Bog Cranberry

Tőzegáfonya

American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), also known as cranberry, is an indigenous plant in the eastern part of North America, which has long been used due to its therapeutic effects. It was unknown in Hungary until the 1990s, and has become increasingly popular worldwide over the last few decades due to the rise alternative therapies.

Cranberry can also be consumed raw, but due to its intensive taste, it is available in processed form, such as juice, dried fruit or as a concentrate, as well as a wide range of dietary supplements from its extract is available.

Its appearance and lifestyle

Cranberry belongs to the family of Ericaceae, approx. 15-30 cm tall, evergreen dwarf, which can be productive for up to 100 years. Its large, reddish berries ripen late summer, from August to September. It produces abundantly, its berries are often yellowish, the pulp has light shades and crunchy, and the taste is acidic. Its habitat is ideally located in a shady location, preferring acidic pH, wet, peaty soil. You can even decorate your own garden with proper care, as it is like a dark green carpet in the garden.

Harvesting cranberries in larger territories can be performed in two ways: either harvesting berries or using a very spectacular and simple solution, with a flood approach. To do so, the berries are flooded with water and they are drowned from the water surface.

 

The tradition of its consumption dates back to old times

Cranberry in America was already known and consumed by indigenous Indians primarily as a food, but it was also a major contributor to various ceremonies and medicines. The first berries were planted by a revolutionary war veteran, Henry Hall, in Massachusetts in 1816, where he started to cultivate the plant for commercial purposes. He designed special sandy beds adapted to the needs of the plant and channels with a water level control system to obtain the best quality and the highest possible yield. By the end of the 1800s cranberry had been grown on more than 1,000 hectares, and in the following 100 years, mechanized cultivation steadily developed. Today, 24,000 hectares of cranberries are grown in the northern areas of the United States, Canada and Chile.

 

What cranberry contains

Fresh berries contain almost 90% water and the dry weight consists of carbohydrates and fibers. The foregoings include mainly simple sugars, such as sucrose, glucose and fructose while the latters cover several insoluble fibers for example pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose, which pass the gastrointestinal tract.

Berries are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, which is the primary antioxidant source. It contains manganese, copper, K1, and Vitamin E.

Cranberry is rich in bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants, especially in flavonoids. It includes the followings:

 

  • Quercetin: One of the most powerful antioxidant compounds, a kind of flavonoid. In fact, cranberry can be considered as the main source of kvercentinic: 100 g fruit contains 154 mg of kvercentinic. Its beneficial effects include the reduction of cholesterol, the relief of joint complaints and mitigating some eye diseases and allergic complaints.
  • Myricetin: Myricetin is also an antioxidant compound that has a number of beneficial health effects on the positive composition of berries. It stands out of other flavonoids due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antiviral
  • Uricolic acid: a triterpene compound concentrated in the skin of cranberry. This ingredient has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and also has a beneficial effect on blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
  • A-type proanthocyanidins are antioxidant polyphenols, which are also called condensed tannins. Their health impact can be found in mitigating and preventing urinary tract infections.

100 g of fresh cranberry contains the following nutrients

Calorie

46

Water

87%

Protein

0.4 g

Carbohydrate

12.2 g

Sugar

4 g

Fibre

4.6 g

Fat

0.1 g

Omega-3

0.02 g

Omega-6

0.03 g

 

Its effects

The beneficial health effects of cranberries are due primarily to the flavonoid content contained therein. These compounds have antioxidant and antimicrobial effects which are most effective in the case of the consumption of this extraordinary fruit in the oral, gastrointestinal and urinary tract complaints. A variety of flavonoids, called proanthocyanidins (PACs), stand out from other compounds, as cranberry has beneficial effects on urinary tract complaints. PAC is able to prevent bacterial growth in Escherichia coli (E. coli) that is most commonly caused by urinary tract infections in the urinary tract.

Most of the studies carried out so far focused on the effects of cranberry on the health of urinary tract, but it has now been shown that the benefits of using the plant are not limited to urinary tracts. Key areas include benefits of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and anti-cancer effects.

It has positive effects proven in the following areas:

  • It helps preventing a variety of cardiovascular diseases
  • It has an antibacterial effect, it has a positive influence on the course of inflammatory processes
  • Due to its high fiber and low calorie content, it can help with weight loss
  • Its extremely high antioxidant and vitamins B3, B5 and C content has beneficial effect on free radicals and slows down aging.
  • It has antibacterial effect, which is particularly significant against E. Coli bacteria due to urinary tract infections, can help preventing bladder inflammation among women
  • It promotes hair growth and helps keeping skin and hair healthy

Source:

Mokhtar Ibrahim Yousef, Dina K.A.M. Khalil, Heba M. Abdou (2018): Neuro- and nephroprotective effect of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract against carboplatin and thalidomide through modulation of inflammation, tumor suppressor protein p53, neurotransmitters, oxidative stress and histology, Toxicology Reports, Volume 5, 2018, Pages 568-578,
ISSN 2214-7500, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxrep.2018.04.006

Michał Bijak, Joanna Kolodziejczyk-Czepas, Michal Blazej Ponczek, Joanna Saluk, Paweł Nowak (2012): Protective effects of grape seed extract against oxidative and nitrative damage of plasma proteins, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 51, Issue 3, 2012, Pages 183-187, ISSN 0141-8130, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2012.05.009

Atsushi Sano  (2017): Safety assessment of 4-week oral intake of proanthocyanidin-rich grape seed extract in healthy subjects, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 108, Part B, 2017, Pages 519-523, ISSN 0278-6915, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2016.11.021

Michelangelo Iannone, Rosario Mare, Donatella Paolino, Agnese Gagliardi, Francesca Froiio, Donato Cosco, Massimo Fresta (2017): Characterization and in vitro anticancer properties of chitosan-microencapsulated flavan-3-ols-rich grape seed extracts, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 104, Part A, 2017, Pages 1039-1045, ISSN 0141-8130,
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.07.022

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.07.022

Anamarija I. Mandic, Sonja M. Đilas, Gordana S. Ćetković, Jasna M. Čanadanović-Brunet & Vesna T. Tumbas (2008) Polyphenolic Composition and Antioxidant Activities of Grape Seed Extract, International Journal of Food Properties, 11:4, 713-726, https://doi.org/10.1080/10942910701584260

Mádi Milán, Szőlőmag keverőmalmi őrlése, Szakdolgozat, 2013, Miskolci Egyetem Műszaki Földtudományi Kar, Nyersanyagelőkészítési és Környezeti Eljárástechnikai Intézet http://phd.lib.uni-miskolc.hu/JaDoX_Portlets/documents/document_14876_section_7291.pdf

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/grape-seed-extract-benefits

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