Cranberry: what is it for, benefits, recipes, lose weight?

Cranberry is a small red fruit, full of benefits and gaining space in Brazil. You may know it by the name cranberry and have even heard of its juice, famous for the benefits brought to health and beauty.

It is most popular in the United States, Canada and cranberry plantations are very common in Chile, in the Andes region. Your sauce is a very important part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

What is cranberry?

The cranberry is a small fruit that belongs to the famous group of red fruits. Its origin is in the northern United States and Canada.

Despite having gained space in the taste of Brazilians, cranberry is not very easy to find. The most common is that these berries arrive in our country as juice, pulp, in powder or in capsules.

That’s because it doesn’t adapt to the country’s climate. It is a low and perennial plant. It can produce for up to 100 years, as it blooms once a year.

After planting, it takes 3 to 4 years for the first harvest. Over time, productivity grows. In the early years, less kilos of cranberry per hectare are common, but from the sixth year onwards, the harvest can reach 30 thousand kilos.

This fruit also adds beauty to the landscapes. Cranberry plantations in the Andes Mountains in Chile, for example, are famous for the red color spread over cranberries.

We can also say that this fruit is very hydrated. Its low plantations need a lot of water. A lot.

So much so that it ends up forming pools around the plants. In these pools, the fruits float and are easily collected. When they are not yet ready to be harvested, the berries remain hidden and protected by their foliage.

For those who miss a more Brazilian name, cranberry is also called cranberry, cranberry, blueberry and cranberry. However, regardless of domination, the benefits brought are the same.

Of all the benefits imported from cranberry, the main ones are its antioxidant power and the fight against urinary infections.

Cranberries are so beneficial because of the phytonutrients and other nutrients present. Check the nutritional table, considering a quantity of 100 grams of the fruit:

Calories 46 kcal
Total fat 0,1 g
Cholesterol 0 g
Sodium 2 mg
Potassium 77 mg
Carbohydrates 12 mg
Fiber 0,1 g
Sugar 12 g
Protein 0,4 g
Vitamin A 45 IU
Calcium 8 mg
C vitamin 9,3 mg
Ferro 0,3 mg
Vitamin B6 0,1 mg
Magnesium 0,6 mg

Is cranberry cherry?

Cranberry is not the same as cherry. Although they are very confused, they are different fruits.

One difference that we can highlight between these fruits that are so visually similar are their genres. The cherry belongs to the botanical genus Prunus L. , The same genus as plums, peaches, apricots and almonds.

Already the cranberry, is part of the genus Vaccinium L., same gender Blueberry, Grape -do-lot and blueberry.

Cranberry lose weight?

Cranberry can contribute to weight loss, but we cannot say that only the consumption of these berries has a miraculous effect in the pursuit of weight loss.

This myth about cramberries is believed to have emerged with a study carried out in Canada by the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress. The research looked at the effects of fruit juice on people with high cholesterol.

What happened to these people was a decrease in the levels of bad fats in the blood. Consequently, some of them have also lost some weight.

The positive effects of the fruit are more related to the benefits they bring in the reduction of vascular diseases than to weight loss itself. However, we must emphasize that cranberry provides many benefits and having it within the diet is certainly of paramount importance.

Losing weight with these red berries should be considered when the person also leads a healthier life and with physical exercise practices.

Does cranberry slow aging?

One of the most popular benefits of cranberry is that it slows down aging. This effect happens because these berries contain a lot of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Along with antioxidants, they have phytonutrients, which in addition to reducing degenerative problems, such as memory loss and lack of coordination, delay skin aging.

The therapeutic properties protect the cells from possible damage caused by free radicals, leaving the skin looking younger.

Cranberry prevents cancer?

There are some substances in these berries that have antitumor efficacy, that is, they delay the appearance of tumors.

A study of mice with colon cancer showed that juice consumption contributes to reducing these cancerous tumors in number and size.

This is due to the cranberry’s potential to slow this progression, acting as a way of preventing lung , breast, colon and prostate cancer in animals and humans.

In this fruit, it is also possible to find a significant amount of salicylic acid, which contributes to reducing, in addition to tumors, swelling and possible blood clots.

Due to the antioxidants present, cranberry acts directly on free radicals that can damage cell and DNA structure.

Main health benefits?

Cranberry juice, in addition to being consumed for flavor, is recommended to prevent infections. Know the advantages of adopting this fruit in the diet.

Treatment of urinary infections

urinary tract infection or urinary tract infection is a disease that strikes about 50 times more women. This is due to the location of the female urethra compared to the male urethra.

It is a very common type of inflammation and causes a need to urinate frequently, which can become urgent and painful. In more severe cases, it can cause abdominal pain and blood in the urine.

Infections occur due to the presence of a bacterium. It is common that it is caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli , or E. coli .

The cranberry comes in here, when it comes to the “enemy” presence of these bacteria. Studies show that the juice of the fruit helps certain bacteria to stay away from the wall of the uterine tract, preventing the infection from happening or intensifying.

