Forgot to pee after woohoo? Girls, we’ve all been there and it’s serious business. That fear of going to the bathroom and feeling that familiar burning sensation of a urinary tract infection coming on. It makes you cringe as your eyes tear up and it may also have you loathing the male species a little bit, as you throw back on your pajamas and trudge back to bed in wait for things to inevitably get very bad, very fast.
We all know how you avoid getting one – either abstaining from or emptying our bladder immediately after sex. And drinking lots of water to help flush out bacteria and using kind and gentle products in the genital region. But it still doesn’t help when you’ve found it’s too late.
The statistics aren’t great when it comes to UTIs either. Apparently one in every two women are as risk of getting at least one UTI in their lifetime, and one in five women between the ages of 20 and 65 will suffer at least one UTI attack each year. Some women even have repeated UTI infections that can last for years at a time and we all need to be vigilant because these infections can spread to the kidneys and get much more serious than just the dreadful pain you feel from a UTI.
Generally, antibiotics are prescribed to cure this infection but this treatment has several downsides. Antibiotics resistance looms as a result of prolonged use and antibiotics are also detrimental to the intestinal flora. So what are the alternatives? There are actually quite a few and it’s amazing how easy it is to avoid these insidious infections by just following the right diet. Read on for 6 totally useful and effective natural UTI remedies and buffers.
1. Drink More Water
Whether you’ve experienced the excruciating pain of a UTI or not, I’m pretty sure I speak for all women when I say we’re willing to do anything to prevent them. But I bet you didn’t think that a change in diet could be just what the doctor ordered. I think it goes without saying that the first step to take for one of the most effective natural UTI remedies, if you’re not already doing so, is to get chugging on that H20! We should all be keeping hydrated, but as well as hydration, drinking enough water helps to flush unwanted bacteria from our bladder and urinary tract. This is the easiest step you can take to prevent a UTI from developing, try our fruit-infused water recipes too!
2. Take Probiotics
Another food to incorporate into your lifestyle is a probiotic. They help with digestion, nutrient absorption and they’re vital for maintaining a balance between the good and bad bacteria within our bodies. As probiotics can kill bad bacteria, it’s been suggested that the use of them are an extremely effective and healthy way to prevent UTI’s. Whilst you can take a probiotic supplement (we recommend Garden of Life’s RAW Probiotics), I’d suggest adding in foods such as natural yogurt or fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefit, kimchi or kombucha.
3. Take Your Daily Dose of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is our publisher’s personal go-to and I will explain why. Manuka Honey is honey made from the nectar of the flowering Manuka tree, which is native to, and grows only in New Zealand It is known to be extraordinarily effective in fighting off bacteria while keeping harmless and useful bacteria unharmed. Moreover, and unlike other honey, it can be diluted while still maintaining its antibacterial activity. In our publisher’s case, when two rounds of powerful antibiotics didn’t hold a candle to her UTI, a couple of spoonfuls a day of Manuka magic did battle and won! And she went from chronic to non-existent as well.
Have a spoonful a day and you will build up your resistance to bad bacterial in your body.Give Manuka honey a try by incorporating it into your daily routine: from toast and tea to oatmeal or a smoothie sweetener, the possibilities are endless! And to have a little fun, slather on your face a few times a week as a powerful anti-bacterial face mask that is both edible and relatively inexpensive.
4. Eat Cranberries & Blueberries
I think the most popular food we reach for when suffering with a UTI is the cranberry juice. It’s been used for years to help combat the acidity of a painful infection and help to ease the pain. But it might be beneficial to start adding it into your diet and not just when suffering. Epicatechin, a natural antioxidant found in cranberries, helps to prevent bacteria from attaching to human cells, so they’re flushed out of the body as the infection starts to take place. If you’re drinking cranberry juice, be sure to buy unsweetened as you don’t want a drink full of sugar. Failing that, simply snack on whole cranberries or add them to your breakfast.
Just like cranberries, blueberries contain the very same compounds as cranberries that work the same way to prevent bacteria from sticking to cells in the urinary tract; meaning they too will help to flush before infection takes place. But blueberries are also packed with antioxidants that can help to calm the inflammation caused in the urinary tract when fighting a UTI. So get snacking on those bluebs!
Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
A quick and easy recipe that is both cost-effective and easy to make. You can enjoy this as a cool snack or as an evening dessert. Either way it’s loaded with both blueberries and yogurt which both work to help keep UTI’s at bay. Be careful to choose a yogurt with live cultures in them.
