Repeat UTIs can leave you feeling hopeless. Sometimes it feels like you’re doing everything right, and you still can’t stay out of the doctors.
It might be time to think about your diet as a possible accomplice in the problem. Did you know that the foods you eat can play a big role in staving off UTIs?
According to Uqora scientific advisor Dr. Payal Bhandari, certain foods increase the pH in your urinary tract. When the natural pH of the bladder increases, unhealthy bacteria normally in the bladder have the opportunity to overgrow. Sometimes this can lead or contribute to an infection.
Sugar is a huge culprit. If you’re suffering from repeat urinary tract infection, try cutting way back on sugar and artificial sweeteners. We’re considering sugar everything from processed white sugar, to honey and agave, all the way down the line to aspartame. This can be hard because sugar sneaks its way into just about everything. Check the nutrition labels because you can find sugar in everything from crackers to protein bars.
In addition to sugar, put these foods on the do-not-fly list when you’re having a hard time avoiding UTIs:
- Red meat
- Dairy products
- Caffeine, which decreases the blood flow to the bladder, making it more difficult for your immune system to shut down infections
- Corn, and corn-fed animals (including fish)
- Potatoes, wheat, and rice, which break down to sugar in your body
It might seem like we’ve just ruled out all of the joy in this world, but there are still plenty of meals you can make while staying in the clear. Here are a few of our favorite recipes from around the web that won’t give bacteria the leg up it needs; just be sure to buy meat that has not been corn-fed (this guide might help).