Cranberries have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal properties to treat disorders that range from loss of appetite to stomach problems. Cranberry juice is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is high in vitamin C. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that the vitamin C content in cranberries even made it an effective treatment for vitamin C deficiency. Cranberry juice contains several necessary vitamins, along with vitamin C.
The USDA National Nutrient Database reports that a 1-cup serving of unsweetened cranberry juice contains 23.5 milligrams of vitamin C, or 39 percent of the recommended daily intake. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, the highest levels of vitamin C in the body are found in cells that make up tissues, membranes, eyes and brain, verifying vitamin C's role in collagen production. Collagen is the building block of healthy skin and membranes. As an antioxidant vitamin, it helps fight and prevent free radical damage to cells which in turn prevents the onset of several diseases, including cancer. Vitamin C is water soluble, so it is not stored in the body and needs to be replaced every day. Drinking a 1-cup serving of cranberry juice puts you well on your way to 100 percent of vitamin C's RDI.
Known as the clotting vitamin, without vitamin K you would have an increased risk of bleeding to death, even from a simple cut. Vitamin K's ability to clot the blood is a life-saving role, but if you have a problem with blood clotting and you are on blood thinners, vitamin K can interfere with your medication's ability to work properly. A 1-cup serving of unsweetened cranberry juice contains 12.9 micrograms of vitamin K, or 16 percent of the RDI. If you are on blood thinners, speak to your doctor before adding cranberry juice to your diet.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin that can protect the body from developing chronic diseases. The National Institutes of Health also reports that vitamin E plays a role in producing red blood cells, maintaining the immune system and protecting the body from heart disease. A 1-cup serving of vitamin E contains 3.0 millligrams or 15 percent of the RDI. An additional benefit of the vitamin E is that it helps the body process vitamin K, also in cranberry juice.
Cranberry juice delivers other vitamins along with C, K and E. The B vitamin family and vitamin A are available, although in very small amounts compared to the others. A 1-cup serving of unsweetened cranberry juice contains 114 international units of vitamin A, or 2 percent of the RDI, as well as vitamins B-6, riboflavin, folate, niacin and thiamin in amounts that meet 7 percent of the RDI or less.
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.