Most people know cranberry from the famous bar cocktail called vodka cranberry which is tasty and it’s my favorite cocktail.
But, aside from the famous cocktail, cranberry is eaten in various forms which include: cranberries fruits, cranberry cocktails, mixed or pure cranberry juice and cranberry sauces.
Out of these cranberry forms I love the cranberry juice. I love its refreshing taste and the fact that it has various proven health benefits makes it more desirable. The fruit has lesser calories and yet highly nutritious.
What is cranberry juice?
This is a juice that is made using the North American native fruit called cranberry. Cranberries are part of the Ericaceae family that has over 1000 other species. They are the evergreen shrub that grows in wet areas mostly bogs and wetlands.
The cranberry tree has small dark green leaves and its dark red fruits are the cranberries that are used to make the cranberry juice. They assume the egg shape.
Is Cranberry Juice Good for You?
Off course yes. Any food or drink that can keep you safe from various ailments is welcomed for humanity. Aside from the health benefits, it tastes good when sweetened, adds color to your meal and is easy to access.
The berry is never in most people’s list of rich and healthy fruit to eat. In fact, most people consume different berries for their antioxidant properties. The berries they use often are strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
The thought of cranberry as an even better berry is unheard of in most minds. Cranberry is a rich antioxidant that even reduce oxidative stress. It also packs in vitamin C and salicylic acid. If you are taking whole cranberries then you only consume 46 calories.
But what about the juice you ask?
Assuming you consume 253 grams or a cup of unsweetened cranberry juice.
- You will consume 116.4 calories.
- It has 5.1mg sodium and 30.9 grams of carbohydrates.
- 8gms of potassium and a pack of vitamins.
- 3 g of fiber, a gram of protein and a large number of minerals.
In a nutshell, the whole drink is healthier when unsweetened or as a pure cranberry juice.
Homemade Cranberry Juice
Making your cranberry juice at home is easy. There are many ways you can make the juice but I have listed my 2 favorite options for you to try.
- You just need the 500 grams of cranberries and water.
- You also need a blender or juice extractor.
Place cranberries in a bowl and rinse them.
Place them in the blender or juice extractor then add 2 cups of water and blend. This should give you anything from ½ a liter to a liter of juice. You can drink it as it is or mix it with other drinks to sweeten it.
Brands of Cranberry Juice
Which brands of cranberry juice are the best?
As you have seen above the brand that has the above nutritional value should be considered. Precisely, the unsweetened cranberry juice contains a mix of minerals, vitamins and fatty acids.
According to USDA data lab, the cranberry juice has up to 9 minerals, 15 vitamins, natural sugars, proteins, fibers and carbohydrates.
The pasteurized brand is also ideal. While about 98% of the cranberry juice sold in the grocery stores are pasteurized. Its hard to know whether those imported from outside the US are pasteurized. Note that, the best store-bought cranberry should be pasteurized.
Although you may want to take the cranberry juice cocktail, the juice normally has very little cranberry juice and a lot of added sugar which reduces its essence. Therefore, if you intend to reap the cranberry benefits, take it in its pure form.
When you talk of cranberry, you must come across the Ocean spray brand. It’s a cranberry cooperative which means you can trust their cranberry juice. In fact, the juice from this brand is popularly known for its high quality.
The juice is made using a blend of about 900 cranberry fruits that are natural and straight from the bog. It has no added sugar, it contains no artificial preservatives, sweeteners colors or flavors. Consuming a simple glass of this juice makes up for the required vitamins.
If you are looking to enjoy a healthy and tasty drink then this is what you need. I love the authenticity of this product since it comes from a famous brand that has made cranberry cocktails in the earlier years.
This brand is the real deal it has won the American culinary chefs best award in the best flavor juice category. Since this isn’t a cocktail that most product of the brand is based on, you can enjoy the crisp tasting and health benefits of the drink.
Cold pressed cranberry juice
What makes this juice ideal is the fact that it’s a pure drink. It contains no additives nor preservatives just freshly pressed cranberries. The juice is vegan-friendly and especially vacuum sealed to prevent any kind of contamination and fermentation.
Since it contains no additives, it will normally assume an acidic and bitter taste. Thus, most people consume it for medicinal purposes. For you to gain value from it you should consume it unsweetened. Of course, if you aren’t used to it you will find the juice harsh at first.
It assumes a sharp taste that may make your stomach ramble if you are sensitive. But, one thing is clear that the juice will offer its cleansing abilities. It’s advisable that you choose the drinks that are naturally sweetened, to begin with if you are after something refreshing.
Mind you, they won’t have the health value you need from cranberry. This product isn’t from concentrate, therefore, it will help you maintain your ideal cholesterol level while supporting your immunity.
Alternatively, blend the drink with other juices like orange or apple juice to lessen the bitterness or you can also opt to add some bit of sugar. If you want your child to taste it, dilute it with some water and add some sugar.
