Cranberry juice is popular for its beneficial effects on the urinary tract, but it also can help maintain your digestive system. A glass of the tart, semiclear juice complements almost any meal, making it an easy addition to your diet that provides more than a day’s worth of vitamin C. For best results, buy cranberry juice that is almost entirely natural juice; avoid the juices that are loaded with added sugar.
Some bacteria -- such as the bacteria in yogurt -- are beneficial to your health, but there are even more strains of bacteria that are harmful to your body. Cranberry juice targets and suppresses bad bacteria while allowing good bacteria to do its job. According to Dr. Fritz Francois, assistant professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, cranberry juice can play a role in suppressing the growth of H. pylori, the malicious bacteria that causes most cases of stomach ulcers and creates a risk of gastric cancer.
Cranberry juice can help quell gastritis, an inflammation in the lining of your stomach. Gastritis is often the result of autoimmune disorders, backed-up bile and even, ironically, anti-inflammatory drugs. Though they are not a cure, the antioxidants and flavonoids found in cranberry juice can help calm such gastric inflammation, especially when combined with other medications under the supervision of your doctor.
Cranberry juice is an acidic drink that aids the digestive process by swiftly breaking down foods with high fat content, allowing those foods to move through your system. You also can drink cranberry juice as part of a clear liquid diets—diets often used prior to medical tests such as colonoscopies—because it digests easily and leaves little to no residue in your system.
Some medical practitioners recommend using cranberry juice as a way to ease temporary discomfort in your digestive system, but the operative word is “temporary.” Cranberry juice may be good for settling minor stomach aches or digestive problems, but it is not a cure-all for serious gastric issues. If pain or digestive discomfort persists, talk to your doctor to check for any major medical problems.