Cranberries are famous for their taste and health benefits. However, do they help lower your blood sugar levels? Should diabetics have cranberries? Let’s find out!
Confused about which fruits to include in your diet for diabetes? The list is endless, but fruits have sugar. Thus, it is often challenging to pick the right fruits that suit your needs.
How about cranberries for diabetes? Well, cranberries can be one of the best choices for lowering your blood sugar levels. They are wonder berries that have a delightfully sweet flavor with a tad bit of bitterness. These tart berries turn out to be a superfood that offers a lot more than it lets on.
Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) are loaded with vitamin C and fiber. They are also rich in phyto-nutrients (plant compounds) which are essential for your overall wellness. How are cranberries good for diabetics? Read on to know the nutritional benefits of cranberries and how they can lower your blood sugar levels.
Cranberries: Nutritional Profile
Cranberries are about 87% water and the rest is mostly carbohydrates and fiber. Let’s take a look at the nutritional facts for 1 cup or 100 g of raw unsweetened cranberries.
|100 g of Cranberries
Cranberries are a rich source of several vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, manganese, and copper. They are also rich in bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants, particularly flavonoid polyphenols.
How is Cranberry Good for Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that occurs when your body is unable to produce or respond to the hormone insulin efficiently. Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas. It helps regulate your blood sugar levels by facilitating the entry of glucose (sugar) into your cells, where it is converted into energy. Though diabetes is not curable, regular physical activity and simple changes in your diet can help manage the condition effectively.
Cranberry is one such fruit, which, when added to your diet, can help control your blood sugar levels. Cranberries are high in polyphenols (naturally occuring micronutrients in plants) that help in boosting insulin sensitivity. This helps your cells utilize insulin better and thus lowers the glucose levels in your blood. The flavonoids or plant compounds present in cranberries also stimulate glucose metabolism helping your cells break down more glucose.
How to Have Cranberries for Diabetes?
There are multiple ways to enjoy cranberries.
Raw cranberries are high in fiber. They help in normalizing your bowel movements and lowering your blood sugar levels. Raw cranberries are safe and easy to consume, though their raw bitter flavor may not be for everyone. You can also add them to your smoothies or salads. Limit yourself to 1 cup of raw cranberries a day.
Cranberry juice is prepared from the pressed juice of cranberries. It is rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients that help keep your blood sugar in control. You can choose unsweetened cranberry juice and limit yourself to not more than half a cup, which is around 125 ml. It is considered as a single serving and provides roughly 15 g of carbohydrates.
They are sweet, soft, and chewy and are made by drying raw cranberries. Dried cranberries are rich in fiber and low in calories. They are also rich in potassium, vitamin C, and proteins. These factors make it ideal for diabetics. They can be added to your regular oatmeal, cereal, or muesli. You can have a quarter to one-third of a cup of dried cranberries in a day.
What are the Other Health Benefits of Cranberries?
Let’s take a look at the other health benefits that this wondrous berry has to offer:
Promotes Heart Health
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and they help in decreasing the amount of low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) in the body. This helps in lowering your cholesterol levels and thus reduces the risk of heart diseases. They also protect your heart from oxidative damage.
They promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Cranberries are rich in insoluble fiber that promotes healthy bowel movements and acts as a prebiotic or food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut and boosts your digestive health.
Cranberries are abundant in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that enhance your immunity. Regular consumption of cranberries helps you stay healthy and keeps infections and other health problems at bay.
Controls Blood Pressure
As cranberries are rich in plant compounds that improve the health of your heart and blood vessels, they help control your blood pressure levels. They reduce the stiffness in your arteries and improve blood flow, thus bringing down your blood pressure.
What Are The Side Effects of Overconsumption of Cranberries?
Undoubtedly, cranberries have a number of health benefits. However, overconsumption of cranberries can cause a few unwanted side effects that you should be aware of:
- Stomach Problems: Consuming excess of cranberries can upset your stomach, causing diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, etc.
- Risk of Kidney Stones: Cranberries are rich in oxalates, which can increase the risk of kidney stones. Therefore make sure you adhere to the recommended amounts of cranberries per day.
- Allergic Reactions: Cranberries contain salicylic acid, which may cause allergies in some individuals. It can lead to swelling, itching, and hives.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Cranberries are one of the best choices among fruits for lowering your blood sugar levels. They are wonder berries that have a delightfully sweet flavor with a tad bit of bitterness.
- Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, manganese, and copper. They are also rich in bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants, particularly flavonoid polyphenols.
- Cranberries are high in polyphenols (naturally occuring micronutrients in plants) that help in boosting insulin sensitivity. This helps your cells utilize insulin better and thus lowers the glucose levels in your blood.
- The flavonoids or plant compounds present in cranberries also stimulate glucose metabolism, helping your cells break down more glucose.
- Cranberries are beneficial in promoting heart health, controlling blood pressure, and boosting digestion and immunity.
- Overconsumption of cranberries can lead to stomach problems, allergic reactions, and also put you at a risk of developing kidney stones.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.
Friendly Asked Questions
Cranberries are high in polyphenols (naturally occuring micronutrients in plants) that help in boosting insulin sensitivity. This helps your cells utilize insulin better and thus lowers the glucose levels in your blood. The flavonoids or plant compounds present in cranberries also stimulate glucose metabolism helping your cells break down more glucose.
The recommended amounts of cranberries are as follows: raw cranberries :1 cup a day; cranberry juice: half a cup (125 ml) a day; dried cranberries: quarter to one-third of a cup a day.
Dried cranberries do not raise your blood sugar levels unless they are artificially sweetened. To avoid this risk, dry cranberries at home or choose packaged cranberries with no added sweeteners.
Yes. Cranberries are rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) that allows the liver to metabolize fats easily. The antioxidants in cranberries also protect your liver from damage.
Cranberry pills are small tablets or capsules made from dried and powdered cranberries. They provide most of the health benefits of fresh cranberries. Cranberry pills are suited for people who wish to reap the benefits of cranberries but may not be able to get fresh cranberries every day. Check the ingredient list of cranberry pills and consult a doctor before consuming them every day
Yes. The polyphenols present in cranberries help prevent the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract and kidneys. Cranberries also contain quinic acid, which helps prevent kidney stones.