Not fully emptying your bladder is the most common cause of bladder stones, but what you eat or don't eat may also affect your risk of developing them. When urine sits in your bladder too long, the chemicals in the urine react with each other and form crystals. A poor diet changes the chemistry of your urine and bladder, which may increase crystal formation. NHS Choices recommends a healthy diet that is low in fat and high in fiber to maintain a healthy bladder and prevent bladder stones. Consult your doctor about your diet and how it affects bladder health.
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Healthy and Low-Fat
To get the nutrients you need to prevent bladders stones, eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups. Healthy, low-fat options include fruits, vegetables and grains -- with at least half your grains being whole grain --- prepared without added fat; low-fat and nonfat dairy; and lean sources of protein such as poultry, seafood, lean meats such as beef or pork tenderloin and beans. To help limit the fat in your diet, bake, broil or steam your food instead of frying food or cooking with a lot of oil.
Making healthier food choices not only helps you limit fat, but also helps you get more fiber. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans are all good sources of fiber. To improve overall health, including bladder health, women need 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, and men 30 to 38 grams a day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends aiming for 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day and to make sure you include whole grains and beans to bump up fiber intake.
Plenty of Water
Not getting enough fluids also affects bladder health and may increase the formation of bladder stones, according to NHS Choices. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to keep your urine colorless or slightly yellow. The amount of fluid you need each day depends on your gender, body size, age, activity and environment. Clemson Cooperative Extension says a healthy adult needs 8 to 12 cups of water a day just to replace the fluids lost in urine, bowel movements, perspiration and breathing. You can start with 1 quart of water for every 50 pounds of body weight, or 3 quarts for a 150-pound person.
3 Low-Fat, High-Fiber Meals
A healthy diet plan for bladder health should include three regular meals. A healthy low-fat, high-fiber breakfast might include a bowl of whole-grain cereal with berries and nonfat milk. For lunch, you might enjoy a spinach salad topped with garbanzo beans, walnuts and grilled chicken breast with fat-free salad dressing, a fresh orange and a whole-grain roll. Dinner might include broiled haddock with a baked potato, Brussels sprouts and a tossed salad with fat-free dressing.