Bladder infections start as urinary tract infections. These infections occur when bacteria takes over in the urethra and spread to the bladder. If not treated, a bladder infection can find its way to the kidneys. Urinary tract infections are ten times more common in women than men, according to The University of Maryland Medical Center, and unfortunately cannot be cured. However, there is some evidence that certain fruits can help offset symptoms and prevent these infections from recurring.
Cranberries have been touted as the super fruit that prevents bladder and urinary tract infections. A study done at the University of Stirling for the Cancer Care Research Centre in Stirling, UK showed that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice does decrease the amount of UTIs a woman gets over a year's time. The University of Maryland Medical Center also concurs with this study and believes that this is so successful because the compounds in this unsweetened cranberry juice inhibit the bacteria from attaching itself to the urinary tract and bladder walls.
Blueberries, like cranberries, contain a compound known as proanthocyanidins that deter the bacteria that usually causes a bladder infection to attach to the cells of the bladder tissue. According to a study conducted at Rutgers University in New Jersey, eating a large handful of blueberries per day can help most individuals fight bladder infections and prevent them from happening at all. Blueberries also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties so they can help ease some of the discomfort an individual may experience while having an infection.
Purple grapes, especially the compounds found in their juice, are very similar to that of cranberry juice. In fact, in studies done by The Concord Grape Association, purple grape juice works even better than cranberry juice in preventing urinary tract or bladder infections, because grapes have the ability to decrease the acidity of the urine and help restore the bladder back to health.
- MedlinePlus: Urinary tract infections-adults
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Urinary tract infection in women
- Concord Grape Association: Purple Grape Juice May Provide Welcome Option for Women Worried About Urinary Tract Infections