Cranberries are a tangy berry that is native to North America. The growers of cranberries flood the fields with water when the berries are ripe to make picking the low-bush berries easier. As a woman, drinking cranberry juice has some definite benefits to you, including possible prevention of some infections and providing healthy nutrients.
Nutrients and Calories
Unsweetened cranberry juice contains 116 calories per 8 oz. If you drink 2 cups of cranberry juice a day, you will consume 13 percent of your daily calories, if you eat an average of 1,800 calories per day. The juice contains trace amounts of protein and fats, and 30.61 g of naturally occurring sugar. A cup contains about 24 mg of vitamin C, or about 30 percent of an adult woman’s 75 mg requirement. The juice contains trace amounts of the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, B-6 and thiamin and small amounts of vitamin A, choline and folate.
Female Urinary Tract Health
Urinary tract infections, which are more common in females than males, may be prevented by drinking cranberry juice regularly, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The cranberry juice may help prevent bacteria, which naturally accumulate along the urinary tract walls, from causing infections. If you suspect a urinary tract infection, consult your doctor for treatment. NCCAM indicates that cranberry juice does not cure urinary tract infections in females.
A small group of women suffering from metabolic syndrome participated in a study published in the March 2011 issue of the journal “Nutrition Research.” The study examined whether low-calorie cranberry juice would improve the lipid oxidation, which contributes to your body’s immune system, cell health and aging and, according to Case Western Reserve University, can affect your cardiovascular health. The study also studied the effects of cranberry juice on the plasma antioxidant capacity, or the effect of the juice's antioxidants on women’s blood. The study found that by drinking about 2 cups of low-calorie cranberry juice each day, the women in the study experienced a reduction in their body’s lipid oxidation, while enjoying an increase in their plasma antioxidant capacity.
Cranberry juice, because it comes from cranberries, contains antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in your health, and the phytochemicals in cranberry extract may “suppress the proliferation of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells,” according to a study published in the September 2006 issue of “Cancer Letters.”
Although cranberry juice has benefits to you as a woman, the calories in the juice may cause you to unintentionally gain weight, if you do not adjust your food intake to account for the additional calories. Consider diluting 8 oz. of cranberry juice with 4 oz. of water to reduce the calorie count. If you choose to drink a diet cranberry drink, you will reduce the calories and the sugars by one-third and consume your full day’s vitamin C requirement in 1 cup.
- Cancer Letters: Cranberry Photochemical Extracts Induce Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Vitamins
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: In the News: Cranberry Juice for Urinary Tract Infections
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Urinary Tract Infection: Risk Factors
- Nutrition Research: Low-Energy Cranberry Juice Decreases Lipid Oxidation and Increases Plasma Antioxidant Capacity in Women with Metabolic Syndrome
- cranberry soft drink image by samantha grandy from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.