Cran is a common beverage available at most grocery stores and supermarkets. It is also very easy to make yourself at home, with just a few ingredients.
Cranberries are a shrub-like plant that is cultivated for its fruit. These berries are typically harvested in the fall, which is why they are more readily available then.
Just like any other fruit, you can eat the cranberry raw. However, most people prefer its taste when it is cooked into something. It can be used in sauces, jams, and of course, drinks!
Cranberry juice has been trending as of late due to its purported health benefits. Most places sell it pre-made, but with the ease of making it yourself, there is no reason to buy the expensive ones from the store.
Orange juice benefits
Orange juice is a staple breakfast item in many homes. It is a delicious way to get your daily vitamin C into your system.
Not only does orange juice provide you with vitamin C, but it also contains B vitamins and carotenoids like beta carotene.
Carotenoids give carrots their color and orange juice its characteristic color. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage and may benefit health in other ways as well.
Beta carotene is a type of carotenoid that can be converted into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is important for good vision, healthy skin, and immune function.
How much orange juice you need depends on your personal preference and how many calories you want to intake. Typically, one cup (250 ml) of raw unsweetened orange juice provides 127 calories.
This can vary depending on the type of oranges used and if sugar is added.
Combining juices results in a new flavor
When choosing which juice to blend, remember that there are no bad flavors. You can never go wrong with nature’s delicious offerings!
However, some flavors may taste better combined with others. For example, pineapple pairs well with many other fruits.
Thus, cranberry juice and pineapple juice combine to make a unique flavor that is reminiscent of the ocean. This is a tasty treat you can make at home!
Another fun one is lemonade and orange juice. These are both citrus juices that complement each other well. Or try papaya and mango for a tropical burst of flavor!
At the end of the day, all juices are good for you. It all depends on what kind of juice you like and how much of it you drink. Even then, there are ways to measure how much nutrition is in the juice and remove the waste material(s) to ensure only beneficial substances enter your body.
Combining juices is a great way to use leftover juices
While cranberry juice is a staple in the United States, many countries do not have a taste for it. Because of this, cranberry juice is often sold at a low price.
Instead of buying plain cranberry juice, you can buy it and mix it with another fruit juice like orange or pineapple. This way, you can use up all of the juices you have left over and make a new beverage!
Alternatively, you can use leftover juices as ingredients in other recipes. Many cakes and muffins call for fruit juices so that is an easy way to use them up.
Overall, having more than one type of juice on hand is helpful when trying to avoid wasting them.
Cranberry pineapple juice
While cranberry juice is a fan favorite, cranberry pineapple juice is quickly rising to the top. Many restaurants offer this combination as a beverage option, and many people make it at home.
Like the other combinations, this one is a mix of healthy fruits that taste good together. You can even make your own at home with the right ingredients and instructions!
Although looks like it may not be too healthy for you, since it is just a combination of two already healthy foods, it is pretty good for you.
You will need to mix your own berries with pineapple juice, however. You could also add in some lemon or lime to add some zing!
At the end of the day, you are still drinking less sugar than normal soda or juice, so that is still helping you out.
Can be expensive
While cranberry juice is not hard to find, cranberry-apple juice is. Even more so, cranberry-pineapple juice is rare.
Cranberries are not cheap as they are not widely grown. Cranberries are a native American plant, so most of the crop is produced in the US.
Similarly, pineapple is not cheap as it is not a common fruit. It can be quite expensive depending on the season and whether it is being used in cocktails or desserts at the time.
Combining these fruits can be very expensive and may cost you more than you want to pay for a glass of juice. Luckily, you can just buy one of the juices and still get some health benefits!
If you are on a budget or do not like the taste of pineapple or apple, then just get plain cranberry-orange juice to get the benefits of vitamin C.
Helps prevent urinary tract infections
Though this is a less popular reason to enjoy cranberry juice, it is no less important. Urinary tract infections are one of the most common bacterial infections women experience.
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and multiply, causing symptoms such as pain while urinating and discomfort.
Curcumin may help prevent certain bacteria from adhering to the cells in the urinary tract, according to a small study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research in 2017.
This may help prevent infection, the researchers said. More research is needed, however.
Curcumin may also reduce inflammation, which may play a role in preventing recurring UTIs, Medical News Today reported. Infections that keep coming back are called chronic infections.
Boosts immune system function
Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which are compounds that function as antioxidants in your body.
Antioxidants help defend your body against free radicals, unstable molecules that can cause damage to your healthy cells. When you eat foods rich in antioxidants, you’re actually boosting your body’s ability to handle oxidative stress.
Free radicals can come from your lifestyle and diet, but also from environmental factors like cigarette smoke or sun exposure.
Cranberries can help combat these neutralizing the free radicals before they can do damage. This can have a significant effect on your health over time.
In fact, several studies have found a connection between increased cranberry consumption and higher urinary levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that functions as a protective barrier against bacteria in the urinary tract. 2 Other studies have found similar results.
High in antioxidants
Cranberries are a medium to high priced fruit, depending on the season. Because they are not a frequently used ingredient, cranberries can be expensive.
Antioxidants are a group of compounds that include vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Among these compounds are flavonoids and carotenoids.
Cranberry juice contains antioxidants such as quercetin, luteolin, and anthocyanins. These help to protect the fruit from oxidation and color change.
You can find cranberry juice in both bottled and canned forms. The canned versions typically contain more cranberries than liquid, so check the nutrition label carefully.
Just like any other antioxidant rich food, cranberry juice is good for you because it helps remove harmful free radicals from your body. Free radicals can create inflammation in your body which is what causes health issues like cancer.