UTI Diet

Are you struggling with recurring UTIs? It turns out that diet can make a difference. There are some factors, for example, genetics, that are out of our hands when it comes to determining why one person is more susceptible to frequent UTIs than another person. However, research shows that following a UTI prevention diet can make a difference.

There are helpful foods to avoid UTIs, but there are also foods that can make things worse if you already have UTI. As a general rule of thumb, avoid foods that can increase the acidity of urine, which can both exacerbate any existing bladder pain, as well as make it easier for bacteria to thrive, potentially causing a new UTI.

Foods to avoid with a UTI.

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:

  • • Alcohol
  • • 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

Why do certain foods increase the risk of UTIs?

Research indicates that there are two major differences in the urine of those who suffer from recurring UTIs and those who don't:

  • • pH levels of urine and
  • • The presence of something called Siderocalin, a protein that is known to control bacterial growth

Our bodies produce a protein called siderocalin which limits bacterial growth in our urine by depriving bacteria of iron, a crucial nutrient bacteria need to grow. Siderocalin does this by using compounds from our diet to bind to iron. This prevents iron from binding to bacteria which limit bacterial growth.

Scientists also found siderocalin is better at binding to iron in a neutral pH setting. The pH of our urine is greatly affected by the foods we eat. This means our diet can significantly influence the success or failure of bacterial growth in our urine.

Thankfully, this research is actionable: there are foods that are known to increase the acidity of urine, which should be avoided, and foods that are known to be high in siderocalin, which we should seek out.

What to eat when you have a UTI.

If you have a UTI, you'll want to avoid any foods that will increase the acidity of your urine, which can make UTI symptoms worse. Foods that you’ll want to avoid if you are treating an UTI include:

  • • Artificial sweeteners
  • • Caffeine and other energy drinks
  • • Spicy foods
  • • Citrus fruits like lemons, and other acidic foods

So, what's in the UTI diet plan?

When trying to prevent UTIs, reach for polyphenols, a specific type of antioxidant that is converted into those very helpful compounds that bind iron, stopping it from fueling bacterial growth. Blueberries and dark chocolate are an excellent source of polyphenol antioxidants.

Another study also shows Vitamin A helps with reducing the risk of recurrent UTIs. Here are some examples of Vitamin A packed veggies:

  • • Carrots
  • • Sweet potatoes
  • • Kale
  • • Cantaloupe

Additionally, avoid any foods that could increase the acidity of your urine, which could both exacerbate any bladder pain, but also promote bacterial growth:

  • • Artificial sweeteners
  • • Caffeine and other energy drinks
  • • Spicy foods
  • • Citrus fruits like lemons, and other acidic foods

Will the UTI prevention diet work for everyone?

Even if you're following best practices when it comes to optimizing your diet for UTI prevention, you might find that it doesn't help. Some of us are just more likely to get UTIs, and often times it's not your fault. While it's good practice to follow these diet tips if you're prone to UTIs, know that it won't solve the problem for everyone.

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UTI prevention is key to making sure that you don’t have to worry about getting an infection and needing treatment. Your diet has a huge influence on the kind of bacteria and hormones that regulate your health, so it’s a good idea to introduce the right diet lifestyle that will aid in UTI prevention.

When choosing a UTI prevention diet plan, you should consider various kinds of diets and food choices to eat. Making long-term and beneficial food choices can help change your body composition and reduce the risk of getting recurrent UTIs. If you have dietary restrictions, there are also supplements to boost your UTI prevention diet.

Food is key to your overall health; your diet influences many body functions that are affected by UTIs. So making good choices about what you eat is the best way to ensure that your body is strong and that you’re preventing all kinds of infections.

How does your diet affect your chance of getting an UTI?

Diet is the foundation to good health, so it’s naturally a huge influence over your lower tract system and your body’s ability to fend off infections. While changing your diet will not directly affect your chances of getting or preventing UTIs, it is a proactive way that you can control what you eat to improve your health.

