I Wish I Had Known Then…
When I was pregnant with our fifth child, I developed a painful urinary tract infection. I remember my husband running to the store late that night to try to find real cranberry juice for me. Most often, the so-called cranberry juice you can buy is heavily loaded with unnatural sweeteners or blended with a variety of other juices to mask its tartness.
Fortunately though, our local grocer stocked a shelf of natural juices in expensive little glass bottles, and my infection was gone by mid morning.
Throughout that entire pregnancy, I learned to carry a bottle of cranberry juice with me wherever I went. I just wish I had realized at the time how easy it is to make high-quality cranberry juice at home without any special equipment. It would have saved me (and my husband) several emergency trips to the grocery store during those nine months – not to mention quite a bit of money.
Keep reading to learn why cranberry juice stops a UTI dead in its tracks, and how it has been shown to kill breast cancer cells within hours.
And from now on, make your own! The recipe is below.
We take orders for organic cranberries each November, in time for Thanksgiving. If it’s that time of year, check our current order form. Otherwise, sign up to be notified when cranberries are in season.
Cranberries For Cancer & UTIs
by Delaney Wofford
When you hear about cranberry juice, many of us immediately think UTIs (urinary tract infections). Who hasn’t heard that cranberry juice is the go-to miracle drink when you need help in that area? Well…some people believed that, some didn’t. My mom did. My dad is a skeptic about everything, so he didn’t. But it turns out there is a very scientific, observable reason that it really does work.
Cranberry juice not only makes your digestive and urinary tracts more acidic, making them less hospitable to unfriendly bacteria, it also has a specific effect on the E. Coli micro-organisms that are responsible for 80% of UTI cases. It makes the E.Coli unable to attach to your gut walls, allowing them to be swept away and out of your system like they should be.
But UTI isn’t the only thing it helps with!
In-house nutritionist at Lifesum, Lovisa Nilsson says, “The proanthocyanidins in cranberry juice have been shown to inhibit the growth of various cancer cells. Studies have also shown that flavanoids reduce the risk of cancer too, which cranberry is rich in.”
In a study from Cornell University, cranberry extract was tested on cancer cells in human breast cancer tissue. It killed them off within a matter of hours. If that doesn’t make you want to take more cranberry, I don’t know what will!
How to Make Your Own Cranberry Juice
2 quarts of water
8 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
(optional) sweetener of your choice to taste
Place the water and cranberries in a pot or kettle and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for around 5 minutes, or until the berries begin to pop. Run it through a fine strainer.
Sometimes I press mine with a spoon to make sure I’m squeezing every possible drop of ruby-colored juice out of there. More often, though, I leave some of the juice in the berries and eat them with a spoon. They’re delicious on their own, but you could add a little sweetener and blend them with a couple apples and oranges for an amazing cranberry relish.
If you choose to add a sweetener to your juice, go ahead and do that while it’s still warm. Then let the juice cool down some, and transfer it to a pitcher, cover it, and put it in the fridge to chill.