Urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bladder infections are the most common infections women experience. According to the National Kidney and Urulogic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, one in five women will have a UTI at least once in her lifetime. For many women, UTIs are a recurring problem. Symptoms include fever, burning upon urination, and a frequent need to urinate. Dietary changes, including drinking water and eating more leafy green vegetables, help prevent and fight infection. Avoid sugar, fruit and white breads.
Cranberry juice is an antimicrobial agent, clinically demonstrated to be effective in treating and preventing bladder infections, according to "The Natural Pregnancy Book." Drink 8 oz. of diluted cranberry juice or unsweetened cranberry juice every four hours.
Uva-ursi, found at health-food stores, is a leathery-leafed plant that acts as a diuretic and antimicrobial. Steep 1/4 cup of the leaves with 1/4 cup of marshmallow root in a quart jar. Strain and drink the mixture at room temperature, up to 4 cups per day until symptoms subside, as recommended by "The Natural Pregnancy Book."
Drinking plenty of water is the best way to prevent and cure bladder infections, according to "The Natural Pregnancy Book." Water helps the kidney and bladder function efficiently and washes out bacteria. Drink eight 8-oz. glasses daily. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice for flavor.
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Healthy fats found in high-quality fish oil tablets or flax seed help fight bladder infections. Anne Walters, CNM, recommends you take as much as 1000mg of fish oil daily. Eat fish like wild Pacific salmon in moderation.
Eat lots of leafy, green vegetables like Swiss chard, spinach, Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens, peppers, and red or green lettuce. Avoid carrots, iceberg lettuce and potatoes as they are high in sugar. Remember: the greener, the better.
Choose lean meats, like turkey and chicken. When possible, select organic, grass-fed varities. Add eggs, seeds and raw nuts--like almonds and pecans--to your diet. Avoid bacon, pork, shellfish and red meat.
- "The Natural Pregnancy Book;" Aviva Jill Romm; 2003
- Anne Walters, CNM; All About Women's Care; Englewood, Co
Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."