Urinary health is an aspect of health that you might not think about until it’s a problem. Though it’s not always top-of-mind, having urinary problems can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help promote a healthy urinary tract. In this article, we will share with you some natural remedies that you may want to incorporate into your lifestyle, as well as things you’ll want to stay away from to help keep your urinary tract healthy.
What Works for Urinary Health
Multiple studies show that cranberry offers urinary health benefits. It’s believed that natural the components in cranberries known as proanthocyanidins (PACs) can help prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract which may lead to infection. Many of the research studies have looked at the PACs in cranberry juice and cranberry extracts. You can add some PACS to your diet by adding fresh and dried cranberries to your favorite recipes. Here is a tasty recipe to make your own cranberry juice cocktail.
Cranberry Juice Cocktail
- 2 quarts water
- 8 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup sugar or equivalent sugar substitute
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice or pineapple juice
- In a large pot, bring water and cranberries to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until berries begin to split open and breakup.
- Strain mixture through a fine strainer, pressing mixture with a spoon to extract all the juice. Throw away the berry skins and seeds.
- Pour the juice from the cranberry back into the pot. Stir in the sugar or sugar substitute, lemon juice and orange juice (or pineapple juice or juice of your choice).
- Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove pot from the heat and let cool on the stove for 15-20 minutes. Transfer juice to a pitcher; cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Curious about the benefits of other berries? Research exploring blueberry, lingonberry, and chokeberry for urinary health hasn’t panned out. Only cranberries contain the type of PACs that can keep your urinary tract healthy.
Drink adequate water
Water seems to make a difference in urinary health. At least one study suggests that increasing water intake helps reduce the risk of another bladder infection among postmenopausal women who previously had low water intake and who regularly got frequent bladder infections.
Remember, fluid needs vary with gender, age, activity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and medical status. Be sure to check with a healthcare provider to discuss your personal needs. Though there is no exact fluid requirement, the Institutes of Medicine recommends 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of total water for women and 125 ounces (or 3.7 liters) for men. This includes water from both beverages and food. So, enjoy refreshing plain water but also count other beverages as well as high water fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, citrus fruits, greens, melons, and berries in your tally.
This one may seem obvious. However, using the bathroom when needed, not holding it for long periods, and emptying the bladder can help keep the bladder in good shape. And The National Institute on Aging, among others, recommends urinating shortly after sex to clear the urethra of potential bacteria that may have traveled into the urethra during intercourse. This is especially important for women, as they are more prone to urinary tract infections.
What Doesn’t Work for Urinary Health
Hold off on kidney and bladder teas that promise to improve urinary health. You might see asparagus root, goldenrod, lovage, stinging nettle, and other teas promoted as ways to boost urinary health. But there’s no reliable or sufficient scientific evidence to support these claims at this time.
Beyond what you eat, keep in mind that douching, using a diaphragm or spermicides, as well as long soaks in a bathtub, may increase the risk of urinary tract infections. Certain prostate conditions may also increase the chance of having a urinary tract infection.
Taking a proactive approach to urinary health can go a long way towards preventing unwanted conditions and promoting overall well-being.For more information, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @Theralogix! Don’t miss an article! Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know when our next article comes out.