Not to mention, half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories! The possible health benefits of consuming cranberries include lowered risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, decreased blood pressure and more.
The cranberry fruit is high in antioxidants, partly from substances called proanthocyanidins. Antioxidants scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. Environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can increase the number of free radicals in the body, which are believed to contribute to the ageing process as well as the development of a number of health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and infections. Antioxidants can neutralise free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C as well, another important antioxidant. The juice is excellent against scurvy and to allay fevers. Cranberries also contain a potent vasodilator and have been used for breathing problems.
Several studies have measured high levels of antioxidants in people after drinking cranberry juice. Research is underway to determine if the antioxidant ability of cranberries will translate into protection from heart disease. Adding to cranberry’s potential health benefits, a recent study found that an extract of cranberry inhibited an enzyme, and this has been associated with a reduction in cancer risk.