Cranberries grow in boggy or wetland areas, on evergreen shrubs primarily in northern regions of the United States. The cranberry shrub has dark green leaves and produces pink flowers and dark red, oval berries. Although fresh cranberries can be eaten raw, many people find their bitter taste unpleasant. For this reason, most enjoy the fruit cooked in sauces or juiced. Cranberry juice is high in vital nutrients and has many health benefits.
It used to be a common belief that cranberry juice could cure urinary infections by making the urine so acidic that bacteria couldn't survive. However, experts now know its the proanthocyanidins in cranberries that prevent bacteria from attaching to the inside of the urinary tract and causing infections. This means that while cranberry juice won't treat existing urinary tract infections, it could prevent them from occurring in the first place. Although the research is mixed, some studies note cranberries can effectively reduce the risk of urinary infection.
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