Cranberries & Blood Pressure 

by Adi Malik September 17, 2021 2 min read

Cranberries & Blood Pressure 

It may come as a surprise that cranberries are one of the few fruits native to the United States. Every year, from mid-September to mid-November, farmers across the US harvest their cranberry crops in preparation for the holiday season. In fact, we produce so many cranberries at this time of the year that this bright red fruit is visible from space in harvest season. 

Cranberries also have many under-appreciated health benefits (which is why they’re one of the six key ingredients of 120/Life). So in this installment of the Circulatory, we thought we’d share some of the properties that make this tiny fruit so special:

  1. Cranberries are high in phenolic compounds, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. One study showed a decrease in C-reactive protein, which is a marker for cardiovascular inflammation.
  2. Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants. Red foods tend to be rich in them. In one 2011 clinical study, people who drank cranberry juice saw an overall improvement in their heart health, including a drop in their Diastolic pressure.
  3. They are high in fiber. Studies have shown that high-fiber foods may help lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and even inflammation.
  4. Packed with vitamins, most of the time. One cup of chopped raw cranberries, for example, contains 14.6 mg of vitamin C per serving, while one cup of dried cranberries contains 0.3 mg. It’s worth noting that dried cranberries are closer to candy than they are to fruit. Most of the nutrients found in raw cranberries are not to be found in the dried version.
  5. Cranberries also contain other phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation plays a role in damaging blood vessels over time, including the arteries. The damaged arteries then attract plaque, causing atherosclerosis. Phytonutrients in cranberries could help guard against inflammation, delaying the process and offering protection against heart disease.
  6. They also appear to reduce blood levels of triglycerides. High triglyceride levels can result in a hardening of the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease. 

According to Maya Vadiveloo, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Rhode Island, "Cranberries may be a little underutilized. They're not nearly as expensive as many other berries, and at Thanksgiving, the greater variety of fruits and vegetables that you have around – things like stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy – if you're balancing your plate with a little bit of everything, you tend to eat less of all the things and still feel very satisfied.” 

All of these properties have led researchers to conclude that cranberries have a cardioprotective effect. Check out our e-book for more information on cranberries and the other natural ingredients in 120/Life! 

Here’s to your health!

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