It’s the time of year for cranberries! They start appearing fresh on supermarket shelves to play their role of the scarlet jewel on our Thanksgiving tables, but these superfood berries are so rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins they really need to be part of our diet year-round!
The Native Americans introduced the cranberry to the Pilgrims when they first settled Plymouth Colony, and historians believe this is how they found the way to our holiday feasts. In addition to food and fabric dye, the Native Americans knew the value of cranberries as medicine and used them to treat many ailments.
Cranberries provide us with a multitude of phytonutrients that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits.
- phenolic acids – hydroxycinnamic, caffeic, coumaric, and ferulic acid
- proanthocyanins – epicatechin
- anthocyanins – cyanidins, malvidins and peonidin
- flavonoids – quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol
- triterpenoids – especially ursolic acid
They are also rich in:
- Vitamin C
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Pantothenic acid
Cranberries and Infection Prevention
We are all familiar with the recommendation of drinking cranberry juice as a remedy for kidney and urinary tract infections (UTIs), but recent studies have found this phytonutrient-rich superfood to have a wealth of health benefits. Researchers once thought that the high level of acidity was what prevented UTIs but now they also attribute the proanthocyanin (PAC) content found in cranberries.
PAC prevents bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract preventing infections. This same preventative structure works in preventing bacteria from adhering to other organs of the body as well, preventing ulcers and infection in our stomach lining and colon.
Researchers at the Center for Oral Biology and Eastman Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center found PACs may prevent bacteria binding to teeth and oral tissue aiding in the prevention of gum disease.
Cranberry as an Anti-Inflammatory
All of the many phytonutrients and anthocyanins, flavonoids and phenolic acids found in cranberry play a role in reducing inflammation in your cardiovascular system and digestive tract (which includes your mouth, stomach, and colon tissues). Research shows that cranberry consumption may reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and periodontal disease.
Although the research is limited, scientists are also linking intake of cranberry extracts to improved auto-immune function.
If you’d like to see how to get more cranberry into your diet, take a look at our article, “Yummy Cranberry Recipes For All Year Round“
We use cranberry in our all-natural tooth and gum formula!
With all of cranberries’ anti-adhesion and anti-inflammatory benefits, it’s no wonder we wanted to include it in our 100% natural tooth and gum powder.
Research shows that the flavonoids quercetin and myricetin found in cranberries can stop the formation of dental plaque and prevent tooth decay. While their natural antibiotic activities are beneficial for overcoming gum infections, their anti-adhesion properties help to keep bacteria from sticking to surfaces in the first place. Trials have shown that daily use of a cranberry mouthwash for six weeks significantly reduces levels of harmful bacteria in saliva.
Good-Gums all-natural powder also doubles up as a potent oral rinse As soon as Good-Gums comes in contact with your saliva, the ingredients activate releasing the soothing and healing power of nature. The vitamin-rich formula goes to work straight away bathing your whole mouth in a bacteria-fighting and gum-soothing liquid, cleansing your whole mouth and supporting your body’s natural healing processes.
Please note: The Good Gums formula includes cranberry but does not include any sugar.