You’ve heard it a million times. You know you should do it. Yes, we’re talking about eating healthy. And while you may know deep down that eating the right foods is good for your overall health, you may not realize that it can be good for incontinence, too.
Managing what you eat may help with bladder health. For instance, things like sugar and alcohol can contribute not only to your waistline, but can also irritate your bladder making you more prone to leaks. Being overweight has been shown to contribute to incontinence since that extra weight places increased pressure on your bladder, which leads to accidental bladder leaks.
Finally, eating healthy and avoiding foods that aren’t good for you may stave off other health conditions as well. Chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes can often result in symptoms of incontinence, so by preventing those, you may be preventing bladder leaks as well. And while food isn’t always to blame for those conditions, eating well is a good first step that you can take to help avoid them.
What Should I Be Eating To Stay Healthy?
Eating the right foods is a hallmark for good health. We’ve all heard that we should be eating lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains. But are some foods more beneficial than others?
It really is different for everyone, especially when you have incontinence. Certain foods may irritate the bladder for some people, so it’s important to track your diet to see if there are any bladder irritants lurking in your current diet. (A bladder diary can really help with this!)
That said, there are some foods that have proven to be “super foods” – foods that are so healthy, they should be included in your diet, as long as your bladder is able to tolerate them.
5 Superfoods That Have Great Health Benefits
1. Broccoli. Broccoli is packed with fiber, antioxidants with cancer-fighting abilities, vitamin C, calcium and foliate, making it one of the healthiest veggies you can eat.
How to eat: Broccoli is a versatile vegetable that can be added to pastas, stir-fry, or salads. Or, make it the star of the show and serve it as a side dish all on its own by tossing it with a bit of olive oil and roasting it in the oven.
2. Garlic. Packed with vitamins and other antioxidants, garlic helps ward off colds, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces the risk of cancer, and has anti-inflammatory effects. And, if you’re prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), garlic is a is a natural anti-bacterial agent that can help fight against some antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria involved in UTIs.
How to eat: Add sautéed garlic to any savory dish for an extra kick. Or, for a really potent cold fighter, top some raw garlic atop a cracker with some tomato paste.
3. Berries. Adding berries to your diet each week gives you a big dose of antioxidants, which help to rid the body of harmful cancer-causing molecules. Try to incorporate a mix of berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries – to get a good blend of nutrients.
How to eat: There’s no shortage of ways to eat these delicious fruits. Mix them into a smoothie, add some on top of yogurt, or eat them all on their own as a delicious, refreshing and healthy dessert.
4. Walnuts. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties, walnuts have consistently made the list of superfoods. And, while some might argue they contain a high calorie and fat content, it’s monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which is actually good for our health since. Adding good fats to our diet helps our bodies absorb certain vitamins and also keeps us from overeating.
How to eat: Have a small handful of walnuts as a snack, mix them into a homemade bread, or toss some atop a salad or pasta dish.
5. Salmon. There’s a reason the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least twice a week – it’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, slow the formation of artery-clogging plaques, and prevent blood clots.
How to eat: This fish is a great main dish and can be roasted, pan seared, or grilled to perfection. It’s also great adding to other dishes, such as salads or pastas.
Incorporate these foods into your diet and start reaping the rewards of healthy eating!
This article is copywritten by the National Association for Continence and is used by permission and legally licensed by Urovant. For more information, visit nafc.org.