If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI), you will probably do anything to avoid another one! A UTI is an infection of the urinary system, which is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Urine is normally sterile, but UTIs are caused when bacteria enter the urine. This can lead to a bladder infection (cystitis) or a kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
Symptoms of a UTI include:
- A burning sensation during urination
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Bladder or lower abdominal pressure
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
After a UTI is diagnosed, antibiotics are usually prescribed. Because UTIs are common, prevention is important. Keep reading for the five foods and supplements to add to your diet to reduce the chances of contracting a UTI.
Cranberries prevent UTIs by keeping bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. You can add cranberries to dishes, use cranberry extracts, or drink unsweetened cranberry juice. Cranberry juice cocktails, which have added sugar and other juices, won’t work as well to prevent UTIs.
Like cranberries, blueberries keep bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. You can add blueberries to your diet by adding them to salads, smoothies, or plain Greek yogurt.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C prevents bacteria from growing by making urine more acidic. You can take a 500- to 1,000-milligram daily vitamin C supplement. You can add vitamin C-rich foods to your diet, like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, and leafy green vegetables.
Probiotics contain good bacteria that prevent bad bacteria from growing. You can find probiotics in fermented foods, like plain Greek yogurt, cheese, and kefir. You can also take probiotic supplements.
D-mannose is a type of sugar similar to glucose. It prevents bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract system, like cranberries and blueberries. D-mannose is found in cranberries, apples, oranges, peaches, broccoli, and green beans. You can also take a d-mannose supplement.