Closely resembling the blueberry, cranberries are tart red berries that are eaten, made into decorations, and also used medicinally. In the U.S., cranberries are cultivated primarily in two states: Washington and Massachusetts, which is actually the home of Ocean Spray brand Cranberry juice. The medicinal properties of cranberries can be obtained both from the whole fruit and from cranberry extracts.
Cranberry juice is mighty tasty, and when used as a trimming for the Thanksgiving turkey, it definitely lends a certain level of holiday cheer to the plate. But its not just regarded as fruit anymore. Cranberry actually has the ability to stop a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) dead in its tracks, which is great news to the nearly one-third of women who will experience this type of bacterial infection at least once in their lives.
First discovered in the 1920s, eating cranberries actually makes the urine more acidic, converting the usual uric acid form of urine into Hippuric acid, a stronger acid. This form of acid was found to have a strong antibacterial effect on the urinary tract. The strong acid makes an inhospitable environment for bacteria by not allowing bacteria to stick to the walls of the urinary tract. Bacteria need a foothold to be able to replicate and when they do not find one, they are simply flushed out of the body.
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