Cranberries: Antioxidant Extraordinaire.
Our friend, the little cranberry, is packed with the ever-popular antioxidants that help protect our bodies against cell damage - the cell damage that eventually leads to things like heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins - a highly specialized group of bioflavonoids - which have powerful vascular wall strengthening properties. Proanthocyanidins are one of the most potent free radical scavengers known, possessing an antioxidant effect up to 50 times more potent then vitamin E and up to 20 times more powerful then vitamin C. Proanthocyanidins also have an affinity for cell membranes, providing nutritional support to reduce capillary permeability and fragility.
What is a bioflavinoid?
A bioflavinoid is a vitamin that maintains the resistance of cell and capillary walls to permeation.
Why do we need them?
It all goes down to our most basic building blocks - our cells. If our cell walls are strong and healthy, they are less likely to break down or be attacked by foreign bodies that cause disease and chronic illnesses.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds that are naturally created by our bodies, or can be ingested through the food we eat. Found mostly in fruits and vegetables, they have the ability to stabilize free radicals by donating an electron, and at the same time, do not become free radicals themselves. Free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases.
Under conditions of stress the human body's ability to produce antioxidants can become severely impaired. Cranberries can serve as a good source of supplemental antioxidants. Simply put, antioxidants protect our bodies from harmful molecules we are exposed to every day of our lives.
So what do cranberries help with, in terms of health?
Cranberries and their nutritional properties can help in the prevention of many illnesses, ailments, and chronic diseases such as:
- urinary tract infections
- gum disease
- stomach ulcers
- heart disease