The color of urine normally ranges from somewhere between dull yellow to bright amber, resulting from a pigment known as urochrome and depending on the dilution or concentration of this pigment in urine. It is however possible that the pigments present in other foods and medication can mix in with the pigments present in the urine and change its normal color. According to Mayoclinic foods contributing to the discoloring of urine majorly include beets, fava beans and berries.
Discoloration of urine could mean a number of things. Most commonly, usual colored urine is a core sign of a urinary tract infection. Urine that is deep purple in color is a basic characteristic of porphyria, which is basically a rare disorder involving the red blood cells.
Here are some of the foods which can potentially stain urine and lead to discoloration.
Cranberries and blackberries carry the potential of staining the urine and causing it to become slightly red or pink as compared to its natural straw yellow color. It is primarily the pigment found in cranberries that lead to the discoloration or staining of urine. According to the American Dietetic Association, cranberries and blackberries acquire their crimson coloring due to the presence of a flavanoid which essentially contributes in lowering levels of cholesterol and the risk of strokes and heart diseases. When you consume cranberries, the concentration of the red color in the urine will basically depend on how much you have had for the day. If you have a small amount of cranberries along with being not very hydrated, it will cause a light pink coloring in urine. However, being not very hydrated and consuming a bunch full of cranberries can lead to a discoloration similar to a bright crimson red.
Same as cranberries, it is the pigments present in beets which can lead to staining of urine. Sometimes this color can be mistaken as being a cause of blood present in the urine; however, it is not that alarming and is merely because of the pigmentation. The nutritional benefits of beets outweigh the slight flipside the vegetable has. The nutritional benefits of beets include increase in metabolism, a decrease in risk of heart diseases, protection to unborn babies against birth defects and the advantages of being a Vitamin C rich food source.
The consumption of beets can cause the urine to acquire a red, brown or pink color. However, it is not as scary as it may seem. It is the presence of carotenoids and flavanoids which adds to the discoloring of urine from its natural pale yellow. Known as ‘beeturia’, the discoloration of urine caused due to the consumption of beets is only experienced by a maximum of 12 percent of the population consuming it. The rest let it pass unnoticed because the discoloring is either very slight or minute, or because the acidity in the stomach washes off the carotenoids and flavanoids which lead to this discoloring.
According to the National Institute of Health, B complex Vitamins and carotene along with drugs and laxatives are a common cause of urine that is orange in color. Tomatoes are a vegetable that are very high in content of a carotenoid known as beta-carotene, which is also a vitamin A compound. Hence, consuming too many tomatoes in a go can temporarily stain your urine an orangish-red color due to the high content of beta-carotene inherent in them. The exact figure of how many tomatoes it takes to stain your urine depends on your age, gender, weight and other factors which establish your digestion capabilities.