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Your diet plays a big role in your vaginal health. On one hand, unhealthy eating can lead to an unbalanced pH level and bacteria down there, but if your diet is rich in healthy foods, they can promote good vaginal health. The balance of bacteria in your vagina is the major concern for everyone because it is responsible for all the good and bad things that happen to your vagina. So, how can you promote good bacteria down there for better vaginal health? Well, it is possible with certain foods!
Healthshots spoke to Dr Aditi Mudaliyar, Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune to suggest some foods that can help in the growth of good bacteria in the vagina and maintain pH balance.
Probiotics are a blessing for your vaginal health. “Are you aware that consuming probiotics regularly not only can help you to maintain a good balance of your pH level and bacteria down there, but it can also help you fight the infections? That’s true, ladies,” said Dr Mudaliyar. In fact, according to the Archives of Family Medicine, if you consume 150 ml of yogurt daily, it can prevent candidal vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis. What’s more? Probiotics also keep your digestive system healthy and immunity better. Try to opt for Kombucha, Kefir, curds, and fermented foods to add probiotics in your diet.
Garlic is known to have a positive biological effect on your immune system. Therefore, it can promote good bacteria for your vagina. Moreover, it is known to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. As per Dr Mudaliyar, “Garlic can help to deal with vaginal infections because of these properties.” Along with this, because garlic is a prebiotic food, it can help to stabilize vaginal pH level by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria. So, it will be a good idea to add garlic to soups, lentils, and other curries. But, do not go overboard.
The balance of bacteria and pH level in your vagina is most affected by the infections. However, vaginal infections are prevented. A healthy diet rich in vitamin C is found to be effective in promoting vaginal health. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, citrus foods like oranges and lemons that are rich in vitamin C and the presence of ascorbic acid in them can help reduce the risