How Does Diet Affect Your Vaginal Health?

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A balanced diet is essential for the smooth functioning of all aspects of health, including vaginal health. Just as the body needs the right balance of nutrients to function well, the vagina also requires healthy foods to maintain its pH level, moisture and smell. Additionally, a healthy diet can help fend off vaginal infections. On the other hand, a poor diet can affect women’s vaginal health and lead to an unbalanced pH level and bacterial infection. 

Striking the right balance of pH and bacteria in the vagina is crucial and diet can help women achieve that. The right dietary choices can go a long way in maintaining optimum vaginal health. Vaginal health is affected by everything a woman consumes, from what she eats to what she drinks. By knowing what foods to include in one’s diet and what to avoid, women can attain the perfect vaginal health and even boost their immunity. 

Include plenty of probiotics & prebiotics

The vagina, like the gut, requires healthy bacteria to maintain a normal pH level and fight infections. Consequently, foods that promote gut health can also be beneficial in promoting an optimum balance of vaginal health. A combination of probiotic foods like yogurt, curd, pickles, fermented foods and prebiotic foods such as garlic and onions can help balance pH levels, boost the production of good bacteria and prevent yeast infections. 

Opt for fresh cranberries

Fresh cranberries or pure cranberry juice instead of the sweetened one contains antioxidants and acidic compounds that fend off infections. Additionally, cranberries contain vitamin E and vitamin C, which can be pivotal in boosting immunity. Cranberries are especially advisable since they prevent UTIs in women with recurring or recent UTI issues. However, women must ensure they opt for fresh cranberries instead of store-bought juices, which contain high amounts of sugar and may worsen matters. 

Befriend citrus foods

Vaginal infections can disrupt the balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina. However, they can be prevented by including various citrus foods in the diet. Citrus foods like oranges, bell peppers, lemons and plums are rich in vitamin C. The presence of ascorbic acid in them can effectively reduce the risk of vaginal infections. By consuming fresh citrus foods daily, women can promote good vaginal health and keep infections at bay. 

Eat nuts & healthy fats

Nuts, avocadoes, olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids contain healthy fats that can help regulate cholesterol as well as oestrogen levels. These superfoods can help create a healthy mucosal lining that prevents infections. Almonds and other nuts containing vitamin B and calcium can prevent vaginitis. Additionally, essential fatty acids in flax seed, walnuts and more can help relieve menstrual cramping, promote circulation and reduce vaginal dryness. 

Consume leafy green vegetables

Among the long list of health benefits of leafy green vegetables, vaginal health is one of them. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli are blood purifiers and enhance circulation due to their many nutrients. Consequently, they can prevent vaginal dryness and increase stimulation. Additionally, these vegetables are rich in vitamin E, magnesium and calcium, which improve vaginal muscle health. 

Avoid processed foods & sugar

Processed foods and sugar work are opposites of probiotics that can depress the immune system, allowing harmful bacteria to enter and breed. Sugary drinks and foods can significantly damage and kill important vaginal bacteria. Such a bacterial imbalance can lead to yeast infections, irritation, soreness and dryness- all things women should stay wary of. Consequently, women should avoid consuming processed foods or drinking sugary drinks regularly. 

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things a woman can do for her vaginal and overall health. Hydration not only helps balance the pH levels of the vagina but also prevents foul odours from surfacing down there. Drinking eight or more glasses daily can also help increase lubrication and release of secretions. Additionally, water can help prevent unnecessary irritation and itching in the intimate area and avert infections.

The Bottom Line

While women tend to focus on their exterior health, intimate or vaginal health can often take a back seat. By tweaking their regular diet: including probiotics, leafy greens, and citrus foods in their diet and excluding sugary drinks and processed foods, women can achieve optimum vaginal health. 

Avoid practising over hygiene of perineal area. Too much of scrubbing or excessive use of intimate vaginal wash can wash of the healthy vaginal bacteria which act as defence against harmful infections