How Do I Choose the Best Cranberry Juice?
Cranberry juice is a popular drink, primarily due to its many purported health benefits. Many people drink it to help prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections. It also helps reduce plaque on your teeth and is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, both of which may help prevent disease. Choosing the best juice will primarily depend on whether you are drinking it for taste or its health benefits; as without sugar added, it can be a very tart drink.
If you are drinking cranberry juice for taste alone, or if you just want a refreshing fruit drink, you might prefer a brand that has sugar added. Sugared juice usually either comes in concentrate form or bottled as pure juice. Although the flavor is sweeter, the added sugar does diminish the health benefits. Sweetened juice often comes mixed with other fruit juices as well, such as strawberry, which can make for a more flavorful drink.
For maximum health benefits, choose a juice that is made solely from cranberries, without any added sugar or other juices, and one that is not made from concentrate. Many brands made only of cranberry juice are available and some companies sell juices made from either conventionally grown cranberries or organically grown berries. If you want an organic juice, be sure to check the label closely and verify it says organic, as opposed to "natural" or some other vague term.
Once you decided what type of juice you want, checking with friends, relatives or co-workers can be helpful in getting feedback on the best brand to buy. Online review sites that specialize in food and drink are also good places to check, although you should be aware that anonymous reviews are sometimes written by employees or other paid representatives for a manufacturer. Talking to employees of grocery stores or health food stores that sell cranberry juice is also helpful. Some manufacturers will send you a sample or a coupon for a small bottle of juice if you write and ask them for it.
In addition to grocery stores, produce stores and health-food stores, many local farmers’ markets offer fresh cranberry juice for sale. Farmers’ markets are good places to find organic juice, too. If you want to purchase a large supply of juice, shopping online is often helpful, as is joining a discount club; many of the bulk prices they offer are less expensive in the long run than purchasing from a retail store.
I know fruit cocktails aren't the best for health, but I love those cranberry and grape juice cocktails. I've never liked the taste of cranberries but I try to have some of the juice for the health benefits. The cranberry and grape combination is great because I don't taste the cranberries at all. I just taste grapes, so it's perfect.
@burcidi-- I've never made it but I'm guessing that you need a fruit juice maker to get the juice out of fresh cranberries. I'm sure that's the best cranberry juice, but you have to invest in the juice maker.
Can't you buy organic unsweetened cranberry juice and sweeten it yourself? That's what I do.
I buy organic cranberry juice from the organic market. It doesn't have any preservatives or sugar in it. Then I sweeten it at home with a natural sweetener. It tastes great. Cranberry juice also helps prevent urinary tract infections.
Cranberry juice from concentrate doesn't taste good and unsweetened is too bitter. I can't drink either.
I think I need to make pure cranberry juice myself at home, but how do I make it?
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