5 Tips for keeping your urinary system healthy over the holidays
It’s that time of the year. A time for traditions, which may include shopping, parties and general indulging. Amidst the holiday celebrations, your urinary system can take a hit. Below are some suggestions for how to keep your system healthy during the holiday season.
- Skip the spicy food.
Spicy foods can irritate the bladder, as can citrus fruits and juices, carbonated beverages, dairy products, tomato-based foods and chocolate. So skip the hot wings and samosas on the appetizer table, and opt for choices like hummus and spinach dips, mixed nuts, mini quiches and the always-festive shrimp ring.
- Indulge in naturally sweet fruits and vegetables versus high-sugar or artificially-sweetened goodies.
Like spicy food, high-sugar and artificially-sweetened foods can irritate the urinary system. Instead, load-up on naturally-sweet foods like yam, sweet potato, corn, cranberries, melon and berries.
- Drink lots of water.
Drinking water and other clear, non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic, fluids helps to dilute urine and ensure regular emptying of the bladder, so that bacteria get flushed from the urinary system.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine.
Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can irritate the bladder causing more bladder contractions and greater urgency and frequency of urination. Great seasonal alternatives to coffee and cocktails include herbal teas and non-alcoholic apple cider or coconut-milk eggnog.
- Don’t wait to urinate.
It may be more convenient when you’re out shopping or on the tobogganing hill to “hold it”, but frequent emptying of the bladder ensures that bacteria are regularly removed from the urinary system.
Happy Holidays from the Southern Alberta Institute of Urology!