Get Smart About Antibiotics: Drink to Defend with Ocean Spray®

*Disclosure: I’m working with Ocean Spray® on their #DrinktoDefend Campaign. While they sponsored this post, all opinions are my own.

Why am I talking about antibiotics?

Well, for starters, we are kicking off Get Smart About Antibiotics Week and it will run until November 20, 2016. So why are all of us talking about Antibiotics then? Because antibiotic resistance is a big deal and each year, according to the CDC, more than 2 million people in the United States get infections from germs that are resistant to antibiotics– and at least 23,000 people die as a result.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like: when bacteria stop responding to the drugs designed to kill them. The CDC even says it is possibly the single most important infectious disease threat we face today. The good news is that we can make choices each day to slow the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant infections. How? By avoiding the infections in the first place with healthy daily habits.

As a holistic nutritionist, I advocate skipping a pill whenever possible

I’ve known for decades that antibiotics are overly prescribed and an all too common solution to illnesses that could, in many cases, be prevented if we took better care of our health daily. My goal is to help people understand the power we have over our health and longevity. There are actions we can take daily in the food we eat, exercise we do, the way we manage stress and the quality of sleep we get that can support our immune system so it can fight for us. This can prevent an expensive doctor visit and/or an unnecessary series of pills. Specifically let’s talk UTI for a minute.

The #2 most common infection treated with antibiotics: UTI

If you’re a woman, or you know one, you know how common this occurrence is and what a bummer it can be. It turns out that 60% of us will suffer one UTI at least once in our lifetime. According to the American Urological Association, it is estimated that 150 million UTIs occur yearly world-wide, costing $6 billion in health care expenditures and the WHO states that there is a 50 percent resistance rate to one of the most widely used antibiotics to treat UTIs.

Proactive steps to avoid the need antibiotics

Rule number one, don’t get sick. Your body’s immune system is vast and magnificent. But that is only if you let it run properly, don’t over-exhaust it and support it with the right nutrients. Specifically, research shows that consuming cranberry juice daily can be a nutritional approach to reducing symptomatic UTIs. There are more than 50 years of well-documented research pointing to the cranberry’s unique ability to block bad bacteria that cause UTIs.

Specific proactive steps to avoid a UTI and its associated antibiotics

The key to cranberry’s benefit is consuming a glass of juice daily to help avoid the infection altogether. Often we wait until the UTI strikes and run off to the grocery store for a gallon of cranberry juice. This is not a good strategy because once the symptoms start it’s most likely a course of antibiotics is in order. It’s smarter to protect yourself with the power of cranberry juice and proper hydration daily.

My favorite hydrating cranberry mocktail

Cranberry juice is one of my favorites because it has these unique health benefits. But I like to get double the hydration buck for my liquid calories so I always mix my cranberry juice with soda water so it lasts twice as long and I get double the hydration! Then of course, I garnish it with a fresh lime or lemon wedge and frozen blueberries as ice so I get to sip in style and protecting my health at the same time.

Hydrating Healthy Cranberry Mocktail:

  • 8 oz Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail
  • 8 oz soda water or club soda
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/8 fresh lime or lemon wedge
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries

Directions: Add ice to a pint class, top with juice, soda water, blueberries and garnish with a lime or lemon wedge. Enjoy!

I’ll also often include it in my daily smoothies instead of water and/or drink it straight before a run, as the cane sugar can be a good source of fuel for exercise.

Questions for the Doctor…from The Doctors!

Because I partnered with Ocean Spray® on this project, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Jennifer Berman, a celebrity doctor about this important topic. These were the questions I had for her, and these answers are summarized based on my lengthy notes and are not direct quotes:

Q: Is there a benefit to eating whole cranberries or clever cranberry recipes this holiday season? Of course! Cranberries have a huge benefit outside of the urinary tract and they are a potent source of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanin with plays a role in combatting inflammation. The amount of proanthocyanidins, the active polyphenols in cranberries, is 80mg and that is what was found to be baneful in supporting urinary track health.

Q: Any other daily habit recommendations to prevent infections and slow the use of antibiotics? At this point, the consumer has a responsibility to educate themselves on the benefits of plants and how the quality of their diet is a proactive part of managing health and preventing infection and disease. Additionally, reducing stress by participating in a meditation practice can play a key role in enhancing your immune system.

How can you participate in the #DrinktoDefend campaign?

Simple! Visit www.cranberryhealth.com to learn more and leave a comment below or share what you are doing to combat antibiotic resistance on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. Be sure to use the hashtag #DrinktoDefend and tag @OceanSprayInc. You can also find Ocean Spray® on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Youtube.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ocean Spray®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Teresa Marie Howes, BS, CPT, HHP
Teresa Marie is a nutrition expert, fitness enthusiast and health coach. She is backed with a BS in Nutrition, an MBA, a CPT from ACE and 16+ years of experience in the weight loss and wellness space. She is the founder and lead contributor of this site and coaches clients across the globe on how to achieve better health and more happiness by implementing the 4 Universal Diet Truths of her Clean & Colorful Concept.

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