08 July, 2011
Cranberry Juice & Iron
Cranberry juice benefits are well-known. Its numerous antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body and can help prevent a variety of diseases. Cranberry juice is a source of iron, an essential mineral for overall health and function, and can aid in both cleansing the body of too much iron, as well as supplement it with iron when combined with iron-rich foods and vitamin C.
Iron is an essential mineral that enables and contributes to a variety of physiological functions. For humans, iron plays an important role in the transport of oxygen to cells. An iron deficiency starves cells of oxygen and can result in fatigue and an unstable immune system. A surplus of iron can also have adverse effects on the body. Toxic levels of iron can lead to organ damage, which may result in cancer, heart problems and even death. Food sources of iron include beef liver, ground beef, poultry and pork.
Cranberry juice offers a number of nutritional benefits and contains 0.63 milligrams of iron per cup, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Even though cranberry juice is a source of iron, it has shown an ability to cleanse the body of heavy metals, according to a study in a 2011 issue of "Biofactors." Cranberry juice has become an attractive treatment option for chelation. Chelation is the medical practice by which heavy metals are removed from the bloodstream.
Hemochromatosis is a hereditary disease that allows too much iron to be absorbed by your body. Organs, especially the heart, pancreas and liver, are affected by the increase in iron and can result in liver disease and heart problems. Symptoms include joint pain, abdominal pain and fatigue. Typical treatment of hemochromatosis consists of removing blood from the body on a regular basis to reduce iron levels. However, based on its chelation ability, cranberry juice can help lower iron levels and avoiding foods rich in iron.
A sever deficiency in iron can result in a case of anemia. Eating iron-rich foods and drinking cranberry juice can help but is usually not enough to properly restore your iron levels. Iron and multi-vitamin supplements are typically recommended by doctors to fully replenish the iron your body needs. In addition to drinking cranberry juice, drink orange juice when taking iron supplements, as vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron. Restoring your iron levels can take several months or longer, but you should begin to feel better after only a week or so.
It is important to maintain proper iron levels, as too little or too much iron can both have adverse effects on the body. If you feel chronically lethargic, talk to your doctor to see if an iron deficiency is the cause, and if supplementation is needed. In milder iron deficiency cases, some simple changes in your diet could help you feel better. Drink one 8-ounce glass of cranberry juice a day and incorporate iron-rich foods into your meals.
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