The weight loss, detox and disease prevention go-to.

As you may know, I’ve written over 30 books on a number of health topics including diet, detox, women’s health, and anti-parasite protocols since the late 1980s. But, I’m probably best known for “Fat Flush.” Introduced in my first book, Beyond Pritikin — The Fat Flush diet – has grown into a series of books and programs, including The Fat Flush Plan, Fat Flush for Life, and the Smoothie Shakedown.

Most importantly, my programs have helped – and continue to help – countless people reach their goal weight, detox their bodies, and feel healthy and vital.

From day one, a staple in all of my programs has been cran-water, also known to many as “Fat Flush Water.”

Why has the almighty cranberry remained my tried and true go-to for all of these years? Quite simply, because it’s a powerful, wonderful little berry.

Crazy for Cranberry

Cranberries have so many benefits, it’s truly hard to know where to start.

These ruby-red jewels are chock full of important antioxidants. They’re rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, and E as well as folic acid, boron, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and sulfur, all critical vitamins and minerals for liver acidity, as well as for many other bodily functions.

Among the most potent elements in cranberries are polyphenols, a kind of plant-based antioxidant that has powerful health-inducing effects. Laboratories have shown that 8 ounces of cranberry juice contain 567 milligrams of polyphenols—compared to .53 milligrams in apple juice and 400 milligrams in red wine. Just 2 ounces of fresh cranberries contain 373 milligrams of polyphenols, more than much larger servings of oranges, broccoli, blueberries, or strawberries.

These brilliant berries are also vital aids to liver detox because they contain exceedingly high levels of lifesaving antioxidants that provide crucial support during detox protocols.

Furthermore, their high content of organic acids – such as benzoic, malic, quinic, citric, and ellagic acids – have outstanding therapeutic qualities for many bodily functions.

Malic acid, for example, is a potent digestion regulator and helps protect against diarrhea, while ellagic acid has been proven to inhibit the initiation of cancer and reduce your likelihood of heart disease.

Cellulite Blaster

The weight loss benefits of cranberry come from its ability to kick the lymphatic system into gear.

Ideally, our lymph moves through a complex network of needle-thin tubes known as lymphatics, collecting excess fluid from cells all over the body. Different body parts produce different types of lymph: protein-rich fluid from the limbs; lymph full of white blood cells from the bone marrow, thymus, and spleen; and, more important for our purposes, high-fat lymph from our intestines.

Fat is the only food element that moves through the lymphatic system. The proteins and carbohydrates that we ingest go right from the intestines into the blood stream, but the intestinal lymphatics draw fat into the lymphatic system before it reaches the blood.

When the lymph isn’t flowing properly, excess fluid that isn’t draining from our tissues causes them to swell. These bloated, inflamed tissues can add up to 10 or 15 pounds to your weight, and cause you to swell two extra dress sizes.

Specifically talking cellulite, the proanthocyanidins in cranberry strengthen connective tissue by blocking the destructive activity of certain enzymes. They also protect blood vessel walls from damage by free radicals, thought to contribute to cellulite and varicose veins. In addition, they make your capillaries stronger and increase muscle tone in your veins, both of which may help prevent varicose veins.

Cranberries help defeat cellulite in another way, as well. Recent research has found that cellulite contains more water-attracting molecules than smooth skin, which may lead to increased water retention. The phytonutrients in unsweetened cranberry juice have been shown to reduce fluid buildup in tissues.

Cranberry has also been a superstar in gum disease prevention. Dental plaque is a breeding ground for bacteria and other micro-organisms that can serve as precursors to a wide range of diseases. Cranberry has proven helpful to help clear bacteria from the mouths of experimental subjects, preventing this gateway to other infections.

Drink Up

I recommend faithfully drinking 8 glasses of cran-water throughout each day. It’s also delicious to add cran-water to your smoothies.

To prepare, simply mix 1 ounce 100% unsweetened cranberry juice with 7 ounces of water. Multiply the recipe as needed to have enough for your 8 daily glasses easily on hand.

A different preparation option is to put 1 pound of organic fresh cranberries into a large saucepan with 5 cups of water. Boil until all the berries pop and then strain the juice into a container and dilute as above.

