Three Foods to Improve Vaginal Health
Are you someone who is prone to yeast infections, or just want to eat the most healthful foods? We know that what we eat and our physical activity affect myriad facets in our daily lives: our mood, our energy level, not to mention our literal health. But did you know that specific foods can improve your vaginal health?
Here’s the thing: in the same way that you can’t target weight loss (i.e. doing tons of abs doesn’t mean you will lose belly fat, just that you’re strengthening your abs), these foods offer many health benefits, and better vaginal health is just one of those. In order to lower the chance of yeast infection or UTI, the goal is to cultivate “good” bacteria, get rid of “bad” bacteria, and to balance pH. Through a combination of foods and hydration, you can lower your risk of infection. Below is a list of foods that can help improve your vaginal health!
Plain yogurt: specifically, probiotic yogurt with live bacteria cultures. Yogurt’s benefits are twofold: yogurt has lots of good bacteria that is great for your gut as well as your vagina. Furthermore, try brands with the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps regulate your vagina’s pH level, keeping it within a healthy range. When the pH is in a healthy range, “bad” bacteria cannot grow, which drives down the risk of infection. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha can also include live bacteria cultures and offer the same benefits. Be sure to check the label!
Cranberry Juice: the particular ingredient in cranberries that fights infections is proanthocyanidins or PAC. Essentially, it makes it harder for “bad” bacteria, like E. Coli, to stick around and cause infections. For the best results, some experts recommend using concentrated cranberry juice in order to be more effective and cut down on sugar.
Water: not only does it flush out “bad” bacteria, but it keeps your skin all over hydrated. An irritated or itchy vulva can increase your risk of infection. So, best to stay hydrated to cut the risk of dry, itchy skin!
Other foods that can be helpful when it comes to PMS symptoms include ginger, which is an anti-inflammatory (think plant ibuprofen). Avocado can help with cramps, too. Avocados contain vitamin B6, which the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine has shown to alleviate bloating and fatigue.
And if you’re someone who just likes to cuddle up to a hot water bottle to relieve those cramps, try one of our at-home cookie blends!