Incredible Cranberries Health Benefits Cranberries are not just a pretty fruit but a nutrient powerhouse. As a functional food, cranberries are packed with antioxidants and health promoting properties. It is widely known that cranberries help prevent urinary tract infection. This is accomplished by preventing bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. More recently it has been discovered that the same properties help reduce bacterial adhesion to teeth, thus reducing the formation of dental plaque. Recent studies have also revealed that compounds in cranberries stop certain disease-causing bacteria from sticking to the stomach lining, thus helping to prevent ulcers. Fruits and vegetables are excellent foods for good health. They contain disease fighting antioxidant phenols. In a study of 20 commonly eaten fruits cranberries contained significantly more phenols than any other fruit measured. Researchers believe phenol compounds called flavonoids, associated with foods such as red wine, help reduce cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate flavonoids work by inhibiting blood clotting, increasing interior blood vessel diameter, and protecting oxidation of cholesterol in the bloodstream. This all leads to improved cardiovascular health! Flavonoids plus other compounds may also play a role in preventing certain types of cancers. Research to date indicates this and more studies are underway. The majority of physicians and other health professionals believe there is a clear association between a diet high in fruits and vegetables and a low risk of chronic disease. Phytonutrients (naturally derived plant compounds), particularly antioxidants, are increasingly being shown to help optimize human health. Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) that can prevent the adhesion of certain of bacteria, including E.coli, associated with urinary tract infections to the urinary tract wall. The properties of cranberry may also inhibit the bacteria associated with stomach ulcers. Recent scientific research shows that cranberries and cranberry products contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases.