Scientific research has shown cranberries to be of great benefit. They are packed with nutrients like antioxidants, which stabilise free radicals by donating an electron, thereby protecting the body from the harmful molecules exposed to in everyday life. These antioxidants are recognised as premier disease fighters, and may play a role in helping to prevent heart disease. According to one study, cranberries have been shown to contain more antioxidant phenols than 19 other commonly eaten fruits.
Cranberries have also been shown to contain significant amounts of flavonoids, which have been shown to function as potent antioxidants, and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. This is because these compounds have been demonstrated to inhibit low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’) oxidation, which, when accumulated in arteries, causes atherosclerosis by restricting the blood flow. In the advance stages of the disease, blood flow may decrease severely, or cease completely, resulting in angina (chest pain), thrombosis (blood clots) and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Scientists have been obtaining promising results during research with diets high in antioxidants and other phytonutrients - studies suggest that they may provide protection against chronic age-related afflictions like loss of coordination and memory, by protecting brain cells from free radical damage and subsequent motor and cognitive function losses.