Cranberry juice has a low iron content. It has only 0.25 mg of iron per 100g. But, we should drink it regularly, as it’s packed with antioxidant compounds!
Health benefits of iron
Iron is necessary for good health. It’s a key component of hemoglobin; a protein of red blood cells that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.
Additionally, iron is vital for muscle metabolism and healthy connective tissue. Also, it’s crucial for energy metabolism, cellular functioning, physical growth, neurological development, and the synthesis of some hormones, amino acids, and collagen.[1,2]
But, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide! It may lead to serious side effects, such as gastrointestinal disturbances, impaired cognition, weakened immune function, fatigue, and low body temperature. Moreover, iron deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of premature delivery, and miscarriage.
How much iron do we need a day?
The recommended daily intake of iron is 18 mg for women and 8 mg for men. Women require much higher doses due to menstruation period.
Pregnant women require even higher dosages of 27 mg a day.
In contrast, women older than 51 years require only 8 mg of iron a day.
It may be tricky for women of reproductive age and pregnant women to get the recommended iron intakes from their diet. They may benefit from taking a dietary supplement. You’ll find a wide variety of iron supplements on iHerb.
What’s the iron content of cranberry juice?
Cranberry juice is a poor dietary source of iron.
It contains only 0.25 mg of iron per 100 mL. A serving of 8 fl oz glass contains 0.63 mg of iron, or 3.5% of the recommended daily intake.
Cranberry juices made of concentrated juice contain even smaller amounts of iron. They contain almost 50% less iron. In fact, concentrated cranberry juices contain only 0.13 mg of iron per 100 mL.
Do we absorb iron of cranberry juice?
Furthermore, we absorb only a small percentage of iron of cranberry juice. Actually, iron of all plant-based foods isn’t easily absorbed. It’s estimated that the bioavailability of nonheme iron (iron in plants) is between 5% and 12%.
Cranberry juice is packed with compounds that bind to iron, inhibiting its absorption.
But, these compounds are beneficial as well. They have potent antioxidant properties!
Can I drink cranberry juice regularly?
Above all, drinking cranberry juice is good for you, mainly due to its high antioxidant capacity! It’s packed with phenols, anthocyanins, catechins, and flavonols.
Moreover, polyphenols in cranberry juice have potent antibacterial, antiviral, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties!
Antioxidants fight free radicals and oxidative stress, which can lead to many chronic inflammatory diseases as well as obesity.
In fact, regular consumption of cranberry juice may help reduce cholesterol. Most noteworthy, cranberry juice seems to reduce the harmful LDL-cholesterol, while increasing the beneficial HDL-cholesterol.
Moreover, it may improve endothelial function, lower the risk of coronary heart disease, lower glycemic responses, have favorable effects on blood pressure, and protect against urinary tract infections.
What’s the best time to drink cranberry juice?
A great time to drink cranberry juice is in the morning. The body will burn most of its sugars for energy throughout the day.
In fact, cranberry juice can help lose weight, as it’s low in calories, and regulates glucose levels.
Moreover, it’s good for you to increase the antioxidant capacity of the body first thing in the morning. Antioxidant compounds in cranberry juice, such as vitamin C, help the body fight oxidative stress. Air pollution, sunlight radiation, and smoking are only a few key factors that contribute to the excessive production of free radicals and eventually lead to oxidative stress.[7,8,9]
Last, but not least, cranberry juice is great for hydration. Athletes and people who sweat a lot would benefit the most.
Actually, the best time of the day to drink a cup of cranberry juice is before/after strenuous exercise. As it’s packed with antioxidants, sugar, and electrolytes, cranberry juice supports muscle recovery.
Other foods high in iron
In addition, drinking certain fruit juices could help meet our daily iron needs. Prune and raspberry juices have the richest iron content.