How can I make my bladder healthy?

November marks Bladder Health AWareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to shed light on how you can proactively care for your bladder health. Bladder-related issues like interstitial cystitis, urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) not only cause discomfort but also come with a significant financial burden, costing Americans over $70 billion annually.

Here are six practical tips to improve your bladder health through diet and exercise. Always remember to consult with your healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet or exercise routine.

  • Be Antibiotic Aware: Antibiotics play a crucial role in treating various health issues, including bladder-related conditions. However, due to rising antibiotic costs and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it’s essential to use antibiotics judiciously. Follow these guidelines:
    • Take antibiotics as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
    • Complete the entire course of treatment.
    • Dispose of any leftover antibiotics.


  • Harness the Power of Prebiotics and Probiotics: Embrace a diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics to support a healthy bladder. Especially during and after antibiotic treatment, boost your intake of these beneficial microorganisms. Consider a supplement if needed. The synergy between prebiotics (which promote good bacteria) and probiotics (the beneficial bacteria themselves) is crucial for your well-being. Aim for a combination:
    • Pair a banana and/or oats with yogurt (pre-pro).
    • Savor artichoke with Manchego cheese.
    • Enjoy feta cheese with onions.
    • Delight in dandelion greens with yogurt dressing.


  • Stay Hydrated for Better Bladder Health: Hydration is key! Your kidneys work tirelessly to cleanse around 200 quarts of blood daily, producing urine that is stored in the bladder. Inadequate hydration is a common cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Drinking fluids, especially water and non-sweet beverages, helps flush out bacteria and maintains urinary tract health. Proper hydration can also reduce the risk of kidney stones by diluting urine, making it harder for crystals to form. Stay hydrated and empty your bladder regularly.


  • Mindful Eating for Bladder Health: Incorporate natural diuretic foods into your diet to support a healthy bladder. Foods like watermelon, celery, and parsley stimulate the need to urinate, promoting a healthy cycle of kidney-bladder-urinary tract cleansing.


  • Manage Interstitial Cystitis (IC) with Diet: IC is a challenging, chronic bladder condition affecting millions. While there is no cure, dietary adjustments can alleviate some of the discomfort. Begin by eliminating trigger foods such as spicy items, chocolate, citrus, soy, caffeine, and alcohol. Monitor how your body reacts to different foods and consider consulting a registered dietitian for guidance in navigating these dietary changes.


  • Exercise for a Healthy Bladder: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for bladder and overall health. A well-rounded exercise routine that includes cardio, strength training, flexibility, and balance can make a significant difference. Overactive bladders (OAB), bladder leakage, and incontinence are common bladder issues that can benefit from exercise. Strengthen your pelvic floor with exercises like:
    • Kegel exercises: Contract your pelvic floor muscles, holding for three seconds and repeating ten times.
    • Pelvic floor ball squeeze: Squeeze a ball between your thighs, holding for ten seconds and repeating ten times.
    • Resistance band exercises: Place a resistance band around your thighs and press your feet together to engage your inner thighs and glutes.


What foods should you avoid with bladder problems?

If you’re experiencing bladder problems, it’s important to avoid, or eliminate, certain foods from your diet. These include caffeinated, carbonated, and alcoholic beverages. Be wary of citrus foods and high water-content foods. Onions, salsa, and spicy food, in general, can exacerbate symptoms of bladder problems.

When in doubt, contact your primary care physician or a registered dietitian nutritionist to give you the guidance you need to improve your bladder health. Take proactive steps to prevent bladder problems and the associated discomfort. Remember, a healthy bladder means a healthier you, and it’s never too late to prioritize your well-being.


Prebiotic and Probiotic Yogurt Parfait



  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or your preferred yogurt variety)
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup if preferred)
  • 1/4 cup granola (optional, for added texture and flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional, for extra fiber and omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Sliced banana (optional, for extra prebiotics)



  1. Prepare the Yogurt:
    • Start by scooping 1 cup of Greek yogurt into a bowl. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, providing beneficial live bacteria for your gut.
  2. Add Mixed Berries:
    • Wash and prepare your mixed berries. You can use fresh or frozen berries, depending on what’s available. Berries contain natural prebiotics that nourish your gut bacteria. Add them on top of the yogurt.
  3. Drizzle with Honey:
    • Drizzle 2 tablespoons of honey over the yogurt and berries. Honey acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
  4. Layer with Granola (Optional):
    • If you’d like some added crunch and texture, sprinkle 1/4 cup of granola over the honey. Granola provides additional fiber and flavor.
  5. Sprinkle with Chia Seeds (Optional):
    • For extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and a slight nutty flavor, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of chia seeds over the parfait.
  6. Optional Banana Slices:
    • If you enjoy bananas, consider adding some sliced banana on top. Bananas are another source of prebiotics.
  7. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Grab a spoon and dig in! Mix the layers together or enjoy them separately for a delightful and gut-friendly snack.


This yogurt parfait is not only delicious but also packed with probiotics from the yogurt and prebiotics from the honey, berries, and optional banana. It’s a fantastic way to support your gut health while satisfying your taste buds. Feel free to customize the parfait with your favorite fruits, nuts, or seeds to make it your own.