Cranberry Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/31/22 •  11 min read
cranberry benefits and side effects

What are cranberry benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are cranberry pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on cranberry benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about cranberry benefits and side effects. This will include cranberry benefits for your health and potential risks, cranberry water footprint and cranberry carbon footprint, cranberry sustainability, if cranberries are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if cranberries are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about cranberry benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Cranberry Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Cranberry health benefits may include:

Additionally, cranberries are…

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Environment

Water footprint: low, it takes 276 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cranberries / 33 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cranberries

Carbon footprint: low, 0.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fruits, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 kilometers

Destruction: low, cranberry production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Cranberries are…

Animals

Kills: none, cranberry production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, cranberry production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from watermelon production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Cranberries are…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Cranberries…

The world’s top cranberry producing country is USA, followed by Canada and Chile.

The world’s top cranberry exporting country is Peru, followed Spain, Chile, Mexico, USA, Morocco, Canada, Netherlands, South Africa and Poland.

Cranberries are high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and antioxidants.

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cranberries are alkaline when raw and acidic when dried.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are cranberries alkaline or acidic?

Cranberries are alkaline when raw and acidic when dried.

What is the pH level of cranberries?

Cranberries have a 7.5 pH level when fresh once digested and 6.0 pH level when dried once digested.

Cranberry juice that is fresh squeezed is alkaline whereas cranberry juice that is processed or cranberry juice with added sugar is acidic.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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cranberries are gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Are cranberries gluten free?

Yes, cranberries are naturally gluten free when fresh. Cranberries a type of fruit berry and not a glutinous food.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

cranberries are not a common food allergen. cranberry benefits include being safe for most.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are cranberries a common food allergen?

No, cranberries are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to cranberries but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

cranberries are a low-fodmap food.

fodmap friendly food

Are cranberries FODMAP friendly?

Yes. Cranberries are a low-FODMAP food and ok to eat while on a low-FODMAP diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Food

cranberries have a low water footprint. cranberry benefits include not requiring too much water.

water footprints of food and products

Do cranberries have a high or low water footprint?

Cranberries have a low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of cranberries?

It takes 276 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cranberries / 33 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cranberries.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

cranberries have a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do cranberries have a high or low carbon footprint?

Cranberries have a low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of cranberries? It takes around 0.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fruits, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

cranberries are sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are cranberries eco friendly? Are cranberries sustainable?

Cranberry production is relatively sustainable. There is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

cranberries are vegan. cranberry benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Are cranberries vegan? Yes, cranberries are vegan.

Cranberries are a fruit and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

cranberries may or may not have labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are cranberries a product that has known labor issues?

At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding cranberry farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Cranberries may or may not have labor issues.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

Conclusion

Cranberry pros include:

Cranberry cons include:

This post was all about cranberry benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Cranberry Farms Learn to Grow More, Spray Less

Cranberries, raw – FoodData Central – USDA

Cranberries – SNAP-Ed Connection – USDA

American cranberries and health benefits – an evolving story

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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