Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)Back to ingredients
From: Cooler regions of the Northern Hemisphere
Food source: Cranberries
Benefits of Cranberry
- Vaginal health
- UTI prevention
What is Cranberry?
Cranberries grow throughout the cooler, temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and are used in cooking for their tangy, acidic flavour. They’re also widely known and extensively studied for their nutritional benefits, particularly in vaginal health.
Cranberry is a powerful and highly acclaimed antioxidant, containing 'flavonol polyphenols'. These compounds ‘scavenge’ and neutralise ‘free radicals’, which are unstable molecules that can cause a range of health problems. Cranberries can help to protect the vagina from free radical damage and reduce the risk of infections such as cystitis, especially for those who suffer from recurring instances of infection.
UTIs (Urinary tract infections) are common bacterial infections that affect millions of women around the world. They start with bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra and then the bladder. The most common bacterial culprit is E.coli, which attaches itself to the interior surface of the urinary tract and bladder. Cranberries are one of the richest sources of 'proanthocyanidins' which prevent E.coli from adhering to the bladder wall. Studies suggest that Cranberries are ‘effective in the prevention’ of UTIs as they are ‘associated with protective effects’ and can ‘significantly prevent the recurrence’ or reduce the risk of UTIs.
Drinking lots more Cranberry juice does not necessarily provide these benefits. In many juices, the crucial proanthocyanidins are lost in production and some juices are also packed with sugar to balance out the tart, tangy taste, and the additional sugar can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria and disrupt the vaginal microbiome. If you suffer from frequent UTIs, consider pH Hero®, an advanced formula to maintain a balanced and healthy vaginal flora, protecting against harmful bacteria, bugs and UTIs.
You may also enjoy reading ‘What is Bacterial Vaginosis?’.