

Cranberry is one of the most commercially important fruit in the US. According to this paper,

“a growing body of evidence suggests that polyphenols, including those found in cranberries, may contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by increasing the resistance of LDL to oxidation, inhibiting platelet aggregation, reducing blood pressure, and via other anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.”

In this study on male humans by Canadian researchers, cranberry juice consumption brought about an increase in the levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. This is another supporting evidence that flavonoid-rich fruits like cranberries have cardioprotective properties.

Intake of fruits and vegetables, though necessary, can nevertheless cause glycemic control problems among people with type 2 diabetes. Low-calorie unsweetened cranberry juice may be the solution to the problem.

It “provides a favorable metabolic response and should be useful for promoting increased fruit consumption among type 2 diabetics or others wishing to limit carbohydrate intake.”

Want to know more about cranberries? The table below is from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21 (2008). The nutrient values and weights are for unsweetened cranberry juice.

Nutrient

Units

Value per
100 grams

Proximates    
Water

g

87.13

Energy

kcal

46

Energy

kJ

194

Protein

g

0.39

Total lipid (fat)

g

0.13

Ash

g

0.15

Carbohydrate, by difference

g

12.20

Fiber, total dietary

g

0.1

Sugars, total

g

12.10

Minerals    
Calcium, Ca

mg

8

Iron, Fe

mg

0.25

Magnesium, Mg

mg

6

Phosphorus, P

mg

13

Potassium, K

mg

77

Sodium, Na

mg

2

Zinc, Zn

mg

0.10

Copper, Cu

mg

0.055

Selenium, Se

mcg

0.1

Vitamins    
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid

mg

9.3

Thiamin

mg

0.009

Riboflavin

mg

0.018

Niacin

mg

0.091

Vitamin B-6

mg

0.052

Folate, total

mcg

1

Folate, food

mcg

1

Folate, DFE

mcg_DFE

1

Choline, total

mg

3.3

Vitamin A, RAE

mcg_RAE

2

Carotene, beta

mcg

27

Vitamin A, IU

IU

45

Lutein + zeaxanthin

mcg

68

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

mg

1.20

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

mcg

5.1

Lipids    
Fatty acids, total saturated

g

0.010

16:0

g

0.008

18:0

g

0.002

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated

g

0.023

16:1 undifferentiated

g

0.001

18:1 undifferentiated

g

0.022

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated

g

0.070

18:2 undifferentiated

g

0.042

18:3 undifferentiated

g

0.028

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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