Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are more common than we would like them to be, accounting for approximately 10 million doctor visits a year. One in five American women will contract a UTI in their lifetime, and although it’s less prevalent among men, they can also get it.
In most cases, urinary tract infections don’t last long and will resolve on its own or with the use of medication. Yet, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s going away quick enough, as the symptoms are very discomforting—everybody wants to get relief from that burning feeling accompanying every trip to the bathroom as soon as possible.
Drinking lots of fluids is usually recommended to flush those nasty infection-causing bacteria out of the system. Yes, it will make you pee more, meaning you’ll have to deal with the symptoms more often, but it’s all for a good cause. Probiotics such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi are often recommended to soothe the symptoms and support your immune system.
Although when we talk about urinary tract infection treatments, we usually think about cranberries. Opinions on the benefits of cranberry juice, the classic UTI treatment, are now split—some research has shown that cranberries don’t really fight the infection. Still, you may want to consider cranberry juice as a way to hydrate yourself and restock your supply of vitamin C.
In addition to cranberries, there’s another food that is common in our kitchens yet is rarely recommended as a cure for bladder infection.
Cauliflower can benefit your bladder
Yes, it’s cauliflower, the cruciferous vegetable that we eat raw with our favorite dip, cooked in a stew, or pureed in a soup. It’s pretty versatile when it comes to cooking, so you can get creative and incorporate it into your menu somehow—you’ll want to get the broad-spectrum health benefits it offers.
What’s in it for the bladder? Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, meaning it will increase the acidity of urine, which comes in handy in times of infection. Acidic urine prevents the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract.
Moreover, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer revealed that people who eat cauliflower, broccoli, or other vegetables of the cruciferous family were 29 percent less likely to develop bladder cancer than people who ate less of these foods. The researchers found that the active ingredients in cauliflower demonstrated strong anti-proliferative properties, meaning, they promoted “suicide” of abnormal cells in the body. A follow-up study uncovered that participants with bladder cancer had a significantly lower intake of these active compounds compared to their healthy counterparts.
To top that off, cauliflower offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, so there’s no reason why you should deny yourself a serving of this vegetable at least once a week to support your bladder and your overall health.
Related: Prevent bladder infection: Natural ways and lifestyle tips to boost bladder health