Cranberries are not just for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. These tiny red berries are among the fruits with highest amount of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.
They are also loaded with health benefits that include reducing body-wide inflammation and boosting immunity. That is why a cranberry juice detox is perfect for any time of year.
Cranberries are slightly sweet and notably tart, but they are considered an excellent superfood. In the 18th century, American sailors brought cranberries on their voyage to prevent scurvy.
American Indians once enjoyed cooked cranberries sweetened with maple syrup and honey, which may have been an early cranberry sauce recipe at New England Thanksgiving feasts.
Cranberries have also been called “bounceberries” because ripe cranberries will bounce—maybe since they are loaded with nutrition.
Cranberry Juice Nutrition Facts
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Cranberry juice contains a serious amount of nutrition. For starters, the antioxidant content in cranberries outrank many other fruits and vegetables, including broccoli, red grapes, spinach, and strawberries.
In just one cup of cranberry juice contains:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Carb with 30.9 g of per cup
How Does Cranberry Juice Detox Work?
With all those nutrients, it likely doesn’t surprise many that raw cranberry juice is excellent for detoxification. But how does it all work?
Basically, a cranberry detox juice diet is very flexible and simple, which means it is quite to follow. There isn’t a set time frame; however, two to three weeks is thought to be best if you want the maximum effects from the cleansing.
How much cranberry juice to detox? The cranberry juice detox will have you drink three glasses of cranberry juice daily. Each glass of cranberry juice should be consumed 10 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Your diet in general will just include vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, and gluten-free whole grains like quinoa and brown rice. Organic foods are recommended, and you will also avoid all processed foods, dairy, meat, and other animal products.
The following is a good cranberry juice recipe that you can use for your detox.
- 1/3 cup of cranberry juice
- 1 1/2 cups of pure filtered water
- 1 tsp. of apple pectin
- 1 tsp. of psyllium husk fiber
In a large glass jug, mix cranberry juice, filtered water, apple pectin, and psyllium husk fiber. It will make up to six servings per day.
How Cranberry Juice Does Liver Detox?
Does cranberry juice help clean your system? Cranberry juice contains antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-cancer properties that are extremely useful for your entire system, including your bladder, urinary tract, and kidneys.
That being said, cranberry is also great for liver support. In a study published in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology in 2012, researchers found that cranberry flavonoids were a good way to protect the liver.
Another study published in the journal BioFactors in 2011 confirmed cranberry’s strong iron-chelating effect, which is a very desirable characteristic in people with liver disease that need help with liver detoxification.
Why is cranberry juice so effective for a liver detox? Here are four reasons why this is true…
1. Vitamin C
As mentioned cranberry juice contains 23.5mg of vitamin C, which is also called ascorbic acid. Vitamin C will thin and decongest bile, and this allows the liver to metabolize fats with greater effectiveness. This is extremely useful for those with an excessive amount of fat in the liver.
Glutathione is an antioxidant peptide that is crucial for every cell the body produces, and the liver, in particular, needs glutathione during both stages of the detoxification process.
The vitamin C in cranberry juice will boost the production of glutathione, and make the liver detox more efficiently.
3. Free Radical Protection
The many potent antioxidants in cranberry juice protect the liver from free radicals through the neutralization of liver cell damaging compounds.
Proanthocyanidins are very powerful antioxidants that remove harmful free radicals from cells. They also have the ability for strong iron chelation. This means that the proanthocyanidins and other antioxidants in cranberries will help in liver detoxification by binding and removing metals and toxic drugs from the liver.
Other Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice does a lot more than protect the liver. The following are five other good reasons to drink cranberry juice whenever you can.
1. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
Cranberry juice is perhaps best known as a preventative for urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are much more likely to affect woman than men due to the location of a women’s urethra.
The proanthocyanidins in cranberry juice work to decrease the adhesion of bacteria to urinary tract walls, thus preventing UTIs. Many side effects associated with UTIs include yeast infections, digestive probiotics, antibiotic resistance, and much more.
2. May Lower Heart Disease Risk
The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in cranberries are responsible for their cardiovascular benefits. Studies suggest that cranberry juice consumption can lower your systolic and diastolic blood pressure by three points.
As a result, this contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system and reduces your risk for stroke and heart disease. Overall, cranberries will reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack because they reduce inflammation, dilate blood vessels, and increase blood flow.
3. May Prevent Cancers
Lab research has also found that the anti-cancer properties in cranberries can help prevent colon, lung, prostate, and breast cancers.
The antioxidants in cranberries will combat free radicals that can damage cellular structures, limit oxidative stress, and slow tumor progression. It is worth noting most of these studies have been conducted on animals or human cancer cells.
4. Decreases Inflammation
Inflammation is at the root of many diseases such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Cranberries antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help naturally combat inflammation.
Frequently drinking and eating cranberries can therefore reduce inflammatory conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and more.
5. Benefits the Digestive Tract
The cleansing, anti-diarrheal, diuretic detox, and anti-septic abilities of cranberries help the body eliminate toxins, and also aid in relieving bloating and water retention. Research shows that cranberries will benefit the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.
It reduces bad bacteria and helps facilitate the growth of good bacteria. As a result, this boosts immunity and nutrient absorption, and relieves diarrhea, constipation, and stomach acid.
Other Cranberry Juice Benefits:
Other studies have found that cranberries can improve immune function and reduce the frequency of flu and cold symptoms. Other benefits of drinking raw cranberry juice include aiding with:
- Weight loss
- Preventing tooth decay
- Strengthening bones
- Preventing kidney stones
- Benefiting lungs
- Treating scurvy
- Peptic ulcers
Cranberries are really an incredible juicing ingredient that strongly benefits the liver, bladder, urinary tract, kidneys, and much more.
However, cranberry juice does have a few slight precautions that should be kept in mind. The excessive amount of sugar in cranberries may negatively affect blood sugar levels.
Although cranberries are often good for the kidneys, the high amount of oxalates in cranberries put some at risk for kidney stones.
Also, some evidence shows that eating or drinking cranberries while taking the blood-thinner warfarin may enhance the drug’s effect on the body. It is a good idea to speak with your doctor and health practitioner before beginning a cranberry juice detox.
It is also good to keep in mind that cranberries are a major crop in the U.S. and Canada, and are harvested in September and October, and tend to be available throughout the fall and winter. This is likely why they have become synonymous with holiday season recipes. And yet, choosing cranberries for an early year detox is highly beneficial, too!
- Is Cranberry Juice Good for You?
- 10 Best Diuretic Drinks and Their Health Benefits
- Cranberry Juice for UTI
- Strawberry Detox Water: Health Benefits & Recipes
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- 10 Benefits of Pomegranate Juice
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Ruel, G., et at., “Plasma matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 levels are reduced following low-calorie cranberry juice supplementation in men,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, December 2009; 28(6): 694-701. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20516270.
Neto, C.C., “Cranberry and blueberry: evidence for protective effects against cancer and vascular diseases,” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, June 2007; 51(6): 652-664. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17533651
“Cranberry juice, unsweetened Nutrition Facts & Calories,” SELFNutritionData website; http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/7678/2, last accessed Jan. 25, 2017.