This painful infection impacts one in every two women at some time in her life.1 And if you have had an infection in the past, you may be more at risk for contracting another one in the future. Although antibiotics can successfully treat urinary tract infections, preventing them in the first place is always preferred. And thankfully you can prevent urinary tract infections naturally with one small dietary change — adding cranberries! Cranberries are the best food for preventing urinary tract infections since they contain a unique anti-adhesive substance, which means that they help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urethra (where urinary tract infections live).2
So that sounds easy enough right? Eat some cranberries each day and infections go away? Well, yes and no. Enjoying a bowl of cranberries each day can help in the battle against urinary tract infections, but eating the right amount and being consistent with it is not always practical. Fresh cranberries, which are rather bitter, can be hard to eat alone. Dried cranberries typically contain added sugars, which isn’t something you want to add more of to your diet. Cranberry juice is an option, but the juice of the cranberry leaves behind parts of the cranberry (like the skin) that provide protective benefits.
For effective protection against urinary tract infections that you can be consistent with, consider adding a cranberry supplement to your daily routine. When choosing a supplement, aim to select one which uses all parts of the cranberry, not just the juice, for longer lasting, more effective protection against UTIs. If you have ever had a urinary tract infection, you are more likely to have a reoccurrence. So be proactive today. Start by adding in whole cranberries and cranberry juice to your diet when possible and consider a daily cranberry supplement as well for consistent protection.
References and sources:
1. Epidemiology of urinary tract infections: incidence, morbidity, and economic costs.
2. Cranberries and lower urinary tract infection prevention
As the go-to expert on all things nutrition and diabetes, Erin Palinski-Wade is one of the most quoted dietitians in the country and a sought-after speaker, spokesperson and media source. She has authored four books including the bestselling 2 Day Diabetes Diet and Belly Fat Diet For Dummies. Erin has appeared on shows including The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors and The Early Show and regularly contributes to BravoTV, FoodNetwork, FoxNews and Prevention. She currently juggles her time between freelance writing for publications such as Diabetes Forecast and EverydayHealth.com, motivating audiences as a high-energy keynote speaker, and seeing clients in her private practice in New Jersey.