Coming home to a roommate drinking some pure unsweetened cranberry juice is not something you see every day. But her mom (and we all know moms know the secret truths of the world) came by and brought her a jug to soothe the monthly woes.

Wanting to see what was up, I did some research and quickly learned that cranberries are the underdogs of health foods. They actually have a number of health benefits I’ll bet you didn’t know about.

1. Cure to a Cold


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Who knew! A cup of diluted pure cranberry juice contains polyphenols which counter free radicals. You’ll also get a good bulk of antioxidants including Vitamin C to fight the cold that came just as your assignment is due. It’s even effective at targeting that sore throat getting in the way of all your cravings.

2. Digestive Aid


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The benefits don’t stop at your immune system. The fiber content and enzymes in whole cranberries are a big support to your digestive system. Our society’s obsession with sugary drinks, white bread and lack of vegetables can lead to a lack of fiber. Additionally, a student’s stress levels can hinder the digestive system from functioning.

So if you’re going to stress eat, why not eat some dried cranberries? Or better yet, amp up the fiber with some whole wheat cranberry muffin tops.

3. Cardiovascular Benefits


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Cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties decreasing cardiovascular risk. The antioxidants also work to decrease blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Decorate your morning oatmeal with them or bake into chewy cookies. Either way, your taste buds – along with your long term health – will thank you.

4. Dental Health


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Cranberries contain yet another magical compound by the name of proanthocyanidin. Don’t worry about pronouncing it, though, just take a sip of some pure cranberry juice and let it work to fight plaque. The anti-inflammatory properties also work to keep your gums and mouth ready for the dentist.

5. Repair Skin Damage


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Yup, back at it talking about that stress again. It’s inevitable. But you can sip away the damage stress is doing to your skin with the anti-inflammatory effects cranberry juice offers. The vitamin C will help refresh and firm your skin while the acid tones enabling you to remove excess oils and unclog pores.  We all know that the upcoming exam season calls for a skin-clearing diet.

6. Lessen Symptoms of PMS


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Last but definitely not least, cranberry juice can do the unthinkable. Next time your period comes, you’ll be ready thanks to the potassium’s anti-cramping properties, which will also help deal with bloating. Along with a dose of manganese to keep PMS symptoms at bay, your period will be that much more manageable.