Blackcurrant is a shrub that grows generously in Europe and other temperate regions. It is an antioxidant powerhouse and is so potent that companies have been making health supplements out of its berries.
Blackcurrant is also popular as a snack, and you can eat the berries whole, much like raspberries and blackberries. If you have kidney issues or urinary tract problems, you may have been advised to avoid certain foods. Does eating blackcurrant pose a risk factor to people who are prone to developing UTI? We are going to explore this and more in today’s essential discussion.
Is Blackcurrant Juice Good for UTI?
Current studies point at the positive – it appears that natural fruit juices like blackcurrant juice may be able to help manage urinary tract infections or UTI. One study published in the journal EJCN indicated that drinking blackcurrant juice could help expel more citric acid from the body and increase the urinary pH level. The study stated that drinking the juices produce statistically significant changes in the urine composition of the test subjects.
On top of helping the body expel more waste, researchers discovered that juices like blackcurrant juice could help reduce kidney stones, which improves the person’s wellness as a whole. Doctors also recommend increased fluid intake to reduce the chances of kidney stones forming. Kidney stones may become severe over time, so it would be best to minimize the risk earlier to avoid complications.
UTIs affect about eight million people annually. About a third of all women have contracted this disease, making it one of the most prevalent medical conditions ever. Women are also more likely to contract UTI than men, and children have a higher risk of contracting it than teenagers and adults. If UTI occurs many times throughout the year, some abnormality in the urinary tract may be contributing to it.
Generally speaking, fruit juices can be used to prevent UTIs, but it is a double-edged proposition, as well. If you already have UTI, it is not advisable to indiscriminately drink fruit juices as juices are also known as bladder irritants. However, the vitamin C content and an antioxidant load of natural juices are preventive for various infections, including UTI. So right after your UTI has cleared up, you can start drinking blackcurrant juice and cranberry juice again. If in doubt, check in with your physician. If you have relatively normal bladder habits, there is likely little risk that drinking blackcurrant juice will give you issues.
However, and this is a big what if, if you have frequent bladder problems, then you need to be more mindful of what beverages you consume, as you do not want to exacerbate your condition any further.
In general, urologists also recommend increasing your fluid intake to urinate about two liters per day. Four liters is plenty, and if the weather is hot and you are losing more water than usual through sweat, you also need to increase your fluid intake even more. To simplify things, focus on drinking more water than anything else. While sports drinks can add electrolytes that the body needs during exercise, water is still the best choice because it doesn’t have any additives that can strain your bladder and kidneys along the way.
If your doctor stated that you are at risk of developing further kidney stones, one of the simplest home management methods is drinking more fruit juices like lemon juice. Citrus juices are excellent for breaking down kidney stones. Remember – kidney stones do not form as large masses in the beginning.
When the formation starts, the kidney stones will be small enough to be detected under a microscope as the figures break down and are passed naturally through urination. Lemon juice can help you achieve this naturally if you are naturally attempting to pass some of your kidney stones. There are also additional therapies that your doctor may recommend, but if the kidney stones are not so severe, they can be passed naturally.
There is some natural correlation between kidney stones and UTI, so take care of your kidneys well. People who develop UTI are often deficient in maintaining their fluid intake, so it is critical to watch how much water you have per day, too.
Does Blackcurrant Irritate the Bladder?
Blackcurrant is a known bladder irritant. Bladder irritants are foods and beverages that irritate the bladder and cause plenty of discomfort to both children and adults. If you have trouble controlling your bladder, it would be best to avoid known bladder irritants like blackcurrants and blackcurrant juice for at least one week to see if the change in the diet would have a significant impact on your bladder condition. Bladder irritation can also result in bedwetting, and it is only in closely monitoring what you eat and drink and when you consume food and drinks, you can have better control of your bladder.
What Drinks Cause UTI?
There is often confusion about the terms “cause” and “worsen” when discussing urinary tract infections. Technically speaking, beverages can only indirectly cause UTIs because it’s a bacterial buildup that causes an infection – which is why it is called an infection in the first place. So, keep this in mind – you cannot directly get an infection from drinking anything. However, some beverages have been known to disrupt the normal functioning of the bladder, which can cause issues with urination when you are already struggling with a UTI.
The worst beverages for someone with UTI are commercial drinks with artificial sweeteners or alcohol-containing sweeteners, acidic fruits, spicy food items, alcoholic drinks, regular sodas with caffeine, coffee, hot tea, and sweet teas. Sugar is not recommended for currently managing UTI, so be mindful of what you drink while still clearing up your condition.