Nene Knows Best about.... CRANBERRIES!

Nene, knower of all
Now that the holidays are over, and we have eaten all those cranberries and cranberry sauce, I think our urinary tract is a much happier place.  Those cranberries have flushed bacteria from our kidneys, deodorized our urine, and helped prevent viruses.  So, what will we do now? Most of us will just ignore that wonderful berry until next Thanksgiving.  Perhaps we should make eating and drinking cranberry one of our New Year's resolutions.
When I was growing up , cranberries just weren't available in my little town.  We had canned cranberry jelly at Thanksgiving and on Christmas.  You could buy cranberry juice cocktail, but I think it was a little expensive , so it wasn't a staple in our home.  Although, Mom did buy it if anyone was having kidney problems, and it almost always did the trick with the help of lots of water.  
I remember the first fresh cranberries I ever saw.  They were packaged up and laying in the produce section at the grocery store.  I bought one of those little packages, not to cook, because I didn't even think about that.  My children and I were doing an old fashioned Christmas tree with only homemade ornaments , and I had seen pictures of cranberries strung with popcorn, so I had to have them.  I worried that the berries would rot and spoil and be disgusting, but they did not. They hung on the tree and dried into little rubbery jewel-like things, and looked quite nice.  I was very happy with my first fresh cranberries!
Now there are cranberries everywhere, so let's use them!  They are a great preventative medicine for people that tend to have kidney or prostate infections.  I have always read that they might help prevent the formation of some kidney stones, too.  If you have ever had those, you certainly want to do anything you can to prevent them, so throw a few dried cranberries in your salad, have a glass of juice, or just pop a few cranberry capsules.  God gave us this multi-tasking fruit , and I'm sure he didn't intend for it to just hang on a Christmas tree. 

Well, let's just see about that.....

The Researcher
She's right.  I'll start with that.  She'll probably make me repeat that several times now. Cranberries are wonderful for the urinary tract system, and even the cranberry juice cocktail will work. Here is a quote from the Rutgers University website. " ....the regular consumption of cranberry juice cocktail could reduce the potential for development of urinary tract infections caused by either antibiotic resistance or susceptible bacteria, thus decreasing the need for antibiotic and potentially reducing the rate of resistance development."For many years, it was believed that the urinary benefits of cranberries could be explained by the cranberries ability to acidify the urine.   A study in 1994 by Harvard found that it was actually something specific to this fruit that prevented bacteria from adhering to the lining of the bladder.  The Rutgers study identified these specific components, and found that they prevent E.coli. from attaching to cells, so the bacteria are flushed from the urinary tract instead of adhering and growing.  Then we get to flush them away, too! Ha! Now if that isn't amazing enough, this little berry can help lower cholesterol.   Daily consumption of cranberries have been shown to lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (the good cholesterol) which has the potential to prevent heart disease.  But that is not all...
In 2007, a review published in The Journal of Nutrition said that the antioxidants found in cranberry juice can be beneficial in cancer by inhibiting tumor growth and inducing cancer cell death. 

Studies of the phytochemicals found in cranberries have also shown positive effects on H. Pylori, which is the bacteria responsible for gastric ulcer disease.  In 2010, researchers also found that drinking cranberry juice may prevent the Staphlyococcus aureus bacteria from beginning the process of infection.

It is no wonder why early Native Americans used this berry as medicine. We will benefit from doing the same.  
Interested in learning more?   Here are a few places to start. 

Want to read older posts from Nene Knows Best? You will find those HERE.


    Nene and
    The Pharmcook

    a mother and daughter team that loves to investigate old home  remedies.


    January 2012



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