Is Cranberry Juice Good For Diabetes?

Superfood cranberry is a part of many juices, sauces, and desserts because of its very strong and sour taste. It is called a superfood because of its wonderful nutritional profile. Due to their nutrients, it has multiple health benefits that promote overall health. Although we’ve heard the name of this tiny fruit many times, still we know very little about its benefits and advantages.

What is Cranberry?

Cranberries are tiny, red, round-shaped berries with a very strong sour taste. It can’t be eaten raw because of its sourness so majorly it is used as dried or in juices. One of the most common varieties is Vaccinium macrocarpon and it is cultivated in North America. It is a major producer of cranberries. Cranberries are known as a superfood as they are packed with powerful antioxidants and other nutrients. It also has many medicinal uses.

Cranberry Juice and Diabetes

cranberry for diabetics

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance. It is a condition where the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or the body can’t use the produced insulin. This leads to high sugar levels in the body. Eating habits play a vital role in controlling these sugar spikes. So having a diabetic-friendly diet is advisable for people with type 2 diabetes to manage their diabetes.

Cranberries are such foods that help to lower the sugar levels in the body. So consuming cranberries for diabetics is considered a good option. This fruit is a rich source of polyphenols which increases insulin sensitivity. It promotes the optimum use of insulin in the body to keep sugar levels under control. Apart from these some plant compounds like flavonoids also help in the metabolism of glucose that manages glucose usage.

It is also a high-fiber food that slows the digestion and absorption of glucose into the bloodstream along with improving insulin sensitivity. Therefore it does not spike sugar levels. Although raw cranberries are sour so not everyone prefers eating them raw so dried cranberries are good options. Cranberry sugar-free juice is also a good option. Diabetics should avoid sweetened or packed cranberries as they can increase the sugar. Furthermore, it is also a matter of concern how much sugar cranberry juice contains. It can have up to 12gm of sugars which is not ideal for diabetics so unsweetened juice or dried cranberries are “good to go” for diabetics instead of juices. Cranberry juice can have some adverse effects on diabetics.

Nutritional Value of Cranberry

Cranberries are high in antioxidants and other nutrients, making them a good choice to add to your diet. It is rich in antioxidants, water & fiber. It has multiple nutrients like protein, vitamins C, B, E, and K, minerals, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, etc. Almost 90% of the fruit contains water.

This table represents several nutrients and their amounts present in half a cup of a serving of cranberry:

Nutritional Value of Cranberry
Nutrients (in half a cup serving of cranberry) Its amount
Calories 25 kcal
Fat 0.07 grams
Proteins 0.25 grams
Carbs 6.6 gram
Fiber 2 gram
Calcium 4.4 milligrams(mg)
Iron 0.12 mg
Magnesium 3.3
Phosphorus 6 mg
Potassium 44 mg
Sodium 1.1 mg
Zinc 0.05 mg
Vitamin C 7.7 mg
Folate 0.5 micrograms (mcg) DFE
Vitamin A 35 international units (IU)
Vitamin E 0.72 mg
Vitamin K 2.75 mcg

Other than these essential nutrients, it also contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3 & B6. Since it is packed with multiple antioxidants, it prevents various chronic health conditions including heart diseases, diabetes, urinary tract infection, and cancers, improves eyesight, boosts immunity, etc.

Glycemic Index of Cranberry

Cranberries have different glycemic indexes based on the way they are consumed. Fresh or raw cranberries have a GI of 42 which is a low glycemic index and is considered a safe food for diabetes. Whereas, cranberry juice has a 59 glycemic index. In Addition, if you consumed sweetened cranberry then its GI is slightly higher than the raw one and it is 64 which falls into the medium GI category.

The glycemic load of cranberries is as low as 5.5.

Is Cranberry Good for People with Diabetes?

