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What’s in it for Cranberries?

July 14th, 2011

It has long been known that drinking cranberry juice and taking cranberry supplements can improve urinary tract health. But that’s all we ever hear about the cranberry. Oh yeah, and it has a lot of antioxidants. Seems like everything has a lot of antioxidants these days. So what’s more to cranberries? What other punches do they pack? You’d be surprised…

Cranberry

The Verdict? Cranberries Improve Vascular Health

Recent research suggests that regular consumption of cranberry juice can yield a significant reduction in arterial stiffness after only four weeks of supplementation. One study found that noticeable improvement in arterial function was documented within only four hours after consumption. Why the improvement? Cranberries are excellent sources of polyphenols such as anthocynanins, which possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties which may help improve vein elasticity and arterial function.

It’s interesting to think about the implications for cranberry supplements and vascular health in sexual wellness, athletic and bodybuilding communities. Improved vascular health may correlate with improved blood flow and delivery, prompting these other groups to take a look at the possible inclusion of cranberry into their already popular libido and nitric oxide enhancing supplement blends. Pretty soon we might end up seeing more cranberry flavored powders and mixes. I definitely wouldn’t be surprised.

But cranberries aren’t the only fruit rich in polyphenols like anthocyanins. In fact, dark colored grapes, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries among many other berries are excellent sources of potent anthocyanins. For optimal health, it’s recommended that you enrich your diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and keep balance and moderation close to your heart.

Best Cranberry & Anthocyanin Supplements

The following is a list of popular cranberry and anthocyanin supplements currently available:

  1. Cystex Liquid: Super concentrated form of liquid cranberries, packing the same antioxidant punch as eight glasses of cranberry juice.
  2. Eclectic Institute Freeze-Dried Cranberry (300mg): Pure organic freeze-dried cranberry extract. Can’t get any better than this.
  3. Eclectic Institute Bilberry POW-der: Super rich source of anthocyanins (130mg per serving). Fully intact bilberry fruit full of natural enzymes and other antioxidants and vitamins.
  4. Eclectic Institute Nutrigenomics Berry POW-der: Positively affects gene, protein and metabolite expression. Rich in anthocyanins, procyanidins, catechins, flavonols and phenolic acids.
  5. NOW Foods Cranberry Concentrate: Super concentrated cranberry extract.
  6. Irwin Naturals Very Cranberry: Powerful blend rich in anthocyanins and potent bioflavonoids.

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