Cranberries contain substances such as proanthocyanidins, a compound common in many plants. It is this compound that helps bacteria to stay away, which is very good, because if the bacteria does not grow or spread, it does not cause infections and our body remains healthy.

Ideally, as a treatment, you should consume 100% pure cranberry juice. This may not be so simple. Here in Brazil, it is more common to find the juice already produced industrially, made with the pulp, which provides a loss of this total quality.

However, the juice should not be treated as a substitute for medical care, as it does not replace the effects of medicines. In most cases, cranberry is believed to act as a prevention so that the infection does not return.

Some researches also defend that the juice does not have the power to act in the treatment of urinary infections, only the capsules.

The researchers claim that the juice is not enough because it does not have the necessary amount of antimicrobial substances, and only a very high concentration would have an effect on the bacteria.

Helps regulate the intestine

Cranberries can help regulate the intestine, because they have a significant amount of fiber among their nutrients.

In this way, people who suffer from the side effects of a lazy bowel, including symptoms such as gas , swelling and difficulties in eliminating feces, can find in this fruit a solution to this very uncomfortable problem.

Treatment of ulcers

Stomach ulcers are sores caused by an infection. It can happen due to a bad diet, but it usually happens due to the attack of the H. Pylori bacteria  in our organism.

Cranberry helps prevent the attack of some bacteria in our body and, for some researchers, it also contributes to the treatment of ulcers, as it does not allow H. Pylori  to proliferate through the urinary tract.

There is no consensus in this regard, as there are studies that do not place cranberry as responsible for any improvement in the picture of people who suffer from the disease. Therefore, claiming that it helps to treat ulcers is uncertain.

However, we can consider all the health benefits that it presents and also the studies that showed cases in which the consumption of cranberry juice brought positive results.

Prevents oral diseases

Ingesting cranberry juice or just the fruit contributes to an improvement in oral health . In the same way as it acts against urinary infections, it acts on the health of our teeth.

Proanthocyanidins also prevent the bacteria in the individual’s mouth from attaching to the teeth. Studies point out that cranberry is also preventive against gum disease.

Good for the heart

Cranberries are important in helping to slow heart disease. By acting as an anti-inflammatory, it helps to protect blood vessels over time.

When damaged, these blood vessels develop plaques, which can cause atherosclerosis , a characteristic disease due to the presence of fatty plaques or fibrous tissue on the internal walls of the arteries.

These plaques are dangerous as they pose a risk of heart attacks, strokes and peripheral arterial disease.

In this way, the components present in cranberries delay and suppress the oxidation of low-density fats – bad cholesterol (LDL) – and benefit blood platelets.

Improves the immune system

Cranberry helps to relieve and prevent symptoms of viral and bacterial infections, such as the flu , for example.

A substance called proanthocyanidin, present in these fruits, helps to enhance the immune function of our organism and keep it stronger in the face of these diseases.

Proanthocyanidin belongs to a larger class of polyphenols, chemicals common in plants.

Proanthocyanidins, because they have the capacity to line the intestine, guarantee greater defense of the immune system, since they add up to the other defenses of our own body.

Prevents scurvy

Lack of vitamin C can cause scurvy, a disease that causes bleeding and gum damage. In some cases, it also causes falling teeth, hair and joint pain.

Cranberry is a fruit very rich in vitamin C, surpassing even orange in quantity. Because it has high levels of the vitamin, it also contributes to the functioning of the tissues, because vitamin C helps the body in the production of collagen.

Aesthetic benefits of cranberry

There are several benefits that the fruit provides for those who consume it. It also applies when we talk about beauty.

Its properties bring gains for the skin and hair, such as:

  • Reduces oiliness;
  • Prevents the appearance of acne and blackheads;
  • Leaves skin firmer, hydrated and youthful;
  • Helps in hair growth;
  • Helps fight alopecia and male pattern baldness;
  • Treat damaged wires;
  • Tones the natural color of red hair when used as a mask for the hair.

How to use

Cranberry is usually consumed in its natural form or in juices. However, there are several recipes in which it is possible to add this red fruit, as in pies, ice cream, syrups and jellies.

From traditional recipes to even vegan recipes, here are some options to vary the way you eat cranberries:

Cranberry juice

This is one of the most popular ways to consume cranberry and prepare it is quite simple. To make cranberry juice you need:

  • 200 g of cranberry pulp;
  • 2 cups (tea) of water;
  • ½ cup (tea) of sugar.

Blend all the ingredients and you are ready to consume. Pay attention only to the daily amount to be ingested, which should be between 200 ml to 480 ml per day.

Cranberry and apple cake

The cranberry is not a fruit that is consumed only in juices, it also composes different dishes, such as cakes. This recipe uses the apple as an ingredient. Check out what is needed:

  • 340 g of fresh cranberries and without the stems;
  • 1 green apple, without peels and kernels, cut into cubes;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 115 g unsalted butter, melted and at room temperature;
  • ¼ cup of sour cream;
  • ¼ of kosher salt;
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract;
  • 1 cup of wheat flour;
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest;
  • 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar;
  • ½ cup of light brown sugar;
  • ½ cup of orange juice – squeeze freshly;
  • 1 and ⅛ teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

First, before starting to mix the ingredients, preheat the oven to 160º C.

Then place the cranberries, the apple, the brown sugar, the orange zest, the orange juice and 1 spoon of cinnamon in a container. Keep it reserved.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs at medium / high speed for 2 minutes. After that, at medium speed, add granulated sugar, butter, sour cream and vanilla to the eggs. Beat until well blended.

Reduce the speed of the mixer and gradually add the flour and salt. After preparing the dough and the fruits, to finish, just add them.

To do this, separate a glass pan for pies. Place the fruits on the bottom, evenly, and cover with the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon and granulated sugar on top and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the dough comes out clean.

Cranberry cake with vegan coconut

For those who want to have all the benefits of cranberry and for fans of a vegan diet, this recipe is a good option.

The necessary ingredients are:

  • 1 cup of dehydrated cranberries;
  • ½ cup of crystal or demerara sugar;
  • 2 cups of wheat flour;
  • ½ cup of whole wheat flour;
  • 2 cups of shredded coconut;
  • 1 puff of salt;
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil;
  • 1 spoon of baking powder;
  • 1 spoon (coffee) baking soda;
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence;
  • 2 to ½ cups of water at room temperature.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt and grated coconut well in a large container. Then add the water gradually. Alternate with the oil and continue stirring until it forms a homogeneous and pasty mass.

After this step, add the cranberries and mix them to incorporate the dough. Then add the yeast and you are ready to go into the greased pan and in the shape you prefer.

Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 180º C. To make sure it is ready, use a toothpick to test if everything is right.

Where to find

In addition to the fruit itself and the juice made with it or the pulp, there is also the possibility of acquiring the properties of cranberry in capsules, teas and medicines. Bearing in mind that, regardless of the purposes for which they are intended to be used, medical guidance is necessary.

Check out some possibilities:

  • Berry Cran ;
  • Cisberry;
  • Vitaberry;
  • Centage ;
  • Cispac;
  • Pilicis ;
  • Pilicis Barras ;
  • Pilicis gel ;
  • Helicostop – Micrex;
  • Cranberry Tea Capsules More ;
  • Cranberry Oxiberry sachets .

Side effects

Despite offering numerous benefits, cranberry should be consumed sparingly. Likewise, it does not replace the need to seek guidance from a doctor.

Excessive consumption of the fruit can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and high amounts of sugar in the blood , due to fructose present in it.

Cranberry contraindications

Cranberry is certainly a fruit rich in beneficial substances, capable of complementing our diet. However, nutritionists and doctors recommend that the amount should not be exacerbated.

There are variations between the exact amounts stipulated by these professionals, but, on average, the ideal is to consume a maximum of 100 grams of fruit a day.

Considering the fact that it is not common in Brazil and that finding it in natura is more complicated, there is still the option of using the capsules.

In such cases, it is recommended that you take a maximum of two 50 mg capsules daily, which will be enough to obtain the benefits. Regarding the juice, it is recommended to consume between 200 ml to 480 ml in the day.

In addition to the amounts that must be observed, it is important to know that cranberries can still present risks for certain groups. Understand:

People using blood thinners

For these people, the consumption of cranberry can cause hemorrhages and cause side reactions with the drugs.

If you use any of these medications, check with a doctor about the possibility of consuming cranberry and in what amounts it would not be a risk to your health.

Allergic to aspirin

Because they contain a large amount of salicylic acid, cranberries may pose a greater risk to allergies to aspirin. That’s because the drug also contains the same substance.

People who had kidney stones

A high concentration of oxalate and calcium can increase the chances of kidney stones developing in some people, and cranberry extract contains these substances in significant amounts.

People who have suffered from kidney stones or have a history of kidney stones should avoid and consult with a doctor first the amount of cranberry that can be consumed without posing a health risk.

Cranberry interactions

Some medications can experience interactions and cause side effects. These interactions can happen with other drugs, drinks or food.

It is the case of the interactions of this fruit. Consuming cranberry with the use of certain medications can lead to complications.

Side effects also related to the excessive consumption of cranberries can decrease the concentration levels of some medications in the bloodstream, such as antidepressants , antipsychotics  and analgesics that contain morphine  in their composition.

There are no reports that the use of cranberry together with antibiotics promotes any type of interaction, but it is necessary to be very careful with its consumption in the presence of anticoagulants, such as warfarin .

Cranberry helps certain drugs present in anticoagulants to extend their permanence in the body of the patient who is using the medication, which increases the risk of bleeding and bruising.

Therefore, within this drug interaction , caution in the consumption of cranberry is essential, always seeking medical guidance.

Attention!

NEVER  self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.


Cranberry is a fruit that provides many benefits to our body. Although not so popular in the country, it deserves our attention.

Share this text with your friends and show them how much this red fruit is good for your health.

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