However, there are plenty of reasons to consider your bladder and its safety when planning meals. “Regular neglect of bladder health and maintenance can lead to timely cystitis and disease, as well as some undesirable immediate side effects, such as frequent urination and pelvic pain, among others,” says S Adam Ramin, MD. Urologist and medical director of Urological Oncologists in Los Angeles. “The inner lining of the bladder wall, known as the mucosa, is very sensitive to certain chemicals. Irritants can lead to inflammation of the bladder, known as cystitis, which then causes urinary symptoms including frequent urination, urgency, burning with urination, and night-time urination. , pelvic pain, and incontinence.”
These chemical irritants enter the body through food, which is why the foods and drinks you eat can either promote or impair your bladder health. Once metabolized by the liver in the digestive system, these byproducts of foods and drinks enter the bloodstream and are filtered through the kidney system before being eliminated via urination. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind, according to a urologist: If it’s not good for your bladder, you won’t feel good when you pee.
The best and worst foods for bladder health, according to a urologist
Not everyone has a sensitive bladder, but for many, being mindful of eating and drinking habits that help or harm their bladder can make a huge difference to their overall wellness (and TBH, mind). This is because some foods are known to irritate the bladder, while others are better tolerated.
“In general, acidic foods, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol tend to cause bladder irritation,” says Mehran Mufasagi, MD, urologist and director of men’s health at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and professor of urology at Saint John Cancer Institute. Urgency, frequent urination, and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.” A few foods that Dr. Ramin says often cause urinary tract irritation are coffee, black tea, spicy foods, fried foods, and processed foods, especially those high in Sugar, salt and/or preservatives, for example, canned pastries or frozen meals that contain saturated fats can cause inflammation.
Conversely, foods that promote bladder health tend to be high in water, more alkaline than acidic, and rich in antioxidants to reduce inflammation in the body — fruits and vegetables are a great example. A good rule of thumb, according to Dr. Mufasagi, is to pack leafy greens or fresh fruit into as many meals and snacks as possible, and load up your plate so that you eat several servings a day. Dr. says.
Most importantly, your body needs water to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water (and eating foods that are high in water) is also key to a healthy urinary system. “Drinking one to two liters of water per day can help relieve any irritants in the food or drinks ingested. This is especially important for those with a sensitive bladder,” explains Dr. Mufasagi. He adds that those numbers may change if you have an active lifestyle and sweat a lot. “Water intake prevents constipation, and hard stools and a full bowel can lead to a blockage in the pelvis, putting pressure on the bladder,” says Dr. Mufasagi. This means that high-fiber foods that contain plenty of water (such as fresh fruits and vegetables) help prevent both constipation And Bladder irritation.
What urologists eat regularly to maintain optimal bladder health
Both urologists maintain a diet full of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil, whole grains, lean proteins and fatty fish. And they go with fresh processing, when possible. Read on for more details about urologists’ favorite foods for bladder health below.
Breakfasts are packed with nutrients: Think eggs with whole-grain toast, fresh fruit juices, Greek yogurt, and smoked salmon with avocado and cucumber slices.
“I love bananas, which are high in magnesium and potassium to allow for normal bowel function,” says Dr. Mohavagasi. “I also eat nuts, berries and eggs every day – and always have fresh berries without any added sugar.” He recommends eating them without added sugar or pairing them with unsweetened yogurt that contains bladder-friendly probiotics, such as Greek or Greek yogurt.
Eggs served on whole-grain toast with mashed avocado, an omelet or frittata on top of a bed of vegetables and roasted potatoes are also good for your bladder. Dr. Mohavagasi also spreads nut butters on whole-grain toast with sliced bananas and chia seeds, or mixes bananas with berries, greens, and creamy avocado for a portable breakfast that can be sipped on the go.
Dr. Ramin loves to eat protein salads that contain a range of fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant benefits. “My top choices for protein sources are grilled or baked hormone-free chicken, oven-baked salmon, or grilled tuna,” says Dr. Ramin. These foods are healthier than proteins that contain high levels of saturated fats, such as red meat or fried chicken. “I recommend eating red meat in moderation to avoid an increased risk of heart disease and high cholesterol,” he adds.
For toppings, choose a variety of vegetables: red, yellow, green, orange and white fruits and vegetables have a place on the plate. “Leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, and berries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Dr. Ramin. He also recommends including avocado and olive oil for healthy fats. “I like a base of greens—lettuce, spinach, kale, or watercress—and mix it into a serving of cereal for texture and nutrients,” says Dr. Ramin, noting couscous and quinoa as favourites.
You can also use nuts, seeds, and berries as salad ingredients, all of which provide bladder-supportive properties, especially cranberries. Almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and cashews are all good sources of unsaturated fats and/or omega-3 fatty acids.
For dinner, urologists like to eat chicken breast, tofu, and fish, along with whole grains and vegetables (or two) for added protein and fiber, which may come from starch and plenty of veggies. Salads, cereal bowls, and tacos are all delicious examples. They recommend pairing tofu with a side of stir-fry vegetables and garlic, which is a natural antibiotic and good for the bladder. (And feel free to substitute tofu for turkey breast, chicken, salmon, tuna, halibut, or beans instead.)
Baked sweet potatoes are one of Dr. Mohavagasi’s favorite sides—they’re a way of protein, fiber, and potassium for their electrolyte benefits, making them a good suggestion for a bladder-friendly dinner, especially after a workout. Try filling it with vegetables, cheese, and legumes.
Keep these simple and nutritious. “I love eating unsalted almonds and hard-boiled eggs,” says Dr. Mohavagasi, because they are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. “Keeping the fat percentage low reduces irritation to the intestines and bladder,” he says. Other ideas include egg cups filled with veggies and cheese, avocado or hummus on toast, homemade trail mix, or kale chips with nutritional yeast and garlic powder.
Bladder health tips (outside of diet)
In addition to eating foods rich in nutrients that do not irritate the bladder, lifestyle habits can keep UTIs low as well. These habits include urinating as soon as possible when you have to and not holding back. “Picting within 30 minutes as soon as you feel an urgency is ideal,” says Dr. Ramin. Also take a look at the color of your urine, it is a good indicator of hydration levels. “A nice light yellow to clear yellow is ideal, the darker the urine, the more dehydrated you are.”
Finally, try incorporating Kegel exercises into your fitness routine. According to Dr. Ramin, tightening the muscles around the urethra and applying pressure for five seconds at a time is ideal. “I recommend doing this at least 20 times a day,” he says. “This will not only help with the symptoms of an overactive bladder but will prevent incontinence as well.”
Finally, get rid of cigarettes (duh), because the chemicals in cigarette smoke increase the risk of bladder cancer.
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