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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Festive Foods for a Healthy Bladder: Navigating Holiday Meals

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s an easy time to indulge in sweets and yummy foods. But, for those who struggle with any form of urinary incontinence, being mindful of what you eat is key to a happy holiday. 

Eating certain foods and large quantities of foods that can trigger bladder responses can lead to not enjoying one of the best times of the year. That’s why we have curated a list of foods to avoid and to indulge in so you can avoid any problems with incontinence.

A Few Pointers To Start With

It’s a better feeling to focus on what you can have than what you can’t. These are a few pointers that will help keep you on the right track.

Always Stay Hydrated

It may feel like an oxymoron, but staying hydrated will help you control your bladder urges. This is because your urine becomes more concentrated when you are dehydrated. This increases the urinary urge to be more frequent, even if you don’t produce much. The concentration of it also causes it to smell worse when accidents happen. 

Tip: Have an eight-ounce water bottle handy at all times. Drink slowly but throughout the day to maintain hydration. 

Lean Protein

Turkey is the centerpiece for most people’s Thanksgiving. But over the holidays, we have a plethora of options when it comes to meats. Opting for lean meats like chicken, fish, and turkey have less fat in them. The fat in protein dishes coated in other ingredients can aggravate the bladder easily. 

Tip: If there is an option for it to be baked, broiled, or steamed, this is the way to go. Avoid greasy fried foods. 

A Colorful Plate Wins

It may feel like you are back in school, but a colorful plate full of vegetables and fruits can kickstart a healthy holiday meal. Vegetables rich in antioxidants and low in acidity will help maintain a healthy holiday bladder. This will help fight any inflammation or irritation that the bladder may experience. 

Tip: Raw vegetables in their purest forms will have the most nutritional benefit. Salads or raw vegetables with a healthy dip are the way to go. 

The Naughty List

When it comes to urinary aggravation and irritation, it’s a lot more about what you don’t eat rather than what you do. There is a list of foods we should avoid, but the good news is that there are plenty of swap-out options. 

Sugar 

Sugar may be one of the most difficult ones to avoid because it’s everywhere. Too much sugar can lead to a UTI or a urinary tract infection. As a result, your urine can become more acidic. It also contributes to higher blood glucose levels, which makes you have to go to the bathroom more often. 

The Swap: Choose fruits as a natural source of sugar that has high levels of Vitamin C. Vitamin C fights bad bacteria that live in the bladder. These fruits are raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. 

Citrusy and Acidic Foods

While we recommend eating some fruits, be careful which ones you choose. Avoiding foods that are acidic and citrusy is essential. This is because they contain high levels of potassium and phosphorus, which contribute to bacteria that lead to UTIs. 

The Swap: People who love tangy food can put a little apple cider vinegar or even white vinegar into their recipes. Now, these are both strong, so taking a sip right from the bottle won’t be pleasing. Find a way to work it into a good recipe. 

Alcohol and Caffeine

For some, avoiding alcohol and caffeine is not very difficult. For others, it’s the end all be all. Sadly, they are both some of the worst contributors to urinary incontinence and aggravated bladders. Alcohol and caffeine are severe diuretics. 

This means that they increase urinary production at absorbent amounts. They also lead to significant dehydration, causing you to drink more. 

The Swap: There is a market for non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails nowadays, which makes it a lot more enjoyable to drink. And they have fantastic health benefits. Just remember, avoid the sugar in these drinks. 

A simple decaffeinated coffee or non-caffeinated beverage will also be very helpful. For those who rely heavily on caffeine, this can take some time to adjust. 

Processed Foods

We touched on this a little, but avoiding processed foods can significantly help. Using natural ingredients and recipes is not only healthier but also relieves your bladder. These foods lead to constipation, and when this occurs, it pushes on your bladder, causing the urge to pee. This forces your bladder to contract even when you don’t have to go to the bathroom. 

The Swap: The swap is easy. Look for wholesome ingredients and recipes like sweet potato mash, baked turkey, fat-free green bean casserole, and so on! 

Potion and Will Power

Depending on how reactive your bladder is will depend on how strict you should be. For those who suffer from extreme bladder incontinence, being more strict with your diet and consumption is important for a healthy and happy holiday season. But if you are someone who has a little wiggle room, indulging a little here and there can be OK. 

If you do indulge, setting yourself up in an environment that is comfortable and safe in case you do react is key. This may be in the comfort of your home and surrounded by your closest people. It may also be having sweets by yourself after the get-togethers so you can feel comfortable. 

Read more Health & Wellness articles from Green Living.

Header photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

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