Our bladder health is something we often take for granted, but it plays a major role in our overall well being and comfort.
If you're dealing with urinary incontinence in your everyday life, understanding how your diet affects your bladder health can be a game-changer. So, in the spirit of changing the game, we're going to discuss four foods that can support and improve bladder health when incorporated into your regular diet.
We'll come to understand how each of these foods contributes to a healthier bladder, so you can manage your incontinence more effectively. From antioxidant-rich fruits that combat inflammation to natural diuretics that promote good urinary function.
These foods aren't just good for the bladder but also delicious and easy to incorporate into your daily diet, so you should have no problem sticking to your new bladder-friendly regimen.
- Bladder-friendly Berries
- Whole-grains for a healthy urinary tract
- Leafy greens for good bladder function
Improve your bladder health with berries
Berries - nature's candy - are renowned for their health benefits, and this is no different when it comes to bladder health. These small but mighty fruits are delicious and packed with nutrients that support bladder health.
Two berries in particular that work to improve bladder function and reduce instances of urinary incontinence: cranberries and blueberries.
- Cranberries - These contain unique compounds called "proanthocyanidins" or PACs. These prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall and reducing the likelihood of infections. Since urinary tract infections can worsen symptoms of incontinence, preventing them can indirectly help to manage ongoing incontinence issues.
- Blueberries - Rich in antioxidants called "flavonoids", blueberries help to reduce inflammation in the bladder and alleviate the symptoms associated with urinary incontinence such as urgency.
Why do berries improve bladder health?
Outside of their unique makeup, berries are generally a great addition to your diet if you're looking to improve your bladder health. That's because they work in tandem with many of the body's ways in staying regular and continent.
- High in fibre - Dietary fibre helps to aid in bowel regulation and a healthy digestive system, both of which reduce pressure on the bladder so it can function properly.
- Low in sugar and acid - High amounts of sugar and acid can irritate the bladder and exacerbate urinary incontinence symptoms. So, they can satisfy a sweet tooth without consequence to your bladder.
- Water content - Berries have high water content which is key in a person's diet for a healthy urinary function, as it helps flush out toxins and bacteria from your bladder.
Whole grains for a healthy urinary tract
Whole grains are a vital component of a bladder-friendly diet. Unlike their refined counterparts, whole grains retain all parts of the grain to ensure a rich supply of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. The impact of whole grains on bladder health is vast:
- Eases pressure on the bladder - The high fibre content of whole grains helps aid regular bowel movements. A constipated bowel can put extra pressure on the bladder and worsen urinary incontinence symptoms, so a regular bowel keeps off this pressure.
- Blood sugar reduction - Whole grains help maintain stable blood sugar levels and reduce the chance of diabetes. If uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to nerve damage that affects bladder control.
- Nutrient dense - Whole grains are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that play a role in overall health, and help maintain the proper function of the urinary tract.
Example of whole grains to include in your bladder-friendly diet
- Oats (e.g. baked goods, bread, granola, muesli)
- Brown rice
- Bulgur wheat
Leafy greens for good bladder function
Leafy greens are a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that support bladder function. These minerals and vitamins further reduce irritation and toxins, aid hydration, bowel movements, and nerve function, and combat infection.
Popular examples of these bladder-friendly foods include:
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Bok Choy
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