Cheers to decades of health (and slimming success) thanks to this Fat Flush staple!

 

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!

52 Comments

  1. Cynthia VanVranken

    Hi Cindy here , can inulin or erithritol be added for ease of drinking or a better taste ?

    Reply
    • Mary

      Hi Cindy, Mary here! I understand your question and the intent behind it. Trying to make the best health decisions, you want to make sure an addition to a drink taken 8 times daily will not affect the intended health benefits. Great question. Seems most folks are in dire need of detoxing today and many unaware they are suffering. As I lift my cranberry water this morning…here’s to your health, Cindy!

      Reply
  2. Ann

    Hey Cynthia V. ,I am standing with you. I am sorry you have to see these insensitive and cruel comments. Seems like some people just like to release their venom. I bet you’re a wonderful,
    bright person who often asks good questions – don’t let them get you down!!!

    Reply
  3. Fabi

    Wow, great info from Dr Ann Louise. Go have some cran water. Thaks Dr ALG for all you do.

    Reply
  4. Cynthia VanVranken

    Thank you Ann I appreciate your support . The reason I asked that question was because a few years ago before those sweeteners became well known it was suggested not to use any sweetness in the cran drink because adding sugar or artificial sweeteners would hinder the positive effects of the cran water so I thought I would ask if these natural sweeteners would be ok or would they hinder what the cran water would do as well .

    Reply
    • Ann

      Good question Cynthia!!! Happy to put in a word of support for you! Thanks for your response – Best, Ann

      Reply
  5. Amanda

    Dearest Cindy,
    You are right. The addition of any sweetener will impact the healthy benefits of the crab water which have been so eloquently articulated in this blog. What is inconceivable is that your innocent question resulted in such malicious comments which clearly have no place on this forum. This is not a political referendum nor a forum for incivility. You are clearly familiar with ALG and her detox principles which is the whole intent of this blog. Thanks for not resorting to name calling and bullying and taking the high road.

    Reply
  6. Cassidy

    Cran water should never be sweetened. I have followed ALG for years and know this from all of her previous writings.

    Reply
  7. Cynthia VanVranken

    I thought this was the case but wanted to ask to make sure because some sweeteners are safer then others but I agree non are even better for the cran water 🙂

    Reply
  8. Ann Louise Gittleman

    For those of you who may have seen inappropriate comments posted here on Ann Louise’s blog, they have now been deleted. Every question asked here is valid and we found Cindy’s question to be an insightful one. Please note that here on annlouise.com we will not tolerate disrespect, incivility, crude language or bullying and any visitor that engages in such behavior will be permanently banned. We don’t always all agree when it comes to health, but debate can be done respectfully.

    To the troll who has since been deleted, it is very obvious to us that you posted all of the comments supporting your original comment since each one came from your IP address.

    All the best,
    Team ALG

    Reply
  9. Connie

    I have been newly diagnosed with Hypothyroid … the instructions I received was no cranberry juice. Will you please comment. I have enjoyed the cranberry drink for years.

    Reply
  10. Team ALG

    Connie: We see no reason what-so-ever why you should not continue with your cran-water. Perhaps your instructions referred to the commercially sweetened cranberry juice which may contain high fructose corn syrup or regular sugar or even a sugar alcohol? In any case, we have had thousands of hypothyroid followers who have enjoyed and still enjoy their daily cran.

    Reply
  11. Sarah

    Do you purchase a bottle of organic cranberry juice with no sugar added? Since the bottled juices are pasturized, is this still healthy and will work?

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Yes it is still effective. The only way to get it unpasturized is to juice it yourself. It can be made from the berries.

      Reply
  12. Kathy

    We looked before & did not find cranberry juice without added sugar. Do cranberry pills give the same result?

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Cranberry pills do not have the fresh enzymes that are so helpful with detox. The cranberry juice can be made from berries. There are directions in The Fat Flush Plan.

      Reply
    • Fairlie Scott

      Health food stores always carry unsweetened cranberry juice – and some grocery stores do also.

