Eating Right for the Unexpected Leak - Alkaline Foods
You may have heard that acidic foods can irritate your bladder and worsen the Unexpected Leak. Too many acid-promoting foods could potentially damage your kidney and liver, and might even raise the risk of diabetes. So how does acidity affect your bladder? With a properly working urinary system, the bladder can hold up to two cups of urine for five hours – pretty impressive, right? But when the acid level in your body is too high from consuming the wrong types of foods, this leads to increased bile acid production. During digestion, the liver creates bile, which is in turn stored in the gallbladder.
This is an intricate process that links the digestive system with the urinary system and in turn, impacts how acids are metabolized in your body. When your acidity levels are high, you can develop problems in your bladder such as cystitis or gallstones. If you do experience incontinence, this can compound the effect, irritating your bladder and worsening your condition. Whether it is foods high in sugars and simple starches or even junk and fast foods, they can all lead to excess acidity. Not only are these foods high in acidity, but drinks with caffeine, sodas and alcohol all promote acidity, as well. And as we’ve learned in our recent article about caffeine), it’s a diuretic that isn’t so bladder friendly and only increases urgency! As if worrying about incontinence wasn’t enough, a damaged bladder due to acidity is an unnecessary issue that can be easily prevented. By watching what you put into your body, coupled with trusted protection from a brand like TENA, not only will your bladder be healthy, but you can rid yourself of the worry as well.
“I am pleased that these incontinence underwear keep my elderly mother leak free. Mom's bed linen dry at night!”
- TENA® Customer from St Peters, NS
The key is to balance things out by having a diet higher in alkaline-forming foods. Just be sure to get in enough leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, as these are the foundation of a healthy alkaline diet. Each of these foods are filled with wonderful goodness like magnesium, potassium, calcium and other minerals that help maintain a healthy pH. Now who wouldn’t want that? Especially if you suffer from incontinence, you have to be overly careful of how different foods can affect your condition. But it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming undertaking. Stick to the helpful tips in this article and you’ll see that an alkaline rich diet will not only improve the health of your bladder, but also your overall wellness.
But first, let’s kick things off with a quick chemistry lesson: a pH level measures how acidic or alkaline something is. A pH of 0 is totally acidic, and a pH of 14 is totally alkaline. What’s neutral? Well a pH of 7, of course! Have a look at the chart below to see where some common foods fall on the pH scale:
What can Alkaline do for you?
See any foods that you like to enjoy regularly on the acidic side of the scale? There are some yummy things there! When we consume acid forming foods, our body works to bring the blood pH back into balance. It does this by releasing alkaline rich minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium back into our bloodstream. This can be concerning as our body is forced to pull these crucial minerals from our bones, teeth and organs – places we need them most! This process can result in a compromised immune system, reducing your ability to fend off viruses and diseases. A highly acidic diet also can create an ideal environment for yeast and fungus, which is another reason to keep your pH balance in check.
But let’s talk about the benefits of consuming a high alkaline diet. Alkaline foods cleanse the kidneys and the urinary system, which is especially important for those who experience leaks. Other advantages include a stronger immune system which results in fewer colds, headaches and viruses, increased energy levels and deeper and more restful sleeps (something everyone can use!).
Not fully convinced? Keep these additional benefits of a high alkaline diet in mind the next time a frosty glass of cola is calling your name:
- More elastic and youthful skin
- Improved digestion
- Improvement in arthritis related pain
- Reduction in yeast overgrowth
- Increased mental alertness and acuity
That being said, what is the healthy balance of acid and alkaline? Well, our bodies are approximately 20 percent acidic and 80 percent alkaline, therefore you should aim to consume about the same ratio of acidic to alkaline foods. So skip the fast food and go for fresh foods!
Alkaline Rich Foods
High alkaline foods will help tip your internal scale into balance. From veggies and fruits to spices, make sure these foods are on your next grocery list:Vegetables:
Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Red Pepper, Spinach, AvocadoFruits:
Apple, Banana, Berries, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Melon, Lemon, Orange, Pear, WatermelonProtein:
Almonds, Chestnuts, TofuSpices:
Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Mustard, Sea Salt
Bookmark this handy reference so you can make the right food decisions for your alkaline diet.
Get Your Alkaline On
Now, let’s get to how you can increase your intake. From the type of foods you eat, even to the way you cook, there are some simple tips and tricks that can put you on the path to a healthy balance. With all the temptations out there – junk food, red meats, sugars and grains – it’s important to know how to avoid the wrong types of foods and focus on what’s good. Get started with these tips:
It’s all about salads
This is probably the easiest and most effective way to increase your intake of alkaline foods. Choose dark greens as the base of your salad. For example, go for raw spinach rather than iceberg lettuce. Add in a couple slices of avocado, a handful of crunchy soy beans and top it all off with olive oil based salad dressing.
Avoid overcooking veggies
Did you know overcooking vegetables can reduce their nutrient content? It can even convert an alkaline food into an acidifying one! Spinach is the perfect example. A great source of alkaline when raw, but it can become acidifying once cooked. That being said, try to eat most of your veggies raw. Hello salad!
Step up your fruit game
Fruits are a simple and delicious way to up your alkaline. Try to increase your intake of citrus fruits, watermelon, papaya, mangos, apples and blueberries. Watch out for prunes, blackberries and cranberries as these can have an acidifying effect.
Remember, even though a food may seem high in acidity, like a lemon for example, this has nothing to do with the alkaline forming tendency in the body of that particular food. Citrus fruits may seem like they would have an acidic effect on your body, but the citric acid they contain actually has an alkalinizing effect on the system.
Say goodbye to processed grains and sugar
Unfortunately some of the most common foods, white flour and sugar are notorious for making the body too acidic. Do your best to cut out or limit foods like white bread, noodles, processed cereals, baked goods, and sweet treats. Avoiding these foods is as easy a pie.
No more artificial sweeteners
One of the worst culprits, artificial sweeteners have an extremely acidic effect on the body. Swap these for natural sweeteners like raw sugar, honey or maple syrup. Instead of sugary sodas, go for green or herbal teas.
Less meat, less dairy
Swap acidic meats for protein rich foods like quinoa or tofu. And replace dairy products for substitutes such as soy milk and goat cheese.
Keep your balance
Don’t worry, keeping a healthy pH balance doesn’t mean you can never eat a cheeseburger again. Just be sure to keep a healthy balance and combine your foods properly. Check out these essential principles in combining your foods.
Now put this into practice tonight with some alkaline rich recipes. And to mix things up, literally, make a quick and delicious smoothie chock full of alkaline super foods! Try one of these smoothie recipes for yourself.
Keeping your bladder healthy
Your bladder plays such an essential role in your overall health. And whether you have the unexpected leak or not, it’s crucial to watch what you put into your body, so you can get the most out of your bladder. Tipping your internal scale back in balance will help ease any bladder irritation and help reduce incontinence issues. And as those with leaks know, the worry and stress of a little dribble is enough of an inconvenience. By changing your diet to lower your pH levels and using trusted products like TENA, your little bladder matters and the worries that come with them, can be a mere afterthought. So reach for leafy greens over a loaf of white bread, and choose TENA over a change of clothes. You’ll see how quickly you can feel like you again.
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