Besides being a tasty holiday side dish, cranberries are nature's answer to curing and preventing UTIs (urinary tract infections), a common ailment especially for woman.

It used to be thought that cranberries simply made the urine more acidic and therefore less hospitable to infection. Recent studies have found that the fructose and another special compound in cranberries actually make it difficult for harmful microorganisms to stick to the lining of the urinary tract, making it more challenging for E. coli and other bacteria to reproduce, and thereby reducing the chances of infection.

Cranberry is most effective as a preventative measure against urinary tract infections. Daily consumption of cranberry capsules or pure undiluted juice can shorten the course, reduce the symptoms and lessen the reoccurrence of UTIs. If you contract a UTI and are suffering from pain, burning and itching when urinating, do seek medical attention, which will most likely include antibiotic treatment.

Cranberry works in conjunction with conventional medicine to cure you faster but should not be relied upon as a treatment on its own.

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