The Four Foods That Prevent Cystitis: This Is How You
Nutrition

The four foods that prevent cystitis: this is how you should avoid urine infections

Six out of ten premenopausal women suffer from urinary tract infections, but there are ways to prevent them.

Stock image of a woman with cystitis.

Urinary tract infection is the second most common in Spain, with a higher incidence in women. The Spanish Association of Urology warns that among 50% to 60% of premenopausal women suffers from a urinary tract infection (90% being cystitis). “The peak incidence is observed between 18 and 39 years, coinciding with the age of maximum sexual activity in women,” reveals the report.

cystitis is bladder inflammation, usually caused as a result of an infection caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli. Among the symptoms it causes are discomfort when urinating, cramps in the lower abdomen or increased need to urinate. In its most severe form, chills, fever, severe pain, nausea, and malaise may occur. It is important to go to the doctor before these signs, since the infection can spread to the kidneys and cause pyelonephritis, which can trigger irreversible damage to the body.

“One of the main dietary measures to avoid cystitis and other urinary infections is increase fluid intake, mainly water. Much better if it is weakly mineralized (low in sodium) to facilitate diuresis,” María Carmen Japaz, dietitian and nutritionist, explains to EL ESPAÑOL. Infusions, fruit juices and soft broths also help prevent urinary tract infections.

The effect that diuretics are trying to achieve is to increase the volume of urine and prevent it from concentrating, preventing the formation of kidney stones. “A very simple way to know if you are drinking enough fluids is to observe the color of your urine,” Japaz points out. This has to be colorless, in the case of tending to yellow, the recommendation would be to drink more water.

blueberry juice

Specifically, one of the best foods for prevent infections of the urinary tract are cranberries. This food, in the form of juice, inhibits the adhesion of bacteria to the walls of the bladder. Numerous studies support these properties, such as the one carried out by researchers at the Palacky University, in the Czech Republic, whose results show that cranberry powder can reduce the risk of symptomatic urinary tract infection in women with this type of recurrent conditions.

In another study carried out jointly by several French urology specialists, it is shown that supplementation with blueberry and propolis, significantly reduces the incidence of urinary infections during the first 3 months, also delaying the appearance of an episode of cystitis.

Specifically, the nutritionist recommends drinking a glass of between 250 ml and 300 ml of fresh cranberry juice a day as best prevention. “If the infection spreads, blueberries do not work miracles, you would already have to go to a doctor and take the prescribed antibiotic treatment. This food can only prevent,” Victoria Díaz, a dietitian-nutritionist, tells this newspaper.

Blueberries contain proanthocyanins, a flavonoid that, in addition to preventing urinary tract infections, protects gums and prevents stomach ulcers.

Fruits and vegetables

The key is to eat diuretic foods, in whose composition there is a high percentage of water. Such as asparagus, cabbage, celery, cucumber, tomato, watermelon or pineapple. In general, fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium and water, “so a daily consumption of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables is also recommended for the prevention of this type of infection,” says Japaz.

Whole grain cereals and grain

Foods such as whole grains and rice, pasta or couscous are called superfoods. By preserving all their parts such as bran, germ and endosperm, they are a source of fiber and nutrients such as vitamins B and E, iron, folate, selenium, potassium and magnesium. They also contain antioxidant compounds that prevent inflammation and promote cardiovascular health.

probiotics

Probiotic foods, such as yogurt, help maintain intestinal flora. In the case of not feeling quite right, there are other healthy options such as kefir. It must be borne in mind that an organism, whose intestines are populated with beneficial ferments, preventcolonization of other pathogens like bacteria.

According to an investigation carried out by the Urology Department of the Villa Stuart Private Clinic, in Rome, Italy, the administration of prebiotics and probiotics in the treatment of acute cystitis in women, it could help with the management of the symptoms of this infection, without the need for antibiotics.

Once again, the role that this food group plays in the diet, in addition to its contribution to prevention of urinary infections, is key to reducing the probability of contracting urinary infections.