Cranberry is a low GI food with polyphenol plant micronutrient that improves insulin sensitivity therefore it is a good choice for people with diabetes. It does not spike blood sugar levels. It also contains fiber that slows down the breakage of glucose from the food. Thus glucose slowly releases into the bloodstream and controls the blood sugar levels in the body. This tiny food is also a home for some essential plant compounds like flavonoids that regulate glucose metabolism resulting in controlled blood glucose levels.

Unsweetened cranberry juice is also a good option for sugar control as it is low in carb content with high polyphenols. So cranberry fruits raw or cranberry juice both are good for people with diabetes, especially unsweetened. However, sugar in cranberry juice can be up to 12grams which is not advisable for diabetics so diabetics should prefer dried cranberries.

Also Read: Health Benefits of Ginger for Diabetes Patients

Health Benefits of Cranberry

cranberry juice in a crystal glass

Cranberry nutrition has a large spectrum from antioxidants to vitamins & minerals. The major antioxidants in cranberries are Vitamin C, polyphenol, flavonoid, Myricetin, Peonidin, Quercetin, Ursolic acid, and A-type proanthocyanidins. It is a rich source of fiber which includes pectin, cellulose, and hemicellulose along with water that promotes overall well-being. Let’s read more about the health benefits of cranberry:

Promotes Heart Health

Cranberry’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties support heart health in many ways. It reduces bad cholesterol LDL and increases good cholesterol HDL in the body. Regular intake of cranberry juice over time promotes the production of HDL. In addition, it regulates blood pressure and reduces inflammation in the blood vessels. It keeps a smooth blood flow by preventing vessels from homocysteine which ultimately maintains good blood flow. These collective health benefits promote heart health and prevent multiple cardiovascular conditions like stroke, heart attack, etc.

Also Read: Reverse your Diabetes Naturally without Medicines

Superfood for Diabetes

Yes! It is a superfood for a diabetic diet. Cranberry is a low GI food with polyphenol plant micronutrient that improves insulin sensitivity therefore it is a good choice for people with diabetes. It does not spike blood sugar levels. It also contains fiber that slows down the breakage of glucose from the food. Thus glucose slowly releases into the bloodstream and controls the blood sugar levels in the body. This tiny food is also a home for some essential plant compounds like flavonoids that regulate glucose metabolism resulting in controlled blood glucose levels. Unsweetened cranberry juice is also a good option for sugar control as it is low in carb content with high polyphenols. So cranberry fruits raw or cranberry juice both are good for people with diabetes. Furthermore, its fiber also reduces obesity that prevents type 2 diabetes.

Prevents Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Preventing UTIs is one of the biggest health benefits of cranberry consumption. Urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection caused by E.Coli bacteria that affects the bladder wall or urinary tract. Women are prone to have urinary tract infections. Eating cranberry supplements or cranberry juice can minimize the risk of UTI. The reason why cranberries are good for UTI prevention is the presence of a compound called A-type proanthocyanidins or condensed tannins. This helps to reduce the possibility of having recurring UTIs, it’s not a treatment but prevention.

Also Read: Side Effects of Chia Seeds

Prevents Gastric Ulcers and Stomach Cancer

The presence of A-type proanthocyanidins in cranberries helps to prevent ulcers and stomach cancer. The major reason for stomach cancer is H.pylori bacteria which grows on the walls of the stomach. Some studies show that having cranberry juice or supplements reduces the risk of stomach cancer and ulcers.

Boosts Digestive Health

Cranberry is a fruit that promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut and acts as a probiotic. Also, it is a high-fiber food that contains insoluble fibers like pectin, cellulose, and hemicellulose. These insoluble fibers help to promote overall digestive health by improving bowel movements. It also helps to prevent indigestion and constipation.

Also Read: Glucobay-50 Dosage and Side Effects

Boosts Immunity

cranberry in bowl and its juice in glass

Cranberry is a rich source of many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that strengthen the immune system. It prepares the body to fight against various infections. Regular consumption of cranberry makes immunity strong.

Weight Management

Cranberry juice also helps in weight loss. It reduces fat from the body and minimizes the risk of obesity. Regular consumption of a fiber-rich diet keeps you full for a longer time than curbs your unnecessary and untimely hunger.