      Reply
  13. Shelly Porter

    I am just starting the Fat Flush Plan. Love the book and it all makes so much sense. I am a detail person and having a bit of trouble deciding just how strict everything is suppose to be. My question involves the cranberry juice. I know you mentioned unsweetened cranberry juice, which I have only been able to find at Whole Foods. It is so bitter, but I have been faithfully downing the stuff as directed. (only 3 days into it and already lost 4 lbs. and I do feel my pants are not quite as tight…exciting). Very prepared to continue with the bitter cranberry juice. However, I did read in your book that you suggest Trader Joe’s cranberry juice. I went today and only was able to fine Trader Joe’s cranberry cocktail juice. Ingredients are: filtered water, cranberry juice concentrate, crystalline fructose (from cane or beet sugar) contains 2% or less of the following: coloring, black currant, juice extract, black carrot juice extract, organic natural cranberry pomegranate flavor, with other natural flavors, stevia extract. Is this the Trader Joe’s cranberry juice you were talking about? I know you said no sugar, but I see it is made with Stevia. Thanks for clearing this up for me………….also, can you use salt substitute?

    Reply
    • Kathie

      Shelly I started the bile cleanse and cran water plan this week. I found unsweetened cran juice (100% cran) at my natural grocer store. Juice if 1/2 lemon in hot water each morning and cran water the rest of the day. Hoping for improved thyroid function and better digestion. Good luck.

      Reply
    • Mandy

      Shelly, I found 100% Cranberry Juice at Trader Joe’s last week. The price is only about $3 for 32 ounces. The ingredients say it’s made from whole cranberries. It comes in a small, glass jar. I hope you are able to find it.

      Reply
  14. Jamie

    Can you still drink cran water if you struggle with kidney stones?

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      It’s important to know what type of kidney stones you are prone to forming. Cranberry can help prevent struvite stones and contains polyphenolic compounds that can help dissolve some stones. since it is high in oxalates it can promote stones. The cranwater is diluted so there is not as much of a problem than if you had straight cranberry

      Reply
  15. Mimi

    I am wondering if cranberry juice is high in phytoestrogens? I am very sensitive to phytoestrogens. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Mimi, yes cranberry juice does contain phytoestrogens. This formula is very diluted though so it should be much less likely to cause a sensitivity to it.

      Reply
  16. Tasha

    Started my cran water today. Drank about 32 oz. I am at the he end of the day my back and inner thighs were super itchy and them kind of broke out like hives. Am I possibly sensitive or allergic to it? I did sod the 1 oz to 7 oz ratio

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Tasha,

      Yes it is possible you have a sensitivity to it. Try drinking apple cider vinegar diluted 2 tsp per 8 oz. instead

      Reply
  17. Monica

    I started drinking the cran water with flaxseed each morning, remembering it from a fat flush I did years ago, and also the lemon water. After a few days I realized I was getting burning feelings in the base of my throat. Do you have any suggestions for avoiding this acid-reflux-type problem and still drink the cran water, or would I need to try addressing that separately first? I was hoping to do the 3day smart start while hubby was away on business… But not sure how I’ll fare with the acid problem.

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Monica, do you have the New Fat Flush Plan book? That cocktail isn’t recommended in there. See how you feel on cranwater diluted by half. You can put the fiber in your smoothie or sprinkle it on your food. The cranwater in the smoothie should be ok too. If you still have a burning feeling with the cranwater then switch to apple cider vinegar water, 2 Tbs per quart.

      Reply
      • Monica

        No, I haven’t gotten the new book; I will look into it. I guess I figured that “long-life cocktail” wouldn’t change. (Actually, I didn’t know there was a new book until I came back to look for help for this problem. Not enough time these days to read everything I want to!) Thank you for your suggestions. I did try a diluted cran water without flaxseed, and still had some trouble. I will try the acv, although I would really like all the benefits of cranberries!

        Reply
  18. Team ALG

    Monica, Glad you are looking at the New Fat Flush Plan. It has so many updates it is worth getting it just for reference in doing the plan, even if you don’t have time right now to really read it. Hope the ACV works for you. You could try diluting the cranberry juice again in half and see how that works.

    Reply
  19. suzanne

    Would one or two caps of organic Lakewood cranberry concentrate (or Knudsen cranberry concentrate) be equivalent to 1 ounce of cranberry juice to 7 ounces of water? Would that combination work as well?

