When I was a kid, cranberry juice was a rare occasion.
We often had it around, but my mom drank it for her health, so we kids could but stare longingly at the jewel-colored, sparkly juice…and pester our mother relentlessly for some. The times she allowed us a glass to share, or let us fill up our water bottles with some leftover juice she didn’t need, I remember having wonderful games.
Cranberry juice is an excellent substitute for wine when you are playing medieval knights, and my brothers, -big superhero buffs- liked to pretend it gave them “recharges” when playing tag. I remember once it was the only antidote to a deadly poison. And though I don’t really know that I can claim that about it, in all honesty, science has recently shown some functions of cranberry juice in the body that are nothing to sniff at!
Health Benefits Recently Proven!!
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 human breast cancer cells. 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
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
(Optional) 1 1/2 sweetener of your choice
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 twenty minutes, or until the berries begin to pop. Run it through a fine strainer, pressing the mixture with a spoon to make sure you are squeezing every possible bit of lovely juice out of there. Discard the berries, and return your juice to the pot. Stir in the lemon juice, orange juice, and sweetener if you are using any. Cook and stir until the sweetener is dissolved, and then remove from heat. Let it cool down some, then transfer it to a pitcher, cover it, and put it in the fridge to chill. Ta-da!