Your diet also affects your urine pH, a huge factor that influences how you contract infections. A bladder with a high pH is more likely to get infected from bacteria that thrive in that kind of environment. The foods you eat are reflected in your urine pH, which determines whether the bacteria in your system will start an infection or are dormant.

Regardless, your overall well-being is highly influenced by what you eat. It’s important to have a strong and healthy foundation so that you body can fight off any infection, as well as UTIs.


What foods should you avoid if you have an UTI?

Because UTIs involve your bladder system, it’s important to consider foods that won’t further irritate your bladder. That can worsen the symptoms of an UTI, making it more painful and potentially difficult to take care of.

Foods that you’ll want to avoid if you are treating a UTI include:

Artificial sweeteners
Caffeine and other energy drinks
Spicy foods
Citrus fruits like lemons, and other acidic foods

Then what should you eat to prevent UTIs?

Your UTI diet plan should include foods that are beneficial to your bladder health. There are some diets that are very focused on UTI prevention. The Candida diet is one example of an anti-inflammatory diet that improves your gut health and bacteria in your body. It suggests a lot of good food choices you can make that are beneficial for a UTI prevention diet.
What To Eat When You Have a UTI

If you currently have a UTI, your diet will not treat or fight off the infection. The only way to treat a UTI you already have is under the guidance of a healthcare professional who will likely prescribe antibiotics.

However, as with fighting all infections, maintaining a healthy diet can support your body during treatment. Additionally, it can help mitigate some of the symptoms of the infection and the side effects of the antibiotics.

• Water: The best thing you can do when you have a UTI is to drink plenty of water. More than any other part of a UTI diet, drinking fluids will help make you feel better. Hydration is essential to the effectiveness of your body’s immune system and your overall health. It will help dilute the contents of your bladder and make you urinate more frequently. This will help reduce the irritation caused by the infection.
• Leafy Greens: Protein and vitamins from plants such as kale can also help. These support your immune system and will make it easier for your body to fight the infection. Alone, they are insufficient for treating a UTI. However, combined with antibiotics, they can help your body through the process.
• Probiotics: Of course, antibiotics also affect the good bacteria in your gut. This can cause some discomfort and irritation during and after taking the medicine. Try eating foods with probiotics to replace some of that good gut flora. Yogurt and fermented foods are great sources for this.

While a good diet can support your body while fighting the infection, other foods can be troublesome. In fact, for many people knowing what foods to avoid with UTI is the bigger question.

Does Cranberry Juice Work

Cranberry juice is purported by many to be a treatment for UTIs. There is no strong evidence that it is helpful for a UTI you already have and may even cause more harm than good due to the sugar content and acidity.

As part of your preventative UTI diet plan, cranberry juice can be effective. The A-type proanthocyanidins can protect your body against bacteria. The concentration of this ingredient in juice is likely insufficient. Cranberry extract in supplement may be more helpful but only as part of a more comprehensive diet for UTI prevention.

Other Practices To Help You Avoid UTIs

Diet isn’t the only aspect of UTI prevention, of course. There are many myths about avoiding UTIs such as staying away from tight clothing and skipping hot tubs. These claims are largely unsubstantiated by science. However, there are some genuinely effective strategies:

• UTI frequency is correlated to sexual activity. Avoid barrier contraceptives such as diaphragms and spermicides if you are prone to UTIs. Additionally, consider taking an oral antibiotic following intercourse.
• Working to maintain regular bowel movements can help. Constipation and diarrhea can both make a UTI more likely.
• Foster good bacteria using probiotics. For women, altered vaginal pH may make this difficult. A healthcare provider can help you determine if this is an issue for you and help you address it.

Support Your UTI Diet

While eating the right food to avoid UTI can help, diet alone may not be sufficient. Check out Target drink mix and Control capsules, which support your urinary tract health and minimize the likelihood of getting a UTI.