Summer days are finally near, and we can’t wait! But we could do without the UTIs that warmer weather triggers. To ward off these infections, which strike women over 50 three times more often than younger women, just follow these three ways to cure UTIs.
Enjoy a Sunny Stroll
That afternoon stroll you enjoy each day helps cut your risk of bladder infections by 60 percent, report Boston University researchers. Turns out exercise energizes the immune cells that kill bladder bacteria, while the vitamin D-3 your skin produces when exposed to UV light prods your bladder to release protective compounds called antimicrobial peptides. Bonus: Combining motion and sunlight makes your brain’s production of a tiredness taming hormone (dopamine) soar, say UCLA researchers, increasing energy by 55 percent for eight hours.
Snack on Blueberries
Fresh, juicy blueberries are finally starting to pop up in supermarkets, and enjoying one cup daily could reduce your odds of developing a summer UTI by 50 percent, suggests a study in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. As study co-author Ron Chen, PhD, explains, blueberries contain a unique compound called pterostilbene that strengthens the bladder lining and kills troublesome bacteria on contact. Bonus: Blueberry’s anthocyanins have been shown to stimulate the brain, boosting both short-term memory and balance and coordination by at least 30 percent if you enjoy them daily, reveal Tufts University investigators.
Make This Tea a Habit
Sweet-tart hibiscus tea is tasty hot or iced, and sipping 36 ounces daily cuts your bladder infection risk by up to 40 percent, British scientists say. Urologist Bernard Rocco, MD, credits hibiscus compounds (glycosides), which block the growth and spread of bladder bacteria. Bonus: University of Arizona scientists say the brew’s fruit acids can trim up to 13 points off your blood pressure if you sip three cups daily. This makes it one of the refreshing ways on this list to cure UTIs!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.