The organic unsweetened cranberry juice
The cranberry in its natural state is bitter and green. In fact, its inedible to most animals. The juice features 100% pure cranberry that is sugar-free and made from concentrate. It acts as a dietary supplement more than as a juice.
It contains no preservatives, additives or other juices. For the most natural option buy this only natural since it’s thick which means that if you wish to use it as juice you may have to dilute it and if you desire sweeten it.
The best part of the juice is that it’s so filling and cleansing at the same time. In its natural state, however, the juice is exceptionally healthy. Being a certified organic product, the nutrients are from the cranberries used.
You can dilute it with water when you want to use it as juice in a ratio of 3:1 then add a little amount of sugar or blend it with other juices like apple or orange juice. Just know that in this state it won’t be as beneficial. Unlike when you use it the way nature intended for you to eat the cranberry.
Organic cranberry juice
This is another concentrated juice that allows you to dilute it when you want to drink. Just like the other juices from concentrate, this juice is thick and without sugar which means you can make it as sweet and dilute as you would love to.
Alternatively, add portions of this juice to your other juices for the benefits associated with the drink. It works best as a mixer, in smoothies and fruit cocktails. It also works as a natural topping for your yoghurt, ice cream, fruits, pastry and desserts.
You can trust the company to produce their juices from exotic fruits. The juice is made without additives in terms of colors and preservatives. It will rarely cause you allergens because its free of products like soy, gluten and dairy.
This product is best used as a supplement. Once you open the bottle, consider refrigerating it for enhanced shelf life. Although its still a bitter type of juice, its bitterness is nothing like the ones I’ve tasted before. When you add water, it tastes close to regular juice.
Organic sugar-free cranberry juice
This is a UK based product that is popular across the globe. The test of life cranberry juice is a quality product featuring a juice with no sugar. The bottle gives you 12 servings and if you want the refreshing juice taste, 4 glasses of water will work for a single glass of juice.
This juice concentrate like other juices above allows you the freedom to determine the amount of sugar you will use in your drink. It acts as the perfect low sugar smoothie that has a great flavour. It, like most other drinks above, features the use of 100% pure cranberry fruits.
Best tasting juice
All those who have used cranberry will tell you that the juice is sweet and delicious. What they don’t know is that the juice is naturally sweetened. It’s 100% cranberry juice that is made using filtered water. it features a cranberry constitute.
It contains all the natural ingredients and no sweeteners, preservatives or artificial coloring. It only gives you 70 calories per serving with iron and potassium. Mark you, the juice is usually added to smoothies and other recipes.
With each glass of juice, you consume, you get about 1 cup serving of cranberry fruits. It’s ready to drink juice. For most people. Although its amongst the best tasting cranberry juice, it’s still harsh on kids. Therefore, you should sweeten it using other fruit drinks.
You can trust the brand for it has produced fruit juices that display the craftsmanship and quality of their products for over 40 years. Knudsen the founder never wanted the contaminated juices, therefore, all his juice was made using organic fruits.
If you, therefore, need a balance of refreshing tastes and creativity to buy yourself the Just cranberry juice.
Only the packaging is different here but the juice features a concentrated form of juice that you dilute at the ratio of 4:1. Its ready to drink as it has been sweetened with sugarcane juice. The O harvest delivers a fresh tasting and high-quality drink to its customers.
It’s ideal for use in your cocktail drinks. The product is used in bars and restaurants of star rated hotels. It combines the tart and sweet flavors to cater for your cravings. It also has a whole bunch of other beverages you can choose from yet it maintains its high quality.
The use of natural ingredients and creativity makes the juice a high-quality type. You get a QCD connector or tap to help you pour the syrup when you want to make the juice. The syrup mixes at different ratios than the ones you are used to.
Follow the set instructions to reach your ideal flavor. What I like more about this juice is that it has a 6 months shelf life without the need of a refrigerator. The juice is further ideal for largescale consumption.
I haven’t spotted cranberry juice with ideal bottles for your on the go packaging. This package contains 24 bottles ready to drink cranberry juice that makes it easy to add it to your daily meal.
This is for your refreshing taste and flavour of juice that will help you reap the benefits linked to eating the cranberry.
With every bottle you consume the required amount of vitamin C. How good does it get? Its packaging makes it easy to carry even in your little handbag. This is the reason why you can enjoy the delicious nutrients on a day to day basis.
The brand has served you with ideal juices for the last more than 70 years and it is still going strong. The blend of tart and sweet flavor is exactly what you need in a bottle of richness and nutrients.
Of course, this is not the very best product available as it’s made using pacran which is a concentrated cranberry powder. The powder is clinically certified as a good product to use. Since cranberry is a rich antioxidant the juice is designed to help you maintain a healthy urinary tract.
