Cranberries and Urinary Tract Infections
Cranberries are believed to help lower the risk of urinary tract infections.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects any part of the urinary tract – the kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. A UTI usually starts when bacteria enter through the urethra and make their way into the bladder. UTIs are more common among women than men.
Common UTI symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, strong and constant urges to urinate, frequent urination, cloudy or dark urine, urine with a strong odour and pelvic pain.
How can cranberries help?
Although research has been conflicting over the years, it is believed that cranberries contain an anti-adherent component that prevents bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract – thus preventing infection.
Whether or not cranberries really can help lower the risk of UTIs, there is good reason to include cranberries in your diet – they contain many healthful nutrients including vitamins and antioxidants.
Cranberries can be consumed whole, as juice, or in supplemental form. If you choose to drink juice, look for 100% unsweetened cranberry juice – some juice and cranberry cocktails do not contain enough cranberry to be beneficial.
Use the following tips to include more cranberries into your healthy eating plan.
- Enjoy dried cranberries as snack – alone or in homemade trail-mix.
- Add dried cranberries to a salad.
- Drink 100% pure cranberry juice.
- Add frozen cranberries to smoothies.
- Add fresh or dried cranberries to cereal.
- Add fresh or frozen cranberries to yogurt.
- Make your own cranberry sauce for turkey.
- Add cranberries in baked goods – cranberry loaf, cranberry muffins, oatmeal cranberry cookies…
Try this delicious salad recipe!
Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad (Recipe Source: http://allrecipes.com)
Prep Time: 10 mins./ Cook time: 20 mins./Ready in: 2.5 h
Makes 6 servings
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup minced carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Pour the water into a saucepan, and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, then pour in the quinoa, recover, and continue to simmer over low heat until the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Scrape into a mixing bowl, and chill in the refrigerator until cold.
Once cold, stir in the red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, curry powder, cilantro, lime juice, sliced almonds, carrots, and cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.