Being a woman is no easy job. When you are born a woman, it requires you to be everything everywhere all at once. A teacher, a caretaker, a cook, a cleaner and of course much much more. This causes lots of stress to women, and they have no time to take care of themselves. When this situation occurs, many women will have health issues such as indigestion and gastric problems which can further lead to chronic disease such as cancer. Some might also develop urinary tract infection - a type of health problem that is common among women.
However, the Almighty has given women the greatest gift of all, in the form of a small red fruit named Cranberry. Women have used cranberries for their potential health benefits throughout history. Native Americans in North America employed cranberries as a traditional medicine to cure a variety of conditions, including bladder and kidney issues that are more prevalent in women than men, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and other bladder and kidney issues. These are some of the benefits but of course there is much more to cranberry. Let’s read further about cranberries, shall we?
Benefits of Cranberry for women
Support vagina health
Cranberry has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation properties that can improve women’s health. The vagina is home to a delicate balance of microorganisms, including beneficial bacteria that help protect against infections and maintain healthy vaginal pH levels. Yeast infections, which happen when the vaginal fungus Candida overgrow, are among the most prevalent vaginal infections in women. According to some research, cranberries may contain antifungal qualities that can be used to treat or prevent yeast infections.
Support digestive health
Women compared to men face more stomach related diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The reason as for now is still unknown but this problem can be reduced by just eating cranberry! Cranberries may help lessen inflammation in the stomach and enhance the balance of gut flora, which may improve digestive health, according to a 2017 review of the literature in the journal Nutrients.
Moreover, cranberries are a good source of dietary fibre, which is vital for healthy digestive health. Constipation can be avoided with the use of fibre, and fibre also supports good gut flora. Consuming foods high in fibre, such as cranberries and other fruits and vegetables, may also help lower the chance of developing certain digestive diseases such as colon cancer.
Preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Because of differences in anatomy, women have urinary tract infections (UTIs) more frequently than men do. Cranberries have been shown to both prevent and treat UTIs. When bacteria, usually Escherichia coli (E. coli), pass through the urethra and ascend into the bladder or kidneys, UTIs develop when the E.coli is attached to the urinary tract wall.
One of the ways that can prevent E.Coli attaching to the urinary tract wall is by consuming cranberries. Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins (PACs), which are thought to prevent E.coli attaching to the surface by attaching to the wall themselves. It will cause the bacteria to be removed out of the urinary tract and can prevent infection more efficiently.
Antioxidant source that reduce inflammation
Inflammation is frequently linked to chronic diseases, and studies have suggested that inflammation may be a major factor in the emergence of many serious illnesses. As the immune system of the body reacts to damage, infection, or other types of injury, inflammation is a normal process that takes place. For example, when you get cut, inflammation functions to help your body heal itself. However, inflammation can harm tissues and organs when it becomes chronic or lasts for a long time. As a result, chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and some types of cancer can develop.
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, including flavonoids, which have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties. These compounds may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Additionally, these anti-inflammatory compounds can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is beneficial for women who have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer due to chronic inflammation. For example, chronic inflammation is associated with an increased risk of breast and colon cancer. Therefore, by incorporating cranberries into their diets, women can potentially reduce their risk of developing certain types of cancer while also improving their overall health by reducing inflammation in the body. However, it's important to note that while cranberries may offer some cancer prevention benefits, they should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment if cancer is diagnosed.
In conclusion, there are lots of goodness that could come through the consumption of cranberries. Incorporating cranberries into a healthy diet is easy, as they can be consumed in various forms such as fresh or frozen cranberries, cranberry juice, or cranberry supplements. Therefore, adding cranberries to your diet can help you reap the numerous health benefits they offer. So, let's us ladies do our best to consistently eat cranberries everyday ya!
Written by: Alia Adrina Asri
Love Earth Nutritionist
BSc Nutrition (Hons)