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Cranberries – wonder food for urinary tract health

by Carolyn Hopping (follow)
Natural Cures & Prevention (132)      Therapeutic Foods (44)      Women's Health (38)     
Periodic bouts of urinary tract infection cause pain and discomfort for innumerable people, and in desperation, many resort to antibiotics and other allopathic medications in an attempt to restore their body to wellbeing. For those who prefer to use natural healing modalities, however, an age-old remedy for this uncomfortable condition is the humble cranberry.

Image courtesy of Cjboffoli / Wikimedia Commons

A native species of the Northern Hemisphere, for thousands of years cranberries were harvested by Native American people who utilised them for healing as well as for food and as a textile dye. These days, they’re cultivated in large-scale commercial ventures throughout the northern parts of America, Europe and Asia, and exported throughout the world.

cranberry farm
Image courtesy of Keith Weller, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture / Wikimedia Commons

Cranberries have long been noted for their powerful healing qualities, especially in relation to the health of the urinary tract. They’re extremely high in Vitamins C and E, as well as being a prime source of dietary fibre. Apart from their well-documented success in treating urinary tract infections, cranberries have also proven to be beneficial for people suffering from various kinds of cancer, cardiovascular disease and even dental problems.

Image courtesy of Keith Weller, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture / Wikimedia Commons

There are many different cranberry products available on the market, and therefore it’s a good idea to shop carefully if you’re looking for those which will provide the most health benefits. For example, although many fruit juices claim to include cranberry extract, a closer examination of their ingredients will often reveal high levels of sugar, other fruit, additives and preservatives.

Although pure cranberry juice is definitely much pricier, shoppers who want to experience genuine health benefits should forego the cheaper cordials and only purchase this. Personally, I always choose a pure unsweetened organic cranberry juice (often in a concentrated form) if I have an infection, and have found that regular doses will always alleviate the problem, often in just a day or two. A few glasses a day can also be a good preventative measure, reducing the risk of future outbreaks.

cranberry juice

Depending upon where you live, it might also be possible to purchase, or even grow, fresh cranberries – in which case you can snack on them, or use them to make your own juices. Unfortunately, here in Australia, fresh cranberries are often difficult to source, so the next best alternatives are frozen or dried ones. Although not quite the same as those that are fresh, these are also good added to breakfast cereals or used in baking. Alternatively, you could purchase cranberry extract capsules, which also go far to alleviate the symptoms of urinary tract infection.

dried cranberries
Image courtesy of Tiia Monto / Wikimedia Commons

In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a natural remedy for the irritating and painful problem of urinary tract infection, then I suggest that you attempt to harness the healing potential of the humble cranberry. One of Mother Nature’s superfoods, you can source cranberry products at most health food shops or online. Alternatively, if you’re living in the right climatic conditions and possess a ‘green thumb’, why not try to grow your own?

To learn more about cranberries and the numerous health benefits they possess, take a look at The Cranberry Institute's website .

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#Therapeutic Foods
#Natural Cures & Prevention
#Women's Health
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