Treatment for Stress Urinary Incontinence can take many forms. Of course, doing Kegel exercises and discovering game-changing technological products like INNOVO are ground zero and most essential in rebuilding your pelvic floor to fight SUI. But there are also some easy lifestyle changes that can add great benefit to your treatment plan, namely diet.
According to the Mayo Clinic, diet “may play a supportive role in helping with symptoms of overactive bladder, such as the need to urgently and more frequently.
If you're wondering how to calm an irritated bladder in the kitchen, we got ya covered. And don’t worry, you won’t have to give up all of the good stuff - we’ve included some tasty snack and meal ideas you can easily swap or add into your weekly grocery haul.
Load Up On Fruits and Veggies
Get those farmer’s market totes ready. We all know that fresh fruit and vegetables are great for your body and chock full of vitamins and nutrients to keep you feeling amazing. BUT we bet you didn’t know that low-acid fruits like apricots, papaya and watermelon contain powerful antioxidants that can fend off disease or illness. Vegetables are also crucial in providing healthy organ and hormone function.
We recommend trying cranberries or a cranberry supplement, especially if you suffer from urinary tract infections. Throw them in your salads, or if the taste is a bit sour for your liking, mix them in with yogurt, which contains active bacteria (aka probiotics) that your body needs. We know that yogurt can fight off yeast infections, but studies show that eating yogurt might even reduce the risk of developing bladder cancer down the road.
Adding more vegetables to your diet is also key for so many reasons, one of which is improved bladder health. Veggies like kale and cauliflower are high in vitamin C and calcium to support kidney function while corn and potatoes are high in magnesium which help your bladder to fully empty.
Chocolate Greens Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 cup frozen cherries or blueberries
- 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
- Half of an avocado
- 1 cup almond or oat milk
- Add any supplements of choice
- Blend and enjoy!
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
Add this to the “duh, we know” list. But seriously, staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your bladder health. It might seem odd to drink more fluids, especially if you’re living with stress urinary incontinence, however drinking less water might actually increase the incidence of incontinence. Consuming less water might decrease your need to pee initially but ultimately leads to heightened risk factors for urinary tract infections (UTI’s), which will then lead to more frequent needs to urinate.
Everyone’s bodies are different, so check with your doctor as to how much water you should be drinking on a daily basis. But remember that water doesn’t only help you stay hydrated, it flushes out bacteria and toxins in your system
Easy Fruit Water Recipe
- Pour water into pitcher, leaving room for fruit
- Wash lemon, lime or orange. Keep unpeeled
- Slice fruit into 1/4 inch slices
- Add a few slices to water and refrigerate for for two hours (if you like a stronger flavor, leave for longer)
Pour and enjoy.
Foods with high fiber content are directly linked with bladder health. The key benefit here is that they, ahem, keep things moving. When you’re constipated, your intestines can put more pressure on your bladder, causing it to give you sensations of fullness, which leads to urinating more often and leakage.
Fiber rich foods like leafy greens, beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables and whole grain pastas, bread and oats can create regularity in your system, which has a huge impact on your digestive health, as well. High fiber foods can also contribute to weight loss, and being overweight or obese is also directly linked to stress urinary incontinence. If you want to change your diet or lose weight, discuss all options with your doctor who can get you on a plan that’s right for you.
High Fiber Veggie and Hummus Sandwich Recipe
- 2 slices whole-grain bread
- 3 tablespoons hummus
- ¼ avocado, mashed
- ½ cup mixed salad greens
- ¼ medium red bell pepper, sliced
- ¼ cup sliced cucumber
- ¼ cup shredded carrot
Spread one slice of bread with hummus and the other with avocado. Fill the sandwich with greens, bell pepper, cucumber and carrot. Slice in half and serve.
Keep Irritants at Bay
Sorry not sorry on this one. We love a morning latte and nightly glass of red wine as much as the next person, buuuut food and drinks high in caffeine and alcohol are known as diuretics, which encourage the release of water in the urine. That means you’ll be making constant trips to the bathroom with increased urges to pee. After a few cocktails, you might also become less aware of your need to use the bathroom, which can cause unwanted accidents. Talk about a buzz kill.
This is not to say you need to go full cold turkey on the beverages that keep you moving and grooving through life. Go for small changes at first, like swapping out your afternoon coffee with an herbal tea. Also, forgo ALL caffeine after 7pm, which will help you sleep through the night feeling dry.
Tropical Punch Mocktail
- 1/2 cup (125ml) pineapple juice
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 4 lemongrass stems, bruised
- 4 x 375ml cans chilled Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling Passionfruit
- Mint sprigs, to serve
Divide the pineapple juice evenly among ice cube trays. Freeze overnight or until liquid freezes. Divide the orange slices, pineapple ice cubes and lemongrass among the serving glasses. Pour them over sparkling soda of your choice. Top with mind and enjoy.
Up Your Protein Levels
We all know high protein diets can help with weight loss, but protein is also an essential element in maintaining your muscles and hormone regulation, which applies to your pelvic and bladder muscles, too. Eating a diet with enough protein for your own body’s individual needs helps your body’s muscles and organs maintain their health, as well.
But if you’re feeling more veggie inclined, you don’t have to gnaw on a chicken bone to get the proper amount of protein. Some foods that are high in protein include meat, yes but also legumes, peanut butter, eggs and fish. You can also go into the endless chasm of protein powders and shakes. If you’re looking into a more protein focused diet, speak with your medical provider about finding the right levels for you.
Jerk Steak with Corn Slaw Recipe
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp each chilli powder, ground ginger and ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 4 x 200g beef rump steaks
- Rocket leaves, to serve
For Corn Slaw
- 3 corn cobs, husks removed
- 1/4 cup (75g) mayonnaise
- 1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled, cut into thin matchsticks
- 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
For jerk marinade, combine all the ingredients, except the steak and rocket leaves in a bowl. Season with salt and stir to combine. Add the steaks and turn to coat. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
For the corn slaw, start by cooking the corn cobs in a saucepan of boiling water for five minutes or until kernels are tender, then drain and refresh in cold water. Pat dry with paper towel and slice off kernels.
- Combine with remaining slaw ingredients, then season and set aside.
- Preheat a chargrill or barbecue to high.
- Cook the steaks for 2 1/2 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking.
- Remove from heat and rest, loosely covered in foil, for 5 minutes.
- Thinly slice the steaks, then serve with corn slaw and garnish with rocket leaves.