Why Is Cranberry Juice Good for Your Kidneys?

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The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse officially endorses drinking cranberry juice to flush out the bacteria responsible for creating UTIs from your system. But not all cranberry juices qualify for the job.

Cranberry juice smoothie
Cranberry juice smoothie (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Properties

Cranberries belong to the Ericaceae family native to the North American continent. They are related to blueberries. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, manganese and beta-carotene and are loaded with powerful, beneficial antioxidants called proanthocyandins and polyphenols.

Cranberries
Cranberries (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

How It Works

Cranberries contain flavonoids that target the particular type of bacteria that latch themselves to the urinary tract cells and weakens them without disrupting the normal intestinal flora. The harmful bacteria get flushed out when you urinate.

Two cranberry juice glasses on table
Two cranberry juice glasses on table (Image: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

How To Use

If you have a urinary tract infection are susceptible to them, drink two to four 8-oz. glasses of cranberry juice a day, along with six to eight glasses of filtered, purified or spring water per day. If the UTI persists, see your physician or alternative health practitioner immediately. Untreated UTIs can lead to very serious health complications.

Cranberry juice with melon slice
Cranberry juice with melon slice (Image: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Other Preparations

If you can't find organic unsweetened cranberry juice where you live, buy fresh cranberries and make your own juice using a juice extractor and freeze it. You can also cook cranberries and mix them with apple sauce to cut their tartness.

Cranberries, close-up
Cranberries, close-up (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Tips

Most commercial cranberry juices on the market are sold as cranberry juice cocktail and are diluted with other juices, additives and corn syrup. Cranberry juice sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup will enhance bacterial growth. Make sure the label states that it's 100% juice with no sweeteners or additives.

Organic, unfiltered, and unsweetened cranberry juice is best. The unsweetened juice does have a sour, bitter taste. If you must have it sweetened to make it more palatable, add some organic apple juice to it or use a bit of stevia or Organic Zero sweetener.

Cranberries being harvested in Massachusetts farm bog
Cranberries being harvested in Massachusetts farm bog (Image: Darren McCollester/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

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