Cranberry juice is a popular breakfast drink, but few people realise that drinking just one large glass of this tart red juice a day could help stave off heart disease, infections, and even cancer. In recent years there has been a lot of focus on men’s health, and I want to point out the specific benefits of cranberry juice for men.
Cranberry juice for controlling urinary tract infections: In 2001 the British Medical Journal noted that consuming as little as 50ml of cranberry juice concentrate on a daily basis was sufficient to control persistent UTI (urinary tract infection), a condition which is commonly treated with antibiotics, frequently leading to imbalances in gut flora and further complications. The Journal does not note whether fresh cranberry juice was used, however, being a clinical trial I would imagine that a proprietary brand was used in order to reduce variables. I would further suggest that using FRESH cranberry juice would be far more effective, due to the higher levels of antioxidants and living enzymes. UTI’s are a nasty complaint, and it seems that it is always the same people getting these infections over and over again, so drinking a small preventative dose of cranberry juice daily is great advice for guys of all ages who want a natural alternative to antibiotics. By the way 50 ml a day is a conservative amount, you can safely drink 250ml daily. From too much cranberry juice side effects will be no worse than mild stomach upset.
Prevention of heart disease: After age 40, heart disease can become a serious concern for many men living a less than ideal lifestyle. Cholesterol just might be one of the most misunderstood compounds floating around in your body, but medical scientists now agree that increasing the “good” cholesterol levels in the bloodstream is a great way to prevent blocked arteries and potential heart attacks. Again the British Journal of Medicine found that the benefits of cranberry juice for men were impressive – by drinking one glass (about 240ml) of juice daily, HDL (good cholesterol) levels increased by between 8 and 9 percent. This is pretty good, when you consider that an increase like this could mean the difference between having to take expensive medication, and being able to naturally maintain your health.
Prevention of prostate cancer: The powerful antioxidant and anti bacterial compounds in cranberry juice were praised in a 2007 study published by the Journal of Nutrition, where it was found that regular juice consumption prevented the infection of healthy cells with the bacterium H. pylori. A growth of H. pylori weakens the defences of cells and entire organs, and often precedes ulcers, other inflammations, and onset of cancer, specifically of the prostate. The benefits of cranberry juice for men worried about prostate health are measurable almost immediately – the study found that within 2 weeks the test subjects had significantly reduced levels of H. pylori bacterium present in their bodies.
So what kind of cranberry juice and how much? Fresh is best, but experience has certainly shown that cranberry juice stores well. If you have access to fresh berries that is great, eat them or juice them – a glass of juice or up to several hand fulls a day is ideal. If buying concentrate, look for an unsweetened variety. Unsweetened cranberry concentrate is very tart, but you can get used to the taste. Alternatively, mix your concentrate in with another juice or use it in a green smoothie recipe in the place of water.
Although you can’t really overdose on most natural remedies, if you drink too much cranberry juice side effects will include diarrhoea and a generally upset stomach feeling, with possible cramps. Apart from the discomfort this isn’t a big deal, just cut back to one glass daily and you should not find any problems persisting.
What about cranberry tablets and cranberry capsules?
If you don’t like the taste, or just don’t aren’t able to drink juice or eat fresh cranberries, a supplement might be the answer. From everything I have been able to find, the consensus seems to be that capsules and pills are fine, and that the cranberry tablets side effects are comparable only to the fresh berries or juice concentrate– that is potential diarrhoea and stomach upset. The only thing I would like to point out is that as with any concentrated supplement, it can be much easier to take too much of a good thing if it is in pill form. The cranberry tablets side effects might catch you by surprise, so until you know how much you can handle use small dose and work your way up.