    Reply
  20. Valerie

    I’ve found a cranberry tea (usually for UTI or UT health), would this also work, or should it be raw fresh (since I noticed the unpasteurized comments? Just picked up your book, so not all the way through it yet. I apologize if you answer this in the book, and I just haven’t gotten there yet.

    Reply
  21. Team ALG

    Suzanne, Use 2 Tbs per quart of cranberry concentrate in place of the cranberry juice.

    Reply
  22. Team ALG

    Valerie, cranberry tea is not the same. Please get some organic (if possible) Cranberry Juice. You want all the enzymes in the juice.

    Reply
    • Valerie

      Thanks, I thought that might be the case.

      Reply
  23. Candace

    I am using 100% cranberry concentrate from vitamin shop. It seems very very strong when I mix it according the instructions. Should I be deleting this more?

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Candace, the cranberry concentrate needs to be diluted more than the cranberry juice. The concentrate should be 3 Tbs per 64 oz of water.

      Reply
  24. Ashley

    I’m searching for something that will help with pregnancy and post-pardom swelling/water retention. My lil sister just had a baby and during pregnancy her breasts swelled about 6 cup sizes. She’s having difficulty nursing now because they’re so engorged (and her milk hasn’t even come in yet) and her nipples are flat. My question is, will drinking this much cran water affect nursing at all?

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Hi Ashley,

      Cranwater does act as a diuretic. Have her start with 32 oz per day and see how she feels. It shouldn’t interfere with nursing. Also taking vitamin B6, 100 mg per day can help with water retention. It may also be related to hormone levels.

      Reply
  25. Terrie

    I like to take frozen cranberries and blend with ginger, turmeric, moringa and lemon. Are the whole cranberries ok.

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      Terrie: Yes it is ok to use the whole cranberries.

      Reply
  26. Christina Dawson

    Dear Team ALG,
    Is the cran water an everyday thing or just for a period of 6-7 days.
    Christina Dawson

    Reply
    • Team ALG

      You only want to drink cranwater when you are doing a detox or weight loss plan like Fat Flush. This could be a period of time up to several months when you are losing weight. You don’t want to drink it all of the time on an ongoing basis..

      Reply
      • Mimi

        I’m confused. In some places on this website Ann says that the cran water can and should be consumed every day indefinitely as part of a healthy diet. Here you say that it should only be used for several months, not on an ongoing basis. Which is the correct answer? Is it harmful to drink the cran water every day for long periods of time?

        Reply
        • Team ALG

          Mimi, Cranwater is safe but over a long period of time might contribute to forming kidney stones, especially in those who are prone to getting them.

          Reply
  27. alesea

    Hi,
    I also have a question. In the article the 2nd method of making cran water says that you would have to boil that pound of cranberries but in the comments I read that you have to preserve the enzymes. Which is the true answer?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Ann Louise Gittleman

      Team ALG here: Cold pressed organic cranberry juice or concentrate is the best. It does retain the enzymes. Lakewood is one brand you can use. Boiling the berries does destroy the enzymes.

      Reply
  28. Leila

    Hi,

    I’m interested in drinking the cranberry water for general detox purposes. I’m assuming however much I drink, even if it’s less than 2 quarts a day, would be beneficial. I’m probably only going to be able to drink one quart. Also, which brand of concentrated cranberry extract still has active enzymes? I thought they were all pasteurized if it came in a bottle. Oh, I’m sorry, one more questions… How does cranberry contribute to the formation of kidney stones? High in oxalates?

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
  29. Linda

    I’m a little confused. I have been doing the fat flush diet off and on since the first book was published. I thought you could put stevia in the cran water.
    I have always wondered if it is safe for your teeth? It seems like it is very acidic.

    Reply
  30. Team ALG

    Linda, Some people have put stevia in the cranwater. It is not recommended and it changes the pH so you don’t have the same effectiveness as unsweetened. Also you are constantly stimulating insulin release because of the sweetness, thereby promoting insulin resistance over the long run. Cranwater is safe for your teeth but some people do drink it through a straw.

    Reply
  31. Lisa Evans

    I Usually Use Pure Cranberry Concentrate, Use 4 oz To A Gallon Of Water..

    Reply

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