Also Read: Homeopathy Medicines to Control Your Diabetes

Good for Maintaining Blood Pressure

Do you know one of the pivotal roles of cranberry fruit or juice is keeping blood pressure under the normal range?

Its anthocyanin compound regulates blood pressure by making arteries relaxed. Furthermore, it also reduces LDL bad cholesterols from the arteries allowing smooth blood circulation that manages blood pressure.

Natural Source of Omega 3-Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids can not be produced by the body so we have to depend on the external source for them. Cranberry is one of the good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. It is essential for better heart and brain health.

Also Read: Madhunashini Vati For Diabetes Patients

Ways to Eat Cranberries

recipes of cranberry

Cranberries can be eaten in multiple ways but the safest and healthiest way of eating cranberries is raw as a whole. Although its strong sour taste can be unappetizing for many but availing its all benefits through raw cranberries is the best. Other ways of adding cranberries to your diet are:

  • Add to your salads to make them healthy and palatable snack
  • Mix in some smoothies to enjoy its benefits in a tasty way
  • Can be used in sauce
  • To make oatmeal and cereals tasty, add cranberries to them.
  • You can also add them to pies, cookies, and muffins.
  • Try to have unsweetened cranberry juice for more benefits
  • To add some flavor, it can be added to some other juices or mocktails.

Side-Effects of Cranberries

As we discussed above, a raw intake of cranberries or unsweetened cranberry juice is the best way to enjoy this superfood but still, there are some drawbacks or side effects of eating cranberries. There are certain cases where cranberry is not advisable to include in your diet. Such cases are:

  • Excessive consumption of cranberries can be bad for your gut health or stomach. It can cause an upset stomach and lead to diarrhea.
  • People with kidney stone conditions should avoid cranberry intake as it can worsen the situation. Kidney stone is the outcome of the accumulation of oxalates and since cranberries contain oxalates it can increase the risk of severity.
  • Some people have allergies to certain acids. Cranberries have salicylic acid that can lead to allergies like runny nose, itching, or skin rashes.

Also Read: Jaggery For Diabetes Patients

Conclusion

In nutshell, this superfood has multiple health benefits ranging from good heart to diabetes management, prevention of UTIs, and certain cancers, boosts immunity, and regulates blood pressure. This tiny fruit from the blueberry family possesses these positive impacts because of its unbeatable nutritional profile. It is high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that encourage overall health. So include this magic food in your diet for healthy living with keeping amounts, ways to consume, and allergies in mind.

Also Read: C-Reactive Protein Test for Diabetes Patients

Reference

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/cranberries
https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-cranberries

FAQs:

How many cranberries should a diabetic eat?

For diabetics, an ideal quantity of cranberry is one cup and if you are taking its juice, it should not be more than 125ml that is unsweetened preferably.

When should I drink Cranberry juice?

Cranberries are packed with multiple antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for a healthy body and organs. Cranberry juice intake provides several health benefits and the best time to drink it is morning. It gives its best result on an empty stomach.

How do cranberries help prevent UTIs?

Preventing UTIs is one of the biggest health benefits of cranberry consumption. Urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection caused by E.Coli bacteria that affects the bladder wall or urinary tract. Women are prone to have urinary tract infections. Eating cranberry supplements or cranberry juice can minimize the risk of UTI. The reason why cranberries are good for UTI prevention is the presence of a compound called A-type proanthocyanidins or condensed tannins. This helps to reduce the possibility of having recurring UTIs, it’s not a treatment but prevention.

What are the major health benefits of Cranberry?

Cranberry has a plethora of benefits that serve multiple health corners. It is one of the major foods to contain various powerful antioxidants, essential to reduce risks of chronic conditions. It regulates blood pressure that leads to a healthy heart, prevents urinary tract infections, boosts immunity, is good for the digestive system, encourages diabetes management, prevents the growth of certain cancers, etc.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 

Disclaimer

The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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