For its effectivity, you need to make it part of your daily diet. With one serving of the AZO soft gel, you consume a glass of cranberry juice. It also contains very minimal sugar and thus reduced calories. You also don’t need to sweeten it as its already perfect for drinking.
It contains 100 soft gels which means you will consume it for several days. It’s free of gluten, preservatives, wheat and flavour. It acts faster than most other supplements. You can swallow these soft gels if you don’t want to make them into juice and it will act 10 times faster.
The drawback to this is that cranberry has way more benefits and since its design focuses on only cleansing the UTI, it becomes less effective. Azo soft gels are convenient and easy to use though.
Benefits of Cranberry Juice
- For urinary tract infections
Over the years people have believed that the cranberry juice treats the UTI’s but in recent days the topic has come under scrutiny.
Cranberry juice that is sold in the grocery stores has no capability of clearing your UTI’s let alone prevent it. That is according to doctors’ researches from the Texas A&M health science center college of medicine.
The doctors here believe that the juice can wash bacteria out of your body or offer you hydration but not treat your urinary infections. For you to clean the system, you need a high concentration of the cranberries which you won’t find in the juice. But you might find it in the fruit itself.
Here is how that works
Cranberries have chemicals in them that prevent the harmful bacteria from sticking on your urinary tract thereby preventing the possibility of urinary tract infections. With this characteristic, it can’t treat the UTI’s just prevent it.
So, the major goal of drinking the highly concentrated cranberry juice is to prevent the UTI’s not treated the problem. Note that, you need to frequently drink the juice for it to be effective. Some studies indicate that it will prevent the constant recurrence of UTI.
- For your heart health
Cranberries have phytonutrients that give them develop the anti-inflammatory feature. Inflammation is famous for damaging your blood vessels over time. The damaged vessels will cause atherosclerosis.
The blocked arteries are the reasons for your heart attacks, strokes among other cardiovascular diseases.
The phytonutrients in cranberries delay the arteries blocking process thus rendering you a healthy heart. The same nutrients in cranberry will prevent your dental plague that may cause gum disease.
- For your digestive system
The cranberries are rich in phytochemicals which improves the digestive system. In fact, the same chemicals that keep your health healthy aids in the digestion. The chemicals further protect the growth of bacteria in your stomach wall lining that is known to cause peptic ulcers.
Generally, research indicates that food that is rich in flavonoids like apples and cranberry tend to reduce stomach disorder.
- Helps you against rapid aging
Researches have indicated that the phytonutrients and antioxidants that you find in cranberry will help ease your aging problems. This may include rapid memory loss, diabetes and the lack of coordination.
The therapeutic properties that you find in cranberry protect your cells against the free radicals that lead to quicker aging.
- It prevents cancer
The cranberries also contain some chemicals that inhibit the growth of cancer cells in your body. The anticarcinogenic properties found in the fruit helps it to prevent the cancer growth. This is especially so for the prostate and colon cancers.
- For your menopausal health
Apparently, the heart diseases begin to increase when you reach menopause. However, if you will eat or drink the cranberry frequently, the possibility of acquiring heart disease is reduced. This is especially so because it reduces cholesterol in the body.
- It treats different infections
Its antimicrobial effects fight about 7 different infections.
Draw Backs of Consuming Cranberry Juice
The juice is celebrated today as one of the most nutritious drinks to go to but, you should drink it in moderation.
- Consuming cranberry juice in large quantities is hazardous. Remember, the juices contain calories and when you consume too much of the juice you consume unnecessary calories which might lead to weight gain.
- The cranberry sugars are the ones influencing the calories level. The sugars are absorbed direct to your bloodstream and if you continue to consume the drink, you make yourself susceptible to diabetes type 2.
- The juice completely lacks the fiber which would help you with the digestive system and prevention of colon cancer. That’s why the fruit itself is best.
- Some products are very pure as you will see but if you consume several glasses you risk having a rumbling stomach and diarrhoea.
Tips for consideration
- Although the cranberry is linked to various benefits you should limit its intake in children or completely avoid it. If you intend to add this juice to your children’s diet, give them in very minimal amounts.
- You yield more benefits when you go for the ones that are unsweetened. Also choosing the ones with more cranberries than water helps you yield more benefits. To mean, either eat the fruit itself or the thick juice.
- You can also make your smoothies at home by blending the berry with other fruits to sweeten it.
- The drink is generally considered ideal but you should consult your doctor if you are taking blood thinners.
- For those of you with aspirin allergy, the cranberry juice may not work for you because it has the same component as does aspirin. The component is called salicylic acid.
- If you frequently get the kidney stones disease you should consult your doctor before you begin using the juice.
Adding cranberry juice to your daily meals is the best thing you can do for your family. This is because it has massive benefits for your health. However, if you have any diseases of concern, consult your doctor before taking the juice.
In this list, the best choice is Ocean Spray 100% Juice, Unsweetened Pure Cranberry. It’s pure and rich with the cranberry nutrients.