Cranberry juice is not only a deliciously tasting drink, it has been proven to be effective at preventing and treating Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
Besides tasting delicious and very high in natural antioxidants, which is very important for healthy bodily functions, pure cranberry juice is also an effective treatment against urinary tract infection (UTI).
The urinary tract is the bodies filtering system to remove unneeded liquid waste. Urinary Tract Infection is a result of an infection that initially starts in the urinary system but can often spread to the bladder, kidneys and other areas.
The infection is caused by bacteria. Bacteria will often come from the bowel and can enter the opening of the urethra and travel upwards to the bladder and kidneys.
Anyone can develop a UTI, but women have a smaller urinary tract than men and are much more prone to the infection. It is estimated that around 50% of women will experience at least 1 UTI during their lifetime and often more than once. It is a nuisance which can be painful and needs to be treated.
There are 3 common forms of UTI:
- Cystitis – an inflammation of the bladder and the most common type of UTI
- Urethritis – an inflammation of the urethra.
- Pyelonephritis – an inflammation of the kidneys, which is invariably due to a bacterial infection.
If left untreated, besides the unpleasant symptoms, it could lead to a kidney infection which can be very serious. Kidney infections are similar but are oftentimes more severe with nausea, chills, abdominal cramping or aching pain in the lower back that isn’t relieved by sitting.
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
It is important to recognize the symptoms of urinary tract infection and to be able to treat it immediately. Here are the most common symptoms:
- A hot/burning sensation when urinating (dysuria)
- Strong persistent urge to urinate
- Going to the bathroom frequently but only passing small amounts of urine
- Blood in the urine or cloudy
- Strong smelling urine
- As with any infection, it may also be accompanied by a fever
Will Drinking Cranberry Juice Prevent and Cure a UTI?
Yes it will!
One of the main health benefits of cranberry juice is its ability to prevent and cure a urinary tract infection.
This natural product has been widely known and accepted as a treatment, in the medical profession for several years.
It was previously believed that the high acidity in the cranberries were the primary reason for their success in eliminating UTI. But recent studies have suggested that proanthocyanins (compounds found in cranberries) help prevent bacteria such as E.coli, from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. This allows the urine to simply flush away the bacteria.
More research is being undertaken as to the exact reasons, but one thing we know for sure is that cranberry juice works extremely well in preventing and curing urinary tract infection.
Drink Only Pure Cranberry Juice to Treat UTI
It is important that you drink 100% pure cranberry juice or ‘unsweetened’ cranberry juice to gain the most benefit. Don’t drink the stuff that is diluted with water and artificial sweeteners.
Quite often you will find brands of cranberry juice that are in fact only around 30% pure juice, and not all of it cranberry. The remainder being made up from sweeteners, artificial flavors and water. While it may still taste pleasant, you will not receive the full range of health benefits and nutrients inherent in 100% pure cranberry juice.
Pure cranberry juice can taste a little bitter or tart. It is ok to add water to it in order to dilute it slightly or even mix it with apple juice to give it a slightly sweeter flavor.
How Much Should I Drink to Prevent a UTI?
Studies have shown that just 1 to 3 ounces of pure cranberry juice a day is enough to keep your urinary tract clear and free from harmful bacteria. This equates to approx one third of a cup. If you are drinking cranberry juice to cure a UTI, then you should double this amount.
You can either drink it in its pure form or add some water to it. Try adding some honey for a natural sweetener.
If pure cranberry juice is not available or you prefer to take it in supplement form as capsules, then this is also fine and they work in the same manner.