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By: Lia Wright
Cranberries are those reddish dark berries that you see in your grocery store that you usually look over when you are in the fruit section. With the presence of strawberries, blueberries and grapes, cranberries usually get left behind. Little do we know they provide us with a benefit that can provide us with relief as well as protection.

When we think about cranberries what comes to our mind? Me, I think of Cranberry juice. That bitter sweet taste I experience every time we take a sip. I always knew cranberries were good for me but could never get use to the taste. It was not a bad taste, but not anything that was inviting or good eating like grapes or grape juice. It was not until I discovered 5 ways it helps your body that I decided to make it a regular part of my diet.

1. Helps in the protection against Urinary track infections- The high levels of minerals in cranberry juice help flush out the harmful E.coli bacteria from urinary tract. These minerals are powerful antioxidants. The acids in the juice makes the urine acidic that does not allow bacteria to sticking to the walls of the bladder and cause infection.

2. Oral Health: Cranberry juice has been known to be effective in reducing harmful bacteria in mouth. Drinking a single glass of this juice is known to inhibit bacterial growth in gums, prevent plaque formation and improve oral hygiene.

3. Stomach Ulcers and Cancer: Besides fighting the E.coli bacteria, cranberry juice has the ability of protecting our mucous coating around the stomach so we are not subject to ulcers and stomach cancer.

4. Reduction in high cholesterol levels: While drinking cranberry juice every day actually increases your HDL level, which is the "good" cholesterol and at the same time, decreases the levels of LDL, which is the "bad" cholesterol. The bottom line? Less clogging of your arteries which of course is better for your heart.

5. Good source of vitamins: Those found in them include Vitamin A, C, B complex, Folic Acid and Fiber. In addition, they are also a source of minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium and Sulphur. But there is more to cranberries than just these vitamins and minerals. Cranberry juice also contain bioflavanoids which help with the free radicals.

So there you have it! Drinking cranberry juice has great benefits to your health. As always, to much of something is not always the best answer. It is recommended that you drink at most 3 glasses of cranberry juice a day. Too much cranberry juice can cause obesity due to the amount of sugar.

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