I’m so excited to talk to you today about getting smart about antibiotics. As you all know, this subject is near and dear to my heart because I suffered for so many years from being put on countless antibiotics as a child (and into my 20’s), which damaged my gut and immune system. Just in time for Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, which is this week, November 14-20th, I want to share how consuming cranberry juice daily may be a nutritional approach to reducing UTI’s and therefore antibiotic use. A few months ago, I was getting a regular checkup at the lady doctor and heard so many women complaining of UTI’s and the doctor simply wrote them prescriptions for antibiotics like it was candy. I was horrified. The sad part about all of this is that if I had never been on my health journey, I would have probably been one of those women asking for an antibiotic- I had no idea about the damage that antibiotics can do to our bodies. So, in an effort to raise awareness for the global issue of antibiotic resistance, I’m excited to talk about how drinking cranberry juice can be apart of this solution. Thank you to Ocean Spray for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.
Ahhhhhhh cranberry juice. It’s one of those things that makes me think of my childhood. Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail was always in my home growing up. Actually it still is in my parents’ home every time I head down there fore a visit. My mother loves this cranberry juice and has been drinking it since as long as I can remember. My father, too, will have some juice every now and again mixed with water. So, when Ocean Spray® reached out to me about this opportunity to create awareness for antibiotic resistance, I jumped up and down and couldn’t wait to share this with all of you. Why? Well, it’s easy for me to sit here and tell you what’s going on in our world with antibiotics and share my personal story of 10 years of chronic illness, which was exasperated because of antibiotics. But, when a major brand is behind a movement like this, it gives me goosebumps and makes me realize that there are so many incredible companies that actually do care about our health and well-being.
Here’s how I use cranberry juice in my daily routine. Try one of these today for an easy cranberry-flavored pick-me-up.
This is an easy way to serve yourself a tasty beverage anytime of the day. Pour equal amounts of cranberry juice and seltzer in a glass with ice cubes and enjoy.
I love serving this on a cold, winter day. Pour 1 cup of cranberry juice and 1/2 cup water into a small pot with 2 cinnamon sticks on the stove top over medium heat and bring to a boil. Transfer to a tea cup and serve warm.
Pour 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil into a small bowl with 4 Tbsp. cranberry juice, 1 tsp. honey or pure maple syrup, fresh lemon zest, fresh basil leaves, sea salt and pepper to taste. Use as a dressing for roasted veggies and salads or a a marinade for mushrooms and other proteins desired.
Pour 3 cups of cranberry juice and 1 cup water into a small pot with 4 cinnamon sticks and the peel of 1 orange on the stove top over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until your home smells delicious! Then discard or drink.
Antibiotic Resistance & UTIs
I recently spoke with Dr. Jennifer Berman about the cranberry’s role in addressing this worldwide health challenge. Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria stop responding to the drugs designed to kill them. It is possibly the single most important infectious disease threat we face today. The best way to slow the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant infections is for each of us to improve the way antibiotics are prescribed and used. We risk turning back the clock to a world where simple infections could kill people as they did a century ago. We need to take better care of the antibiotics we have today by taking antibiotics only when necessary. Dr. Berman said, ‘…this is a major global health risk at this time- more than 2 million people in the United States are getting infected with germs that are resistant to antibiotics. What this means is that the bacteria are mutating, transforming and changing so the antibiotics we’re trying to be treated with aren’t working, which puts us at rick and also puts the elderly and imune-compromised and pediatric population at more risk with these antibiotic resistance bugs”.
Why Cranberries Help
Antibiotic resistance threatens people’s health around the world and research shows that consuming cranberry juice daily can reduce symptomatic UTIs, and may be a useful strategy to decrease worldwide use of antibiotics. The key to cranberry’s benefit is consuming a glass of juice daily to help avoid the infection altogether. Most people wait to drink cranberry juice until they have a UTI, but once the symptoms start they’ll likely need a course of antibiotics. Why wait until something goes wrong when you can have a sip of cranberry juice a few times a week to protect yourself with the power of cranberry juice? If you’re not a fan of drinking straight up cranberry juice, no worries, there are a ton of other ways to use the juice in dressings, marinades, sorbets and more. The main goal is to help reduce UTIs and decrease antibiotic use by being mindful of the choices you make everyday with the food you eat, the beverages you drink, your stress load and the way you treat your body. Years ago I took antibiotics for everything that ailed me but now I wouldn’t go near them unless I was in a life or death situation, like I was with C-diff colitis. The fact is that we have the power inside of us to stand up to our doctors, demand better care and take better care of ourselves so we don’t get in these situations to begin with. Dr. Berman said, “UTIs are extremely common. 60% of women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime. There is a 50% resistant rate to the antibiotics used to treat UTIs, so anything we can do to minimize the overuse of antibiotics will help prevent resistant organisms.” I was curious about the connection with UTIs and cranberries so I talked with Dr. Berman about this and she mentioned that “…there is a component in cranberry that prevents the bacteria from being able to stick to the bladder wall, which is how the UTI infection starts (bacteria attach to the bladder wall). It’s important to be proactive about this global health risk because once you have a UTI, it’s too late to treat with cranberry juice. There are risks with antibiotics so it’s key to look at how we can prevent infections such as UTIs and keep ourselves healthy instead of getting into a situation where we’re faced with resistant bacteria.”
Drink to Defend
We can all take part in reducing antibiotic consumption by using natural alternatives, such as cranberries, to avoid infections in the first place. It’s time for us to get smart about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance; you can visit www.cranberryhealth.com and use the hashtag #DrinktoDefend when you are searching social media for more info.
I hope this post helped spread some light onto the subject of antibiotic resistance for you. Big hugs! xo
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ocean Spray®. The opinions and text are all mine.