A urinary tract infection or a UTI occurs when bacteria invade any part of the urinary system, particularly the urethra. The infection is more common in women than in men due to the closeness of the urethra to the anus. It is now believed that certain foods can harm the bladder and cause UTIs frequently. These foods are very irritating to the sensitive tissues of the urinary tract and also they feed the bacteria strengthening its attack on the system. Let us try and answer common questions related to causes of UTI in females and in particular, discuss the best foods to eat and ones to avoid in order to prevent a UTI from coming back.
Causes of UTI in females
The most common cause of UTI in females, as already explained above, is the shorter urethra. The anus houses escheria coli bacterium and thanks to improper hygiene and incorrect wiping habits, transfers them to easily inside the urinary system. Not urinating after sex and general poor immunity can also lead to UTIs in females. Following factors increase the incidences of urinary infections in women:
- Mechanical trauma
- Structural abnormalities
- Frequent sexual encounters
- Poor hygiene
- Not urinating for long hours
- Improper diet
UTI foods to eat
Many foods are good for preventing UTI and may even be consumed when suffering from it. These foods for UTI strengthen the body’s fight against the infection.Here are the foods allowed for UTI patients:
- Cranberries– Cranberry soothes urinary tract and supports healthy functioning. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, uti is a sign of excess heat in the bladder. Cranberries can cool this heat and eliminate toxic elements. Also drink plenty of pure cranberry juice (unsweetened).
- Carrots-Carrots support the immune function and strengthen the body’s defenses against UTIs.
- Celery and Asparagus-Both celery and asparagus promote circulation. Celery juice can eliminate toxic waste from the body. The essential oil of celery can even be massaged on the abdomen for pain relief. Asparagus also promotes urination helping in elimination of bacteria.
- Lemons-Lemons aid in detoxification. So drink water with plenty of lemon juice. Do not add sugar.
- Dandelion greens– Dandelions cleanse the toxic waste and bacteria from the body.
- Water– Drink tons of water when suffering from UTI. It is recommended getting in at least 8-10 glasses of water to flush out the uti bacteria. You can add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your glass. Also consume decaffeinated herbal beverages, green tea, and lemon juice without sugar.
- D-Mannose powder– This is believed to be a game changer in the lives of people suffering from UTI frequently. For many UTI patients, D-mannose can be even more effective than antibiotics.
- Drink plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Like stated above, cranberry juice is a must for UTI patients. Additionally, fresh blueberry juice can also help.
- Probiotic foods– These are the foods that increase good bacteria in the gut. They help maintain the healthy flora in the intestines and also strengthen the body natural defenses against infections. Top probiotic foods include kefir, sauerkraut, plain yogurt, miso etc.
- Garlic and onions– The antimicrobial activity of garlic and onions (which contain a powerful compound called allicin) is well known. While there is no research supporting the claim; some experts believe that consuming garlic and onions in excess might be beneficial for UTI sufferers.
Fruits for UTI cure
Blackberries, cranberries and blueberries are some of the best fruits for UTI. These discourage the bad bacteria from multiplying in the bladder and are packed with antioxidants. They promote circulation and also prevent the bacterium from taking a hold of the rough walls of the urinary tract. In doing so, these fruits prevent colonization of the Escheria coli bacteria which are responsible for Urine infections. While you can always take cranberry and other fruit extract supplements, you will benefit greatly by eating these fresh fruits daily.
Does Sugar aggravate UTI
Sugar feeds all kinds of bacteria. Excess sugar intake lowers the body’s immunity making it more susceptible to such infections. So, while there is no direct connection between sugar consumption and increase UTI incidences, it is better to reduce your sugar intake. You can use natural sweeteners like Stevia or honey to sweeten your beverages.
Foods not allowed for UTI patients
Foods to avoid for UTI patients are greasy, fried food, tobacco, alcoholic beverages, starchy foods, caffeinated drinks and carbonated sugary sodas as well as commercial fruit juices. Also avoid additive rich foods. These irritate the sensitive tissues of the bladder making it more susceptible to UTI attacks.
Does Milk cause UTI
There is no direct link between dairy and UTI. However, some experts believe that dairy-especially milk- can cause constipation. Constipation, in turn pressurizes the bladder-a fact linked to urine infections. So, limit your dairy intake and see if this changes your uti frequency.
What can cause UTI to come back?
Apart from diet, several factors can cause UTI to come back:
- Irritation producing soaps and bubble baths
- Constipated colon and rectum which pressurizes the bladder, decreases bladder capacity and causes an obstruction at the bladder neck which leads to improper emptying of the urine.
- Unhygienic conditions-wiping from back to front which leads the germs towards the urethral opening in women.
- Not peeing immediately after sex can also cause UTIs.
- Holding the urine for long periods of time.
- Tight pants, thongs and skinny jeans transfer the bacteria to the urethra.
- Sugary and starchy foods as well as alcohol and caffeine intake in excess irritate the lining of the bladder making it easy for bacterial colonization.
If you suffer from UTIs frequently, we know how painful it can be. Now you know which foods to eat and which ones to avoid for UTI. Get better soon!