Frequent urges to urinate, burning during urination, cloudy, smelly and/or bloody urine, fever… No doubt, given these symptoms, it’s cystitis! Each year, two million women are affected by urinary tract infections in France, their urethra smaller than that of men allowing bacteria to go up more easily in the bladder to infect it. When it occurs, it is advisable to quickly consult a doctor to follow an antibiotic treatment and to avoid complications (in particular pyelonephritis, a serious infection affecting the kidneys). You can also relieve cystitis with natural remedies such as cranberry juice, but also by reviewing your diet a little. Here are, for example, foods to absolutely avoid in the event of a urinary tract infection.
What is the link between the foods we eat and a urinary tract infection?
Food can help relieve urinary tract infection just as it can make it worse, but how to explain it? In reality, in the vast majority of cases (i.e. nine times out of ten), cystitis is of bacterial origin. However, bacteria tend to proliferate more easily in acidic environments and if they can feed on sugars, two factors directly related to our diet. Unfortunately, many foods can also increase inflammation, which only makes the situation worse. In the end, our diet can therefore turn against us in the event of a declared infection, which can even go so far as to favor repeated urinary tract infections.
So, what foods to avoid in case of urinary tract infection?
1) Red meat in all its forms
Whether it is red meat, charcuterie or offal, it is better to limit or even completely stop its consumption. Indeed, these foods tend to strongly acidify the body, which allows the urinary tract infection to thrive, at the risk of seeing it get worse. You can, if necessary, favor white meat or fish for the time of healing.
2) Sweet treats among the worst foods in case of urinary tract infection
Confectionery lovers of all kinds, beware! Indeed, it is necessary to limit sugar as much as possible, and in particular the refined sugars present in most ultra-processed industrial products. Even if they make your heart feel better in this difficult time because of the infection, cakes, candies, pastries and other biscuits should be reduced so as not to promote urinary tract infections.
3) Certain drinks such as sodas, alcohol and caffeine
While staying hydrated is essential, doing so with bad drinks is not a very good idea. Thus, it is better to avoid drinks such as sodas that are loaded with sugar, and therefore very inadvisable in case of cystitis. It’s the same for alcohol, very irritating to the bladderalso for caffeine in coffee or tea because of its stimulating effect. These last two beverages are also dehydrating, which is not ideal either. Prefer water rich in bicarbonate or with added lemon juice (antiseptic, antibacterial and alkalizing). Drinking plenty of water will help you heal even if the urge to urinate is not pleasant at the time.
4) Citrus fruits
Apart from lemon, it is better to limit citrus fruits such as pomelo, grapefruit, oranges or pineapple. They can indeed be irritants to the urinary tract, which can promote inflammation of the bladder. Also beware of fruit juices, which are very sweet.
5) White flour
White flour is very commonly used in processed foods. It is found in pizzas as well as in white bread or pasta. However, it can, like meat, tend to acidify the body. It is therefore better for a while to turn instead to alternative foods based on whole grains, which are better tolerated in the event of a urinary tract infection.
When cystitis occurs, it is better to avoid cooking too spicy. Spices can indeed tend to irritate the walls of the bladder which already suffers too much.