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Take Care with Cranberries

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Cranberries may help reduce the number of cold and flu symptoms

Cramming cranberries into your holiday fare may actually be a good thing. Not only are they red, ripe and full of unique, festive flavor, cranberries may also help by supporting cell function, which could lessen the number of flu symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization, the seasonal flu epidemic in the US forces 140,000 to 710,000 people into hospitals annually, with children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems being the hardest hit. This year has been dubbed a doozy of a flu season, with its early onset hitting astronomic heights during the holiday season and a variety of virus variations. Here's how one bold berry may help support the body against this formidable foe:

The Power of Polyphenols: Research conducted in healthy adults during cold and flu season suggests that the consumption of cranberry polyphenols may help improve T-cell function.1 It is believed that these cells may serve as the first line of defense against the flu. Based on a limited number of participants and self-reported data, there appeared to be a correlation between cranberry consumption, T-cell proliferation and a reduction in cold and flu symptoms; however, further research in the area is needed. 

Viral Avenger: Can cranberry juice help to contain the infectious process of the flu? A preliminary cell culture study suggests that cranberry polyphenols can provide antiviral effects. It is believed they do this by preventing certain type A and type B strains of influenza viruses from attaching to host cells and causing subsequent infection. This study, while not conclusive, sets the stage for more research in that area.2

"For over 60 years, Ocean Spray has been committed to continuous research to further support the unique role that the cranberry plays in helping people live healthier lives," said Bobby Chacko, SVP, Chief Global Growth Officer at Ocean Spray Cranberries. "We are proud that we can provide a wide range of cranberry products that make it convenient for families to focus on their health year-round."

Try the following tips that may help your health throughout the upcoming months:

Build up cold immunity – The vitamin C in most Ocean Spray® cranberry juices and juice drinks provides a nutritional immunity boost. Start the day with a fresh and fruity Superfruit Blend Smoothie.

Keep winter weight gain at bay – Toast the holiday season or any celebration with your favorite mocktail or cocktail featuring Light Cranberry Juice Drink. Ocean Spray® Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail serves up the unique health benefits of cranberry, with 2/3 fewer calories and carbs than most juices and alcoholic drinks. 

Drink to your health – Hydrating is important no matter what time of year. Ocean Spray® Pact® cranberry infused water, available in six exciting flavors, can give you the pop you need to perk up any long winter day. Pact® infused water may be the perfect way to help offset those hot beverages you'll be drinking, some of which could be dehydrating.

Boost your fruit intake – Eating Craisins® Dried Cranberries or drinking Ocean Spray® 100% Juice Cranberry is an easy, delicious way to fit the USDA recommended fruit servings into your day. A growing body of research has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.3

About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers in the United States, Canada, and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. Formed in 1930, Ocean Spray is now the world's leading producer of cranberry juices, juice drinks, and dried cranberries and is the best-selling brand in the North American bottled juice category.

The Cooperative's cranberries are currently featured in more than a thousand great-tasting, good-for-you products in over 100 countries worldwide. With more than 2,000 employees and nearly 20 cranberry receiving and processing facilities, Ocean Spray is committed to managing our business in a way that respects our communities, employees and the environment. For more information visit: www.oceanspray.com 

1 Nantz, MP et al. Consumption of cranberry polyphenols enhances human gammadelta-T cell proliferation and reduces the number of symptoms associated with colds and influenza: a randomized, placebo-controlled intervention study.  Nutrition Journal 2013; 12:161.
2 Oiknine-Djian, E et al. High molecular weight constituents of cranberry interfere with influenza virus neuraminidase activity in vitro. Planta Med 2012; 78: 962-967.  
3 Wang, X et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer
systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ 2014; 349:g4490.


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