While your diet and vagina may seem unrelated, what you ingest can make a difference in your vagina’s health. Vaginal odor, vaginal secretions, and overall vaginal health can be impacted by what you eat and what you drink. Here’s why….
You were probably unaware that your vagina is home to lots of good bacteria. And while you may never see them or even feel them, these bacteria are far from lazy houseguests. They are working around the clock to keep the vagina healthy, balanced, and acidic. Believe it or not, your vagina (just like your Secret deodorant!) is pH balanced. A normal, healthy vagina, in large part due to good bacteria, is acidic. This acidic environment helps to keep infection and the resultant nagging symptoms at bay. Therefore, when this balance is interrupted, your vagina can go a bit haywire. Here are some tips on what you can eat to keep your vagina in “tip-top” shape!
- Sugar: Sugar in many ways is public enemy #1 when it comes to your vagina. It increases your vaginal pH (a.k.a. makes things more basic), making you more prone to yeast infections. And while yeast infections are known for that annoying itchy sensation, they are not only uncomfortable but can also change the vagina’s odor.
- Salt: Although we, too, love a bag of potato chips, popping one open before you hop into bed may not be the best idea. Salty foods can decrease blood flow to the vagina—decreased blood flow can lead to decreased sex drive and the decreased ability to orgasm.
- Probiotics: There may be no better friend of the vagina than yogurt and probiotics. These items are super important to maintaining the healthy vaginal flora (a.k.a. bacteria) and that acidic pH. Yogurt, kimchi, and probiotics are chockfull of good bacteria. They serve as reinforcements to your own fleet of good bacteria and are essential to maintaining vaginal health.
- Vitamin C: Hello, sunshine state! Foods high in vitamin C (think oranges, lemons, and grapefruits!) help reduce inflammation and infection throughout the body (your vagina included). By increasing your vitamin C intake, you will not only ward off that cold circulating around your office, but you will also help protect your vagina from unwelcome guests.
- Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are structurally very similar to estrogens. Therefore, they can cause very similar effects throughout bodies. Take that one step further, and eating foods high in phytoestrogens (flax seeds, tofu) can increase vaginal lubrication.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Start making your way over to the seafood shop because foods like salmon and tuna, which are teeming with omega-3 fatty acids, are super important for circulation. And increased blood flow is not only good for the heart and the brain but also the vagina. It can help improve sex drive. They also come with the bonus of decreased inflammation, which can translate into decreased menstrual cramps!
- Magnesium: And if fish isn’t your speed, make a sharp left for your veggie aisle. Foods high in magnesium, spinach, avocado, and leafy green vegetables also improve circulation and blood flow.
- Oysters: Oysters are no strangers to the vaginal health list. The high zinc content in oysters has been demonstrated to increase sex drive.
- Green Tea: While we all know that cranberry juice can help fight urinary tract infections, it is also loaded with sugar (public enemy #1 for the vagina). So if you are looking to ward of those pesky UTIs but not overload on sugar, try green tea. Data shows that green tea may possess the properties needed to fight off UTIs.
10. Water: Last, we all know that water does a body good, but it also can do your vagina good. Staying well-hydrated improves vaginal lubrication and maintains proper vaginal pH balance. So keep on chugging that water. Your entire body will thank you!