From the Magazine

5 Ways to Prevent a UTI Naturally

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The majority of us know the searing pain of a urinary tract infection (UTI) — the most common bacterial infection in women over 50. While antibiotics have been the go-to remedy for decades, bladder bacteria are now becoming drug-resistant! Thankfully, experts say these study-backed non-medicinal cures can banish even chronic UTIs for good.

Blend a smoothie.

Just three glasses of kefir weekly could drop your risk of developing a UTI by an astonishing 79 percent, research shows. Matti Uhari, MD, who co-authored the study explains that kefir contains three times more probiotics — as well a larger variety — than yogurt. These healthy bacteria crowd out troublesome germs in your bladder. Or choose a supplement that delivers diverse probiotic strains, such as Life Extension Florassist Balance, ($24.75, LEF.com/ww). Note: Check with your doctor before supplementing.

Swap in berries.

Cranberry juice may be a popular UTI-tamer, but blueberries work as well! British researchers say blueberries contain a rare plant compound (pterostilbene) that keeps the lining of your bladder healthy, plus it destroys troublesome bacteria on contact, cutting your risk of chronic UTIs by 60 percent if you consume 1 cup (fresh or frozen) daily.

Add in some garlic.

Just one large clove of garlic in your daily diet can help banish bladder troubles in two months. Recent studies prove that aromatic sulfur compounds in garlic effortlessly destroy 82 percent of bladder bacteria on contact — even drug-resistant germs.

Sweeten your water.

Research reveals that drinking 1 tsp. of D-mannose powder mixed into water daily cuts chronic UTIs by 75 percent. Explains study co-author Dino Papes, MD, D-mannose — a naturally occurring fruit sugar— coats bacteria, stopping them from sticking to bladder walls. Try: Now Foods D-Mannose Powder ($22.49, VitaminShoppe.com).

And order your burger well-done.

At least 82 percent of ground beef contains E. coli — a major UTI trigger. But cooking burgers and other ground beef dishes until their internal temperature reaches a minimum of 160°F destroys 100 percent of these troublemakers.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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