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Benefits of Unsweetened Cranberry Juice

With it's rich red hue and tart, satisfying flavor, cranberry juice makes a welcome addition to your diet. Unlike cranberry juice cocktails, which can contain added sugars or other fruit juices, unsweetened cranberry juice contains just the natural sugar found in the berries. This keeps the calorie count relatively low -- one cup contains 116 calories -- and keeps the juice packed with nutrients that promote good health.

One cup of cranberry juice contains 0.139 mg of copper, which provides 15 percent of the daily value. Numerous tissues and cells, including your bones and your red blood cells, rely on copper to function. One cup of cranberry juice also provides 4 percent of the daily value of potassium and magnesium. Both of these minerals are necessary for normal nerve and muscle function.

Unsweetened cranberry juice also provides vitamin C. One cup contains 24 mg, which is 32 percent of the daily value for women and 27 percent for men. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, so it can help your body fight the damage done to your body by free radicals -- toxins produced as your body breaks down food, or as an effect of environmental toxins. Vitamin C also helps your tissues heal and supports the production of compounds needed for brain function.

Although cranberry juice is low in most B vitamins, 1 cup provides more than 50 percent of B-6. You need vitamin B-6 for proper brain function. It also helps your cells reproduce and grow. In addition, B-6 promotes red blood cell production, so that your blood can efficiently carry oxygen to your tissues.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, cranberry juice can assist in the prevention of urinary tract infections in women. Cranberry juice helps keep the bacteria that cause these infections from adhering to the urinary tract. Although cranberry juice helps prevent these infections, it does not help to cure an already existing infection.

Because unsweetened cranberry juice is sour, you may find it difficult to drink straight. To make the juice more palatable, mix it with a sweeter juice, such as raspberry, blueberry or apple. You can also add cranberry juice to fruit smoothies to increase their vitamin C and B-6 content.

Photo Credits:

  • Cranberry - Cerise image by ParisPhoto from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.