Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections found in the human body, accounting for over 8 million doctors visits in the US annually, and can be extremely painful for the unfortunate patients. They’re more often found in women, but are also prevalent in men, and in this blog we’ll take a quick look at exactly what a UTI is, and also some natural foods which can prevent and cure these infections.
What actually is the Urinary Tract?
In order for our bodies to remove waste and excess water, we need a drainage system. The Urinary Tract is this system. It consists of two kidneys, a urethra, two ureters and a bladder.
How can it become infected?
UTIs are caused by a build up for fungi, viruses or bacteria that live in the bowel. The most common cause of a UTI is a build up of the bacteria E-Coli (Escherichia Coli) on the epithelial cells of the urinary tract.
Some people are more at risk of getting a UTI than others. People with nerve damage or spinal chord injuries around the bladder are particularly susceptible, as this can lead to difficulty emptying the bladder which then leads to a bacteria growth.
People suffering from things like kidney stones or an enlarged prostate (or anything which obstructs the flow of urine) are also particularly at risk.
It has also been found that sexual activity can interfere with certain microbes in the bowel, moving them into the vaginal cavity where a UTI can form. So, it’s safe to say that just about everyone is at risk of getting a UTI at some point in their lives!
How can UTIs be treated?
Most doctors will prescribe antibiotics or antimicrobials for patients suffering with a UTI. As you’ll know though, the big problem with antibiotics is that they will not only destroy the specific bacteria you desire, but ALL the bacteria in your body. That’s right, both the good bacteria and bad bacteria. That’s an extremely unnatural process and personally, I would steer clear of them.
So, for those who wish to avoid antibiotics, the best course of action would be to consume natural foods which are known to reduce or prevent the types of bacteria which can cause UTIs.
Here is a small selection of some of those foods:
Probably the most well-known natural remedy for Urinary Tract Infections, Cranberries have been used for centuries and are the number 1 thing you should consume (along with lots of water, of course) if you’re experiencing any kind of pain in your urethra, kidneys, bladder, or during urination.
This is because Cranberries contain a chemical called proanthocyanidin which actually prevents the growth and spread of E Coli – the cause of approximately 85% of all UTIs.
Blueberries are another food high in antioxidants which prevent the growth of bacteria on the epithelial cells on the walls of the bladder. As the vast majority of UTIs are caused by bacteria, it makes a lot of sense to eat foods which are known to resist such bacteria.
Gojis are an ancient Chinese medicinal food which benefit many areas of human health. However, it is the immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory properties found in Gojis which relive UTIs.
Additionally, they’re very rich in vitamin C (great for healing), beta carotene, and contain 19 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, and are high in protein, B-vitamins, as well as fatty acids among other things.
Lemon consumption is an excellent way to lower the body’s pH levels. When our bodies are in an alkaline state (low pH), it is impossible for bad bacteria (such as the UTI-causing E Coli) to grow and live.
Diuretics such as Coconut water, Watermelon, Cranberries and Asparagus (plus many more) encourage more frequent urination, which is going to flush out the entire Urinary Tract.
These are just a few examples of foods which can and will help with UTIs. And, as with everything here at Raw Cafe, everything is best consumed in its raw, natural state. Cooking these foods to include in other dishes, or to make more palatable, is only going to kill any medicinal properties inside.
If there are any really obvious examples we have missed, please comment below! Thanks for reading. 🙂