A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract or the bladder that stores urine. The classic symptoms of a UTI are pain while urination, difficulties in urinating and a burning sensation in the urethra. A severe infection may also be accompanied by fever. In most cases, a urinary tract infection is treated with the help of antibiotics since bacteria cause the infection. Did you, however, know that a UTI could be easily treated and prevented with the help of dietary measures? Here are some fabulous diet remedies and tips to prevent UTI.
Diet for UTI
While water is not a diet remedy, it should be consumed in conjunction with other foods. Water is the single most important constituent that helps to prevent and treat UTIs. Water helps to flush out and eliminate harmful toxins. Water is the medium through which the kidneys flush out urea and other toxic substances from the body.
If you do not drink enough water, there will be minimal urinary output. Your urine will be highly toxic and will also promote the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract, which ultimately leads to infections. Make sure you take in at least 8-10 glasses of water every day to help prevent an UTI.
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Drink plenty of fresh and unsweetened fruit juices throughout the day along with water. Fruit juices not only contain vital minerals and vitamins that raise your immunity against infections but also contain anti-oxidants that have disease-fighting properties. These along with water help to dilute the urine, increase urinary output and help to flush out harmful bacteria.
A homemade herbal tea like green tea, chamomile tea or plain ginger tea is another good liquid alternative for preventing the occurrence of an UTI. Do not have several cups because tea can also be a diuretic. A couple of cups of tea in a day are more than enough to maintain adequate urine output.
Cranberries are supposed to be the cure all remedy for treating urinary tract infections. Most doctors recommend that patients have at least two big glasses of cranberry juice daily if they are suffering from UTI or are susceptible to the condition. Cranberries have compounds that prevent the bacteria from sticking to the bladder and the urethral opening, thus preventing the occurrence of an UTI.
Other berries that are beneficial for prevention of UTI are blueberries and strawberries. They too are potent sources of anti-oxidants and can virtually keep you disease free. Berries are said to contain tannin that prevents the bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder, thus preventing an infection.
Greens like celery and dandelions act as diuretics thus allowing the passage of fluid from the cells and flushing them from the body. Eating enough greens will ensure that you remain toxin free, as your urinary output will automatically increase. Make sure you also drink enough water while consuming greens so that you can compensate for the fluid loss.
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that are found in the bladder and the gut. These maintain bladder and intestinal flora and prevent the growth of harmful, disease causing bacteria.
Make sure you take enough of these beneficial bacteria in the form of curd. Curd is one of the best sources of probiotics. Have 2-3 bowlfuls of curd everyday to get a daily dose of probiotics. These will help to prevent the occurrence of urinary tract infections.
Fibre and Whole Grains
Consume a large quantity of fibre in the form of nutritious and wholesome whole grains. These are found in nuts, fruits and oats, which are all full of fibre. Fibre is not only vital for digestion but also provokes an acidic response in the body. This acidic response prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the body. So make sure you consume enough fibre in the day to prevent bacterial infections in the body.
Consume a lot of garlic in your food. Sprinkle it liberally in your salads and puree it into your curries. You can also have garlic raw though the taste can be quite potent. Garlic has been revered since time immemorial for its disease fighting properties and abilities. You can also take garlic capsules in conjunction with other medications if you are suffering from an UTI.
Papaya is an excellent fruit for aiding digestion and allowing the stomach and kidneys to eliminate wastes from the body. It keeps the excretory systems of the body working smoothly and efficiently. Try to have one small bowl of papaya everyday along with other fruits for best results.
Cheese and Milk
Along with curd, certain varieties of cheeses and low fat milk are excellent dietary choices to prevent the occurrence of an urinary tract infection in the body. Aim to have at least 3-4 servings of low fat dairy along with your other meals.
Foods to Avoid
There are some foods that you should definitely say no to. These include saturated fat and Trans fats found in cookies, cakes, pizzas and pastries. Avoid all forms of refined flour and sugar. These foods are heavy on the system, have no nutritional value and do not do a very good job in flushing out wastes and other toxins from the body. They also encourage the growth of bacteria in the body, which could lead to a higher spate of urinary tract infections.
Other Diet Tips
When you are consuming the above foods, there are some important tips to be kept in mind. For example, try to get hold of raw and freshly made cranberry juice though it is slightly difficult to procure. Nobody yet knows whether store brought cranberry juices are very effective or not.
When you are consuming yoghurt, make sure it is natural and not sweetened or flavoured as sweetened yoghurt may actually help the bad bacteria to grow and flourish. Stick to natural and organic foods as much as you can as they have a higher chance of giving your body the necessary immunity and warding off urinary tract infections.