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Cranberries - a delicacy, medicine or poison?

Cranberries - a delicacy, medicine or poison?


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Cranberries are a favorite berry of all peoples living in the European part of Russia, growing in places where nature could not grow strawberries and raspberries.

It grows on bog bumps, covers large areas of damp forests and lake shores.

Cranberries are famous for their beneficial properties, which have been known for a long time not only in places of growth, but also in countries with hot and dry climates.

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Interesting features and origin of the name

Cranberry is a shrub of the lingonberry family that spreads along the ground. The shrub, which is not very demanding on the nutrient composition of the soil, is quite photophilous, but the main requirement of this plant is moisture.

Swamps, lakes, humid lowlands - these are the main places where cranberries grow.

During flowering, the bushes are covered with flowers of the original shape, similar to the head of a crane.

It is for the similarity of a flower with a crane that this shrub has a popular name Zhuravina.

During the ripening of the berries, the evergreen plant covers the soil not with green, but with a red carpet, since up to 100 berries ripen on one bush.

The berries ripen quite late, and this makes them a delicacy not only for people, birds eat berries, which contributes to the dispersal of cranberries over long distances.

The owner of the forest, the bear, does not disdain it either. Noticing such a love for this berry, New England residents called the cranberry "bear berry".

The cranberry is distinguished not only by its unpretentiousness and resistance, the yield of this plant makes it possible to harvest several hundred tons annually only in the European part of Russia.

Another property inherent only in this berry: the ability to keep its qualities fresh until the next harvest. Inhabitants of the northern regions, for whom it is not only a delicacy, but also a source of vitamin C, keep stocks of cranberries in containers with water.

Features of growing on an industrial scale

Countries such as the USA and Canada are engaged in the cultivation of large-fruited berries on an industrial scale, Poland and Belarus have cranberry plantations, and the Scandinavian countries are also engaged in cultivation.

Mechanization of cultivation and harvesting makes it possible, a feature of the berry itself. Cranberries have air chambers - this is a berry that does not sink in water.

The plantations are placed according to the principle of rice checks: during the ripening of berries, the checks are filled with water, a special technique whips up the water, at which time the berries come off the bush and float. It remains to collect clean berries from the surface of the water.

Useful properties of cranberries

The fruits of this evergreen plant have long been famous for their vitamin C content. The organic acids and pectin substances in its composition are also quite important.

It contains such substances as:

  • potassium;
  • phosphorus;
  • calcium:

Quite a large percentage:

  • gland;
  • manganese;
  • copper;
  • molybdenum.

The main place in the group of sugars belongs to glucose and fructose, a smaller amount in this series belongs to sucrose.

In addition to vitamin C, there are also: B1, B2, B5, B6, PP, K1.

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Cranberries - the berry of health

The beneficial properties of cranberries have been known in Russia for many centuries, traditional healers used the juice to treat scurvy and fever, and treated weeping wounds with juice.

Since ancient times, cranberries have been used as an antiscorbutic agent by the peoples of the north.

From this low-calorie berry, in 100g of which there are only 18 kcal, fruit drinks, juices, jelly are prepared.

And as tea, a leaf is brewed. But not only for the fact that it saturates the body with vitamins, this winter berry is famous, its calming effect and lowering cholesterol have a beneficial effect on heart health.

One of the most effective remedies for treating kidney infections is cranberry, which is a natural antibiotic. The diuretic effect that the berry possesses does not lead to the loss of potassium by the body, as when taking medications.

Youth berry

Those who wish not to age as long as possible or to rejuvenate the body, as one of the effective means, you can advise to regularly use this berry.

Polyphenol is found abundantly in cranberries and is an antioxidant.

Cosmetologists who develop skin care products incorporate cranberry extract into their creams.

A glass of polyphenol cranberry juice contains approximately 570 mg, the same glass of apple juice contains approximately 0.50 mg.

In the fight against cancer

Cranberry juice, which contains proanthocyanins, is also recommended by oncologists for its ability to inhibit the growth of breast, prostate and intestinal cancer cells.

Probably everyone knows the wonderful property of fruit drink to reduce fever and fever. Cough relief is brought by the use of cranberry juice with honey. The berry also has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, preventing the formation of blood clots.

Several studies have shown the beneficial effects of ursolic acid, which is found in cranberries, which prevents arterial spasms.

Strengthening capillaries, reducing gum inflammation, preventing caries, reducing the risk of glaucoma formation - all this is also included in the list of useful effects of a small red berry.

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Who is cranberry contraindicated for?

For all its positive qualities, this winter berry also has contraindications.

Doctors strongly advise against using cranberries in any form for people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Especially dangerous is the use of berries with exacerbations of gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer. Natural acids, which the berry is so rich in, can cause exacerbation of diseases and severe pain.

It is not recommended to feast on this berry (even in the form of sweets with sugar) for those who suffer from gout and urolithiasis.

Teeth and allergies

Dentists advise lovers of cranberry juice to rinse their mouth with clean water after each use.

Such measures will prevent the acid from destroying the enamel covering the teeth.

It is also noticed that an excessive enthusiasm for this berry can lead to an allergic reaction in the form of irritation and a rash on the skin.

Doctors strongly object to the use of cranberries by children under three years of age and mothers while breastfeeding children. To avoid possible troubles, you need to remember a few simple rules:

  • do not eat cranberries on an empty stomach;
  • use berries as a dessert;
  • do not eat cranberries while on a diet.

Fortunately for most people, this berry is a pleasure as a delicacy and refreshing drink, as well as a benefit as a medicine for certain diseases.

If there is no place for this berry in the diet, all the beneficial substances can be obtained by purchasing cranberry extract at the pharmacy. It is released in the form of capsules, taking such an extract will replenish the body with vitamins, amino acids and trace elements.


Watch the video: Cranberries (May 2022).