Cranberry juice has long been upheld for having health benefits – like treating UTI.
Studies surrounding the topic have revealed varied results, but many experts and enthusiasts swear by organic cranberry juice.
According to the USDA, “Organic” implies that no growth hormones, artificial fertilizers, or synthetic pesticides such as carbendazim were used.
Additionally, the soil must not have been subjected to any of these prohibited substances within the previous three years.
Going organic on your cranberry juice ensures that you avoid getting these potentially harmful chemicals into your body.
Not to mention, you help protect natural soil, water resources, and biodiversity!
How do you know what you are getting is truly organic? Organic cranberry juice should be non-GMO and USDA organic certified or be approved by an authority you trust.
There should be the authority’s info, either a name or logo, on the label.
Be sure to check the details if you are not sure about the manufacturer.
A USDA seal shows the product uses a minimum of 95% organic ingredients.
If the label only says “made with organic ingredients”, however, the product is only required to carry at least 70% organic elements.
You can also go through the ingredients list just to be sure, although some brands do not disclose everything.
Also, anything that says “cranberry cocktail” is straight-up non-organic.
What is Cranberry Juice Good for?
Fighting Age-Related Issues
This is where the antioxidants come in – they help get rid of free radicals in the body.
These are the same radicals we learn in chemistry.
If you missed the class, now is the time to pay attention.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty of atoms and valence electrons, free radicals are bad because they cause oxidative stress that damages cells over time.
They are produced naturally in the body but may also come from smoking, alcohol, exposure to pollution, and fried foods.
Our bodies’ efficiency at eliminating them fades as we age, leading to even more free radicals, cell breakdown, and accelerated aging.
Therefore, taking foods and drinks high in antioxidants may help prevent age-related symptoms such as:
- wrinkly skin
- cardiovascular problems
- brain health
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
One of the oldest applications of cranberries is the prevention and treatment of UTIs, although it seems to work better as a preventative measure than a treatment.
A 2016 study found the juice significantly effective after observing urine cultures obtained from uncircumcised boys who took up the drink after suffering recurring UTI cases.
Later, research in 2017 observed reduced incidences of urinary tract infections in mice.
However, a few human surveys disagree with these results.
Some experts don’t think cranberry juice has anything to do with preventing UTIs either.
It would seem more research is needed.
Nevertheless, cranberry juice’s anti-UTI abilities are thought to come from the fruit’s antimicrobial properties, which may help minimize the growth of E. coli bacteria in the bladder.
E. coli is the most common UTI cause.
Promoting Digestive Health
Evidence suggests that the phytochemicals in cranberries may support digestive health by inhibiting the colonization of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria in the stomach.
An excess of H. pylori in the gut may lead to ulcers.
A few studies in animals have also shown potential for the antioxidants in cranberries helping against cancer, though the effect on humans is not clear yet.
What Does Cranberry Juice Do for the Female Body?
Women are more prone to UTIs because they have a short urethra, meaning pathogens can easily travel up to the bladder.
When combined with other factors such as blood sugar levels and immunity, some people may be more prone to UTIs than others
According to Dr. Melanie Crites-Bachert of the Center for Men’s and Women’s Urology at 360 Pelvic Health Institute, Oregon, cranberry pills and cranberry juice are effective in preventing UTIs.
However, she does not recommend cranberry cocktails. She says their sugar or artificial sweeteners content may cause irritation and inflammation in the bladder, precipitating UTIs.
What’s more, she points out that the sugar in cranberry cocktails does not pair well with patients who are more prone to infections or diabetes.
Crites-Bachert also points out that raw cranberry juice is often too tart for some people, in which case there are cranberry supplements in the form of pills.
Also, as a general rule of thumb, you want to see a doctor if you have any signs of infection.
Cranberry juice is no panacea. Not even the raw, organic type.
Is Cranberry Juice Without Sugar Good for You?
Yes. The best cranberry juices to take are sugarless.
Artificial sweeteners are not healthy either.
But you already knew that! What’s more, you want your cranberry juice to be as pure as possible, so you know you are getting as much of the fruit’s nutrients per serving as possible.
Sugar is notorious for causing spikes in blood glucose, diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, poor immune function, accelerated aging, and decay.
Moreover, though low in energy than sugar, artificial sweeteners have been found to increase the risk of weight gain, bladder cancers, brain tumors, and other hazards.
So the next time you pick cranberry juice off a shelf, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by going for the pure type.
Best Organic Cranberry Juice without Sugar
|Lakewood Pure Cranberry Juice||Organic (cranberries are grown and harvested per the national organic program)||costly|
|100% cranberry juice||Very strong and bitter|
|No additives or sugar added|
|USDA-approved organic||Very strong|
|Knudsen Juice Just Cranberry Organic||100% natural juice|
|Non-GMO project verified|
|No added preservatives or sugars|
|Organically grown cranberries||Has other juices|
|365 Organic Cranberry Juice||No sugar added||Plastic bottle|
|Certified organic, Kosher, and vegan|
|Sweetened with natural fruit juice|
|100% juice||Sweetened with other fruit juices|
|Ocean Spray 100% Juice Organic Cranberry||No sugar added||Apple flavor is too strong|
|Organically grown non-GMO fruits|
Many fruit juices are safer and pack more health benefits when they come organic and in pure form.
When buying organic cranberry juice, be sure to check for the certification on the label.
Also, while some cranberry juices say 100% juice, that does not necessarily mean that all 100 percent of it comes from the same fruit.
A good example would be Ocean spray’s 100% juice organic cranberry.
Finally, when it comes to solving recurrent UTIs, just remember to only go for pure cranberry juice without additives, especially not sugar or artificial substitutes.
You also want to keep in mind that cranberry juice for UTIs is recommended as a preventive measure and not a cure.