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Home » Are Rice & Rice Water Good for UTIs? 5 Evidence-Based Facts

Are Rice & Rice Water Good for UTIs? 5 Evidence-Based Facts

Dealing with a pesky urinary tract infection (UTI)? You might be wondering if rice and rice water can help you out. Let’s dive into 5 evidence-based facts to find out if they’re helpful or not.

The short answer:

Rice, especially the bland white variety, is safe during a UTI, but don’t expect any miraculous recovery. Rice water, on the other hand, hydrates you but doesn’t offer much else for UTI relief. To fight that UTI, consume a balanced diet packed with nutrient-dense foods.

Snapshot of Facts:

  • Bland food, like rice, is easy on your UTI.
  • Don’t count on rice for UTI treatment.
  • Brown is better than white in terms of rice.
  • Hydration – yes. UTI benefits – no when it comes to rice water.
  • Pick brown rice, and avoid excess salt and spices when eating rice during a UTI.

Fact 1: Rice is a bland food (good for UTI).

Rice is gentle on your system. It’s bland, non-irritating food, and it’s unlikely to worsen UTI symptoms. White rice, in particular, is often recommended for those with interstitial cystitis or other bladder-related issues since it’s less likely to cause urinary tract irritation.

On the other hand, these foods are known to irritate your urinary bladder and worsen UTI symptoms (reference):

  • Caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, energy drinks)
  • Alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, spirits)
  • Spicy foods (hot peppers, strong curries)
  • Acidic fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits)
  • Citrus juices (orange juice, lemonade)
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based products (sauces, ketchup, soups)
  • Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin)
  • Chocolate
  • Carbonated drinks (soda, sparkling water)
  • Processed foods high in preservatives and additives
  • Foods high in tyramine (aged cheeses, cured meats, fermented foods)
  • Vinegar-based products (pickles, salad dressings, marinades)

Here are the main components of rice and their overall benefits (reference):

ComponentPercentage/ContentPotential Benefits
Starch68-76% (dry weight)Source of energy and glucose for brain and muscle function
Protein6-8% (dry weight)Builds and repairs tissues, produces enzymes and hormones (low in lysine, an essential amino acid)
VitaminsSmall amountsB vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid) support energy metabolism and nervous system
MineralsSmall amountsManganese, phosphorus, and magnesium contribute to bone health, enzyme function, and muscle function.
Dietary fiberLow contentAids in digestion, maintains bowel regularity, and supports a healthy gut microbiome.
Resistant starchVariesRegulates blood sugar levels, supports gut health, and promotes satiety (found in cooked and cooled rice)

Fact 2: Don’t Count on Rice for UTI Treatment

Although rice may be a safe option during a UTI, it’s not a magic bullet. UTIs stem from bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli), which require medical treatment, such as antibiotics. So, while eating rice won’t aggravate your UTI, it won’t speed up your recovery either.

Fact 3: Brown rice is better than White rice.

When it comes to nutritional value, brown rice outshines white rice (reference). As a whole grain, brown rice retains its outer husk, bran, and germ, offering more nutrients and fiber than processed white rice. If you’re battling a UTI, the added vitamins, minerals, and fiber in brown rice might help support your immune system and overall health.

AspectBrown RiceWhite Rice
ProcessingMinimal processing; retains bran, germ, and outer huskProcessed; bran, germ, and outer husk removed
Nutritional ValueHigher in fiber, vitamins, and mineralsLower in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
CaloriesSimilar caloric contentSimilar caloric content
Glycemic Index (GI)Lower GI; slower release of glucose into the bloodstreamHigher GI; faster release of glucose into the bloodstream
Texture & FlavorChewier texture, nuttier flavorSofter texture, milder flavor
Cooking TimeLonger cooking time due to intact huskShorter cooking time
Shelf LifeShorter shelf life due to the presence of natural oilsLonger shelf life
Health BenefitsSupports digestive health, heart health and may help with weight managementFewer health benefits due to lower nutrient content

Fact 4: Except for Hydration, Rice water doesn’t provide any added benefit for UTI.

Rice water, the starchy liquid left behind after cooking rice, is safe to drink and hydrates you, but that’s about it. Staying hydrated is crucial during a UTI to flush out bacteria and toxins, but there’s no evidence that rice water is better than regular water for this purpose. Stick to water, herbal teas, or coconut water to keep your system in top shape.

If you choose to consume rice water during a UTI, follow these steps to prepare it:

  1. Rinse 1 cup of rice thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities.
  2. In a large pot, combine the rinsed rice with 4 cups of water.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, strain the rice water into a separate container, discarding the rice or saving it for another use.
  5. Allow the rice water to cool to room temperature before consuming.

You can consume rice water as-is or add a small amount of honey or lemon for flavor. However, keep in mind that acidic ingredients like lemon might irritate the bladder in some individuals with UTIs.

Remember that rice water is not a substitute for proper medical treatment for UTIs. It is essential to consult your healthcare provider for appropriate treatment options, which may include antibiotics or other medications.

Fact 5: Tips for UTI Sufferers Who Love Rice

If you’re a rice fan, here are some tips to make healthier choices during a UTI:

  1. Pick whole-grain rice, like brown or wild, for extra fiber and nutrients.
  2. Steer clear of excessive salt, spices, or acidic ingredients, like tomato sauce, which might irritate your urinary tract.
  3. Combine rice with lean proteins, veggies, and healthy fats for a balanced meal that supports your immune system and overall health.
  4. Don’t go overboard with portion sizes; moderation is key to maintaining a balanced diet without overloading on carbs.

So, while rice and rice water may not be the answer to your UTI woes, they’re safe to consume. To support your immune system and overall health, focus on a balanced diet and hydration, and seek appropriate medical treatment for your UTI.

FAQs about rice and UTIs:

Does rice irritate the urinary bladder?

Rice is generally considered a bland, non-irritating food and is unlikely to irritate the urinary bladder. In fact, rice and other bland carbohydrates are often recommended as part of a bladder-friendly diet for individuals with interstitial cystitis or other bladder-related issues.

Does rice cause UTI?

No, eating rice does not cause UTIs. UTIs are caused by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli), entering the urinary tract. The consumption of rice or any other food is not directly linked to the development of UTIs.

Is rice bad for UTI?

Rice is not inherently bad for UTIs. As a bland food, it is unlikely to worsen UTI symptoms and can be part of a balanced diet during a UTI.

Is rice good for UTI?

Rice itself does not have specific properties that make it particularly beneficial for UTIs. However, it can provide energy and be a part of a balanced diet while you are recovering from a UTI. Consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods is essential for supporting your immune system and overall health during a UTI.

Does eating rice prevent recurrent UTI?

There is no direct evidence to suggest that eating rice can prevent recurrent UTIs. However, maintaining a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, such as rice, can contribute to better overall health and a stronger immune system. A healthy immune system is essential for fighting off infections, including UTIs.