By Christine Ruggeri
To help support a healthy urinary tract, it’s crucial to keep the right balance of friendly and unfriendly bacteria in the body. Maintaining a healthy pH balance and consuming antioxidant-rich foods is also important.
Thankfully, in addition to an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, there are many dietary supplements for urinary tract health that may help to keep this important system working properly.
What Is the Urinary Tract?
The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system that removes wastes and fluids through urine. There are several parts of the urinary tract that must work together for normal urination to occur.
The urinary tract includes the following:
- Kidneys — We have two kidneys that are located right below our rib cage. They are in charge of filtering blood and removing waste. This process balances fluids and produces urine to be removed from the body.
- Ureters — These are thin tubes of muscle that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
- Bladder — This is a balloon-shaped organ that holds up to two cups of urine.
- Urethra — This is the tube that carries urine out of the body during urination.
Urination begins with a signal from the brain, which causes sphincter muscles at the bladder’s neck to relax and the bladder to tighten. This squeezes urine through the urethra and out of the body. It’s important to keep these functioning well, or it can impact the urinary tract system.
Best Urinary Tract Supplements
1. Cranberry Urinary Tract Health Capsules
Ancient Nutrition’s Cranberry Urinary Tract Health Capsules support urinary tract health with a combination of superfood cranberry, organic fermented juniper berry and organic fermented bearberry leaf. This vegan-friendly formulation is formulated specifically to support a healthy urinary tract.
Researchers believe that some inherent chemicals in cranberries work to keep “bad guy” bacteria from sticking to cells that line the urinary tract. Cranberries also pack a nutrition punch, with high levels of proanthocyanidins, which are antioxidant flavonoid compounds. Cranberry also provides vitamin C, which helps to fight free radicals.
How to use: Take two capsules daily with water or your favorite drink to support a healthy urinary tract.
Probiotic supplements help to support healthy flora that impacts urinary tract health. They also support healthy digestive and immune system function. A combination of soil-based organisms, prebiotics and postbiotics create a trifecta approach for supporting a healthy inflammation response and maintaining healthy flora.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C supplements promote healthy antioxidant activity and support a healthy immune defense. They also generally help to support healthy pH balance.
How to use: Take 100 to 900 milligrams daily. Ancient Nutrition's Vitamin C features 900 milligrams per serving and also includes probiotics.
4. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is known as a precious plant that’s been used for over 2,500 years as a cleansing agent.
Oregano oil contains a variety of antioxidant compounds, such as phenols and triterpenes. Other powerful compounds found in oregano, carvacrol and thymol, are known as health-supporting components.
D-mannose is a kind of sugar that’s available in supplement form, usually in power or capsule form. It’s used to support the urinary tract to promote healthy function.
How to use: Read the product label for dosage directions. A common recommendation is taking about 2-5 grams daily to support a healthy urinary tract.
There are some foods and drinks you can consume to support urinary tract health and the proper balance of bacteria. Here are the best foods for urinary tract health:
It’s important to drink plenty of water to flush out your system. When you want to focus more on urinary tract health, drink one glass of water with every meal and snack to increase urination frequency. Other healthy fluids include green tea, black tea and seltzer.
An active component in freshly crushed raw garlic, called allicin, possesses beneficial properties. Adding raw garlic to meals will support urinary tract health, and garlic supplements are also available.
3. Fermented foods
Eating fermented foods may help to support the body’s natural flora and provide helpful bacteria in the urinary tract. Some good options include kefir, kimchi, probiotic yogurt, kombucha and sauerkraut.
4. Polyphenol foods
Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that support healthy flora balance and are acidic in nature. Eating these foods may help to maintain a healthy pH balance and help support a healthy urinary tract. Some polyphenol foods include blueberries, blackberries, black currants, spinach and red onions.
In addition to adding these foods to your diet for urinary tract health, you should also avoid sugary or spicy foods. Avoid alcohol and drinking too much caffeine, too. And while acidic foods can be helpful for supporting healthy pH balance, don’t go overboard with acidic fruits like lemons and limes.
As always, consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including dietary supplements.