Among the commonly consumed fruits in our diets, cranberries boast some of the highest levels of polyphenols, more than blueberries, grapes, apples or cherries. A new study has revealed that drinking low-calorie cranberry juice may help protect against heart disease and lower the risk of diabetes and stroke. The study findings suggest that cranberries provide a rich source of protective compounds, called polyphenols, which support our body's natural defenses and help us achieve a balanced lifestyle to improve health.
At the start and end of the study, the researchers measured things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood lipids, as well as C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, explained Christina Khoo, Director of Research Sciences at Ocean Spray. Khoo said, "All of these measurements come together to tell a story. The worse off these numbers are in an individual, the more likely he or she will face a health condition like diabetes, heart disease or stroke in the future. Individuals drinking two glasses of low-calorie cranberry juice a day improved across all these measures. It's a change that adds up, and could be associated with a 10% lower risk of heart disease and a 15% lower risk of stroke. Of note, the reductions in blood pressure numbers alone matched those achieved from top-rated diets such as DASH."
The study is published in Journal of Nutrition.