Cranberry tea is made from cranberries, the tart, red berries of a shrub that grows in temperate regions and is harvested in bogs. In recent years, cranberries have been studied for their antioxidant properties, making them popular with health-conscious individuals. Cranberry tea is made from dried cranberries and may contain many of the compounds that are responsible for their impact on health. Some cranberry teas are made up of a mixture of dried cranberries and black or green tea, which have multiple health benefits in themselves. Other cranberry teas blend dried cranberries with other berries or flavors.
As cranberry tea is made from dried cranberries, it retains many of the beneficial substances that are responsible for the cranberry’s reputation as a so-called superfood. One-quarter cup of dried cranberries is the nutritional equivalent of 1 to 1/2 cups of unsweetened fresh or frozen cranberries or 10 ounces of 27-percent cranberry juice cocktail. For people who cannot tolerate fresh cranberries or cranberry juice, cranberry tea can provide a tasty and nutritious alternative.
One reason for the increasing popularity of cranberries is their anti-adhesion properties. Substances in cranberries can prevent bacteria from adhering to tissues in the body, preventing infection. Studies have shown this ability is effective against many types of harmful bacteria, especially the types of bacteria that cause ulcers and gum disease.
The components present in cranberry tea also prevent bacteria from infecting the urinary tract, making cranberries a potent weapon against urinary tract infections. Drinking cranberry tea and consuming other cranberry products may also help cure an infection once it starts, although more research is needed to confirm this. It’s still best to visit a doctor when symptoms of a urinary tract infection are present.
Cranberry tea contains antioxidants that are effective at correcting free radical damage in the body. Free radicals are produced as a natural byproduct of metabolism. When free radicals become too numerous, they can cause cellular changes that may eventually lead to cancer. Antioxidants are substances either produced by the body or consumed in the form of food that can help fix and prevent free radical damage. Cranberries contain one of the highest amounts of antioxidants of all fruits and vegetables.
Polyphenols and flavenoids are potent antioxidants that are present in cranberries. These antioxidants are capable of protecting the body from the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in cholesterol. Thus, regular consumption of cranberry tea has a beneficial effect against the development of atherosclerosis.