Get the recipe here.
5. Eat Vitamin A & Vitamin C Rich Foods
Whilst Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy eyesight, a well functioned immune system as well as a healthy reproductive system, it’s also vital for helping organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys function properly. Alongside all of that, vitamin A can also help reduce the risk of recurrent UTI’s, which is great news if you’re one of those unfortunate souls that suffers continuously. It’s also pretty easy to pack vitamin A into our diet by eating foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, cantaloupe melon, red bell peppers and apricots.
Alongside vitamin A, vitamin C is pretty beneficial to our diet when it comes to UTI’s. Consuming large portions of vitamin C can help our urine become more acidic which becomes hostile to bacteria. It also helps to reinforce our body’s immune system, keeping it in top condition for fighting infections. Acidic fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and lemons and limes are all doses of vitamin C, so don’t be afraid to eat them. Lemons and limes especially work to alkalise the body and can work to prevent UTI’s. However, if you’re already suffering with one, you may want to ditch the citrus as it may irritate the bladder which will already be sensitive.
Get healthy doses of vitamin C from foods such as yellow and red bell peppers, papaya, kale, broccoli and guava fruit.
Sweet Potato Salad
This sweet potato salad is a mix of both vitamin A and C. For me, a salad is a meal that has depth, and this salad mirrors that. There’s no mass of leafy greens and little else. This is healthy and wholesome, and is going to leave you feeling satisfied and your body nourished. Feel free to serve it on a bed of kale for an extra dose of vitamins and to also get some more greens into your diet.
Get the recipe here.
6. Eat More Cinnamon
Cinnamon packs a gigantic punch and beats 25 other herbs and spices when it comes down to its antioxidant levels. Cinnamon has been hailed for years with its ability to reduce inflammation, so it makes sense that cinnamon can be used to help dampen pain.
Even the smallest dose of cinnamon has been proven to kill several types of bad bacteria, this includes E. coli,, the bacteria that is said to be responsible for 90& of UTI’s. It works to prevent the growth of E. coli whilst simultaneously having no toxic effects on the cells of our bladder.
It’s super easy to incorporate cinnamon into your daily diet, mainly because a little sprinkle adds a lot of life to anything! Whether you add it into a smoothie, sprinkle some on a chopped apple or re-create apple pie oatmeal it will be delicious and rewarding. I also love adding cinnamon to my tea, It adds a little kick without the need for sugar.
Crisp Raw Apple Pie
If I’m going to have an excuse to use cinnamon for a medical reason, you know damn right I’m going to use it to make an apple pie. Although this is a slightly healthier take on the traditional apple pie dessert that comes laden with spoonfuls of sugar. Raw foods are great and very refreshing and they give our bodies a break when it comes to having to work tirelessly to break down food.
Get the recipe here.
7. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been known for its ability to combat E. coli and because of this it can play a pretty important part in preventing contraction of a UTI. However, for reasons that are pretty obvious, like citrus fruits, if you’re already suffering with a UTI, lay off the ACV until it has passed.
The easiest way to add ACV into your diet, and one that I highly recommend, is by drinking it. Yep, you heard that right. Drink your vinegar!
Apple Cider Vinegar Water
As someone that has her fair share of UTI’s over the years, I started to add apple cider vinegar into my diet a while ago, and I am so glad that I did. I add a little apple cider vinegar and lemon juice into warm water every morning, and not only have I not suffered from a UTI since, I also have skin that glows from the lemon and its antioxidant levels.
Get the recipe here.
8. Eat Garlic
I need no excuse to eat more garlic – I love it. A lot of people already eat garlic and are aware of its antibacterial properties. But they may not know that freshly ground garlic has incredibly potent antibacterial properties due to a sulfur compound called allicin which is effective at killing a whole host of bacteria.
When it comes to curing UTI’s with garlic, don’t go overboard. You don’t want to still be smelling of it a week later. Add it in to soups, salad, stir-fry’s or if you’re really brave you can steep garlic gloves in warm water for a garlicky healing tea. To truly get the best from garlic, and to get that allicin released, you need to physically crush garlic (with peels on which will help de-peel) before chopping and adding.
Spinach, Coconut & Zucchini Soup with Garlic Croutons
I am obsessed with this vibrant soup served with garlic croutons for a quick meal.
Get the recipe here.