Are you experiencing health problems in your urinary tract? Though issues in your urinary tract can be uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful, the good news is that there are many ways to adjust your diet and lifestyle to improve the health of your urinary tract.
What is the urinary tract, and why is nutrition important for it?
But before getting to the foods, you might be wondering what we mean by the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Together, these organs generate and remove urine from the body. Urinary tract health refers to the system's ability to remove waste by producing and getting rid of urine from the body. It can also refer to any illnesses or issues that may arise inside the tract, which might affect the entire urinary system or certain parts of the track, whether it be the bladder, the kidneys, or other parts.
Even though it affects everyone, urinary tract health and the importance of nutrition in maintaining it are seldom discussed. At the end of the day, urine is waste and surplus fluid that is leftover of the foods that we eat and drink after the body has taken its nutritional properties.
Because of this, your diet and lifestyle habits have a direct impact on the health of your urinary tract. For example, drinking at least two liters of water a day benefits the health of your urinary system. If you drink fewer fluids, your urine is likely to increase in concentration, irritate the bladder, and promote bacterial development in the urinary tract, leading to a range of health issues.
The Best Foods For Your Urinary Tract
You can keep your bladder healthy by eating these nutritious foods:
- Berries: The therapeutic characteristics of berries prevent the bladder from developing stones. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are abundant in vitamin C, which keeps nasty germs at bay in your bladder. They also contain a lot of water, helping you flush out the waste in your urinary tract throughout the day. Berries are tasty on their own, and can also be included in your smoothies, salads, and other delicious meals.
- Plums and apples: The pectin in plums and apples help remove toxins from your body. They’re also high in dietary fiber, which helps you have regular bowel movements, avoiding waste accumulation in your body.
*You might ask why bowel movements might matter for the health of your urinary tract. That’s because having irregular bowel movements might swell your intestines, which puts pressure on your urinary system. The increased pressure restricts urine flow, creating possible urinary issues.
- Bananas: Bananas are abundant in potassium and fiber, which aid in regular bowel movements and flush out the waste from your urinary tract. Also, because bananas aren’t acidic they won’t irritate your bladder, and will instead provide you with the nutrients you need for maintaining a balanced diet.
- Fiber-Rich Foods: One of the most delicious ways to promote bladder health is to eat foods rich in fiber. Fiber is important for preventing an overactive bladder. Foods rich in fiber include beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains.
- Eggs: Eggs will most certainly not irritate your bladder. They're great for preventing many bladder diseases, and they're a vital part of a healthy diet.
- Cruciferous Veggies: Due to their cancer-fighting capabilities, cruciferous vegetables are some of the most healthy vegetables. Arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radish, and turnips are all examples of cruciferous veggies. They are all high in vitamins C, E, and K, as well as folate and fiber, which maintain the health of your bladder.
- Potatoes: Potatoes are the best option for comfort food, as they won't irritate your bladder. They're quite adaptable and great to include in your meals when the weather gets cold. Regular russet potatoes and sweet potatoes are the healthiest kinds of potatoes for your bladder.
- Yogurt: Eating yogurt and other cultured dairy products (fermented with "good" bacteria) may also reduce potential issues in your urinary tract.
But watch out!
While drinking fluids is key to keeping your urinary tract healthy, this is with the exception of drinking. One thing to keep in mind when ingesting liquids is to avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages. Drinks such as tea, coffee, cola, and other soft drinks can all increase examples of caffeinated beverages. Caffeine increases the frequency and volume of urine and in turn, irritates your urinary tract.