Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Interstitial Cystitis Diet: No Citrus? No Strawberries? No Problem!

One of the most common concerns that I hear from my IC patients is how can they consume a balanced diet with interstitial cystitis and the limited, fruit selection on the IC Food List. The answer is simple! Many other bladder friendly fruits and vegetables are full of the same vitamins and antioxidants that a person might find in orange juice or berries.

In fact, even on an IC Diet, you can get a lot of vitamin C from foods that are not citrus. Check out this list of bladder friendly, high vitamin C options (all vitamin C amounts are for 100 g. servings):

  • Red bell peppers (nearly 200 mg!)
  • Parsley (130 mg)
  • Broccoli (90 mg)
  • Green bell peppers (80 mg)
  • Brussels sprouts (80 mg)
  • Kale (41 mg)
  • Cauliflower (40 mg)
  • Raspberries - if tolerated (30 mg)
  • Spinach (30 mg)
  • Cabbage, raw (30 mg)
  • Butternut (winter) squash (21 mg)
  • Spaghetti squash (20 mg)
  • Potato (20 mg, but you usually eat more than 100 g of potato)
  • Zucchini (19 mg)
  • Yellow (summer) squash (17 mg)
  • Blueberries (10 mg)
  • Banana - if tolerated (9 mg)

Some IC patients can also take an alkalized Vitamin C supplement or a sustained release formula which keeps the excess Vitamin C from spilling into the bladder all at once, which is what causes the pain. One way or another, with just a little planning, you should be able to get plenty of C in your diet!

Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate Looking for New IC Recipes?

For step by step guidance for creating your own personal interstitial cystitis meal plan, see: Confident Choices®: Customizing the Interstitial Cystitis Diet.

For some basic, family-style, IC bladder-friendly recipes, see: Confident Choices®: A Cookbook for Interstitial Cystitis and Overactive Bladder

For health care workers:  Interstitial Cystitis: A Guide for Nutrition Educators 


  1. I have found with watermelon, honeydew melons, pears, blueberries and an occasional apple I do just fine. It's just a matter of giving in to our condition and going with the flow.