Cranberries – scientifically named Vacciniun macrocarpon – grow lushly in Northern America and are also known as American cranberry or bog cranberry. Cranberries are functional foods.
Cranberries are used in a variety of American dishes. They are cooked into that sumptuous sauce for that Thanksgiving turkey. Cranberry juice is a popular drink mixed with other fruit juices. This fruit is so useful, why we do not use it all year around.
Powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants
According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry cranberries have high antioxidant activity among other fruits. Other research also discovered that among highly colored berries, cranberries are tops in phenolic content. These phytochemicals and antioxidants are responsible for the berry’s cancer fighting properties. Numerous research studies had been conducted to investigate the cancer fighting properties of this bright red glossy berry.
One study conducted by Dr Neto, assistant professor of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, reported that cranberries are toxic to lung cancer cells as well as to cervical, prostate, breast and leukemia cancer cells. Unlike cytotoxic drugs, they aren’t toxic to healthy cells.
As compared to other fruits, cranberries have the strongest capacity to inhibit proliferation of human liver cancer cells and breast cancer cells. Other studies suggest that phytochemicals in cranberries also inhibits skin, ovarian and brain cancer cells.
How it work
Just how do these phytochemicals halt cancer progression? Scientific studies report that the compounds in cranberries arrests cell cycle progression. The potent phytochemicals shut down the ability of cancer cells to multiply by halting the progress of cellular replication before completion. Most importantly, they induce cancer cells to undergo apoptosis or cell suicide.
Curiously, this same mechanism was cited in one research study – blocking proliferation and apoptosis. Androgen-depend prostate cancer cells were inhibited with cranberry presscake in 10mg of warm water. For inhibition of androgen independent prostate cancer cells and estrogen-independent breast cancer cells, a higher dosage is needed.
Another study reported that breast cancer cells exposed to increasing concentrations of phytochemical extracts increases the ratio of breast cancer cells committing suicide. This phenomenon wasn’t observed in the control breast cancer cells. Moreover, the study discovered a 6 times replication rate in the control than those exposed to the extracts.
Getting the Most out of Cranberries
Eat a handful of those berries whole is a bitter experience. It can turn any hardcore people away. However, you can incorporate dried cranberries in your spinach salad or with other vegetables. Make a marinade with crush berrries, spice and olive oil to flavor your meat. Or we can take one daily glass of cranberry juice with grape juice. The choice is ours, it the perfect weapon to incorporate daily in our meal.
Cranberry juice is sold in groceries and supermarkets in an assortment of concentrations. Some cranberry juices are cocktails mixed. Look for the 100% fruits juices.
If you take cranberry juice supplements, don’t forego your standard cancer regimen. It’s best to incorporate cranberries as one of the 5 or 10 fruits and veggies you should eat daily. That way you’ve got better weapons to beat cancer.