Many people think that a urinary tract infection (UTI) is just an infection of the bladder or urethra. If left untreated, it can evolve into something truly life-threatening, like kidney failure.
UTIs are generally caused by the E. coli bacteria that enter the urinary tract and spread to the bladder. While women are more susceptible to UTIs, men can also get this nasty infection.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include urgency to urinate, frequent urination, bloody/cloudy urine with a foul odor, and pain/burning while urinating. If you have any of these symptoms, as well as a fever or nausea, that could mean the infection has reached your kidneys.
The good news is, you can take certain steps to ensure you don’t get a UTI. Eating some foods can drastically lower your chances of getting one.
Top Foods to Prevent UTIs in Men
Studies show that cranberries can be very effective in preventing and treating UTIs. Cranberries contain proanthocyanidin, which deters E. coli from adhering to the inside of your bladder. However, make sure you consume unsweetened cranberry extract or cranberry capsules – the sugar inside regular cranberry juice can make your urinary infection worse.
So, a vodka cranberry or Cape Cod doesn’t count!
Yogurt is a superfood that’s chock full of probiotics, also known as “good bacteria”. Eating yogurt or other fermented foods like kimchi, miso, pickles, or sauerkraut can reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your body.
But before you go and stock your fridge with yogurt containers, check the label. Not all yogurts have active probiotics. Also, avoid buying sweetened yogurts. You can buy plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with blueberries or strawberries.
Beans, Lentils, and Whole Grains
Foods like beans, legumes, and lentils are all super high in fiber, which is helpful in flushing out the bad bacteria from your digestive system. So, make sure your diet contains plenty of fiber from wholegrain bread, beans, brown rice, sprouts, or leafy greens.
Eating these foods will also help you feel fuller faster and avoid overeating. So, win-win!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 plays a crucial role in strengthening a weak immune system, while also reducing irritation and inflammation of your bladder. All these are common symptoms of UTIs, so consider eating fish oil supplements or cold-water fish like salmon daily.
Also, remember to avoid carbonated, caffeinated, and sugary beverages. As a rule of thumb, avoid any processed foods. Eating processed and refined foods can exacerbate a urinary tract infection, which is the last thing you want.
Other Tips to Prevent UTIs
In conjunction with eating the best foods, here are some other proven tips to prevent future infection. These include:
- Urinating right before and after sexual intercourse (to prevent the bacteria from spreading into your urinary tract)
- Drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day (to flush out the bad bacteria regularly)
- Urinating when you feel the urge – don’t hold it in for extended periods.
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