Natural Health Benefits of Cranberries
If you’re among the millions of sufferers each year that visits the doctor for urinary tract infections you’re not alone. The good news is you’ll be happy to know there is a natural way to help prevent them with the use of cranberry supplements. This is not, however, a treatment to replace the use of antibiotics once a proper diagnosis for a urinary tract infection has been made. That diagnosis usually requires antibiotics to properly treat the infection, which your physician will prescribe along with any other further tests needed in the future.
The theory behind cranberries as a natural source to help prevent a UTI (Urinary tract infection) from occurring in the first place is that cranberries contain proanthocyanidin, a naturally occurring substance, which can help deter bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract to avoid possible infections. A daily regimen of cranberry juice is thought to help reduce, or prevent the frequency of urinary tract infections from occurring.
There are many forms of cranberry supplements available on the market today depending on your preference.
• The 100 Percent Cranberry Juices
This cranberry juice has the highest concentration of cranberry juice and would therefore be the one most effective in helping to prevent urinary tract infections.
• Cocktail Juice Blends
In this particular cranberry juice, a mix of other juices may be added to the juice, making this juice a weaker concentration of cranberry juice.
• Cranberry Pill Supplement
As with any supplements, it’s best to ask your doctor for advice before adding supplements to your diet. This is especially important if you are currently taking any medication that could possibly interact with the supplement.
It’s interesting to note that urinary tract infections occur more frequently in women, than in men. The theory behind this lies in the fact that the urethra of women is shorter in women, and located near the rectum, allowing easier access for bacteria to reach the bladder than in men. Cleansing and proper hygiene after each bowel movement is recommended to help control the problem.
There are steps that can be taken to help prevent urinary tract infections from occurring.
• Never hold the urge to urinate, especially for long periods of time.
• Drink plenty of water, and other fluids, including cranberry juice to stay well hydrated.
• Avoid contamination after bowel movements, by properly wiping from front to back.
• Maintain a healthy diet rich in nutrients found in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and fish to maintain a healthy immune system.
Cranberries also provide a great source of vitamin C, and act as an anti-oxidant in the body, and can help protect against cancer, tooth decay, and heart disease.
Research is underway to determine if cranberries will also help to prevent bacteria from attaching to the lining of the stomach wall, as well.
Cranberries are available in a wide array of forms, including fresh, frozen, juices, concentrate, and pills. The majority of cranberry juices have some sweetener added to them since pure cranberry juice is very sour. It’s best to look for a brand that is unsweetened, and add a little honey, or any brand that has the least amount of sugar added, to obtain the one healthiest for you.
The use of cranberries is found to be an effective measure to help prevent the occurrence of urinary tract infections in many individuals.