Bananas, yogurt, and cranberries might seem to be the delicious and healthy beginnings for a smoothie but they are also three foods that can support bladder health. The most common bladder complaints can be kept in check with a healthy diet, exercise, and the use of mild herbs. Overactive bladder, UTIs, bladder stones, and incontinence can be addressed in a natural way. Here’s how.
Avoiding Bladder Irritants
If you have been struggling with bladder issues and want to get to the root of the problem, you need look no further than your diet. While it may seem like a good idea to consume fluids throughout the day at a great volume, drinking too much fluid over a short time can overwhelm your bladder and cause an increased sense of urgency. If you are going for a run outside in the summer or working in your garden, when thirst hits it’s satisfying to take in gulps of water all at once and while drinking quickly satisfies severe thirst, it puts an amazing strain on your bladder. Try taking smaller sips when you’re thirsty and spacing your daily recommended 64 ounces of water out throughout the day. The Mayo Clinic suggests drinking about two 8-ounce glasses of water at each meal and one 8-ounce glass between meals.
Just as too much fluid is hard on your bladder, so too is not drinking enough fluids. The function of the bladder is to collect all of the urine from the kidneys before it is eliminated through urination. If you are not drinking the proper amount of fluids in a day, this can lead to increased concentrations of bodily fluids. If your urine is dark yellow and has a strong smell you should take the time to properly hydrate. Concentrated levels like this can irritate your bladder and increase the urge and frequency with which you feel the need to urinate.
Food and drink play a big role in bladder health and bladder irritation. Acidic fruits and fruit juices (primarily citrus), spicy foods, tomato-based items, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, sweeteners (artificial or not), chocolate, and vinegar make up a majority of the irritant list. We all know that moderation is key and that enjoying doesn’t mean indulging, especially if you already suffer from one bladder complaint or another. If you have chronic issues with your bladder it might be a good idea to cut these items out and try to eat a very simple and clean diet for a week to see if you’re feeling better.
Supporting Your Bladder with Diet
Just as there are foods to avoid, there are foods you should reach for daily to support your bladder’s function (and make a delicious smoothie). Cranberries are probably the food that come to mind quickest when you’re considering bladder health but don’t be fooled into thinking that cranberry cocktail will help solve bladder woes. “Cocktail” is just another way of saying sugar juice and if you load up on the sweet stuff you are, more than likely, making your symptoms worse. Go for a concentrated capsule equivalent to drinking 8 cups of cranberry juice with no additives. Bananas are another fruit that can help to keep your bladder healthy in several ways. As an excellent source of potassium and fiber, bananas support the strength of the bladder and help to fight off infections. If you are prone to UTIs try adding at least a half banana into your daily diet and note the improvements. The final ingredient from our smoothie is yogurt which promotes bladder health with its concentration of beneficial bacteria. While yogurt won’t provide immediate relief from bladder complaints it will help to keep your bladder healthy in the long run; the bacteria found in yogurt may work to lessen your chances of bladder cancer by a significant number of percentage points.
Herbs to Support Bladder Health
Hanna understood the power of herbs and wanted to be sure that healing and relief could be had whenever possible. For bladder infections Hanna recommended Marshmallow Root to address the infection as well as the pain and burning that occurs when urinating.
We like Kroeger’s ready-made Marshmallow Root tincture but also have organic bulk available if you wish to make your own. Learn how to make your own healing oils and tinctures. Hanna created Bladder vibropathic for bladder health and it is often used in conjunction with the Kidney Works Kit. Because the kidneys and bladder are in close proximity and work together, it is important that the health of both be considered. Other products to support the bladder or address complaints include Christopher’s Bladder Formula to strengthen the urethral canal, kidneys, and bladder; Bladder Cleanse from EnerHealth which is designed to maintain good urinary health and may be helpful with urinary infections; and Bladder Incontinence from King Bio which provides fast relief of involuntary urination, frequent urination, burning when urinating and associated back pain.
Other Tips for Bladder Health
Your weight does play a role in how your bladder functions and feels. Extra weight can take a toll on the bladder and other urinary structures (not to mention other organs like your heart) as it weakens and stretches the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments that support your bladder. If more fat means less muscle then you are losing your ability to involuntarily operate the muscles in your bladder that hold accumulated urine. Keep your weight in check for the benefit of your entire body, not just your bladder.
As we age our bodies change and this can cause issues with our bladders. For men, prostate gland enlargement is common but can cause some bothersome urinary symptoms and, if left untreated, can block the flow of urine from the bladder and cause bladder, urinary tract, or kidney problems. For prostate health look into the benefits of American Ginseng, Saw Palmetto, and Men’s Special. Each of these products promote a healthy prostate and are beneficial to men age 30 and up. For women the drop in estrogen levels not only impacts heart and bone health but has also been linked to bladder and urethra issues. Stress incontinence and urge incontinence have been associated with menopause as well as an increased rate of UTIs. Check out our Menopause Section of the website for our favorite picks on natural products that can address this fluctuation of estrogen.<< read less