A Surprising Reason You Should Eat More Cranberries

Do you enjoy your morning cereal with a sprinkling of cranberries? Good idea! The tartness of the berries complements the mild sweetness of the grains. But more importantly, those little red jewels are good for the health of your pearlies.

So far, cranberries have been celebrated mainly for their bladder-protecting abilities. At the first signs of Urinary Tract Infection, women reach for a glass of cranberry juice, proven to neutralize bacteria that live in the urinary tract. But not many of us know that cranberries also protect the mouth from disease.

Cranberries help protect the mouth simply by preventing bacteria from clinging to the surface of your tongue. And if those germs have a harder time hanging on, they cannot possibly feed off the sugars that stick to your tongue, which in turn cause tooth decay. The result: better oral health.

This little-known quality of cranberries was discovered by a research team at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Oral biologist Hyun (Michel) Koo, D.D.S., Ph.D., who led the team, says this bacteria-busting ability is exactly what makes cranberries so good for the bladder. Drink cranberry juice, and it detaches bacteria from the surface of the urinary tract, sending them out of your system.

As most of us know, dental decay occurs when plaque builds up in the mouth. Plaque has a building block, which scientists call glucan. Bacteria use glucan to stick themselves around the teeth, so that they can safely feed on the sugars present there, causing everything from bad breath to cavities.

Koo’s team found that cranberry juice disrupt the formation of glucan, thus foiling the bacteria from fulfilling their plaque-building plans.

“Something in the cranberry juice disarms the pathogens that cause tooth decay,” says Koo.

But does this mean you should drink more of the cranberry juice that’s readily available in the supermarkets? Not so fast. Remember, sugar is usually added to store-bought juice, and instead of helping your teeth, it can actually harm them.

Try these healthy ideas for enjoying fresh cranberries, along with all their health benefits:

  • Chop them up and add them to your plate of fruit salad.
  • Sprinkle some cranberries atop your pilaf. Try them with couscous and pasta, too.
  • Light ricotta cheese combines well with cranberries.
  • Pair cranberries with roasted unsalted nuts.
  • Blend them with other fruits to make delicious, colorful juice. All health, no risk!

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Christine Jones
Christine J3 years ago

Just started eating a cranberry cereal and now have a large and painful coldsore on my lip. The universe does love irony :)

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 years ago

I really like cranberries

Elena Poensgen
Elena P4 years ago

Thank you :)

Franck R.
Past Member 4 years ago


ERIKA SOMLAI4 years ago


june t.
reft h4 years ago

I love cranberries. Any recipe that calls for raisins, I use cranberries instead.

Amy D.
Amy D4 years ago


Catrin K.
Catrin S4 years ago

Not a cranberry fan but the juice is not that bad and cranberries have great health benefits.

Val M.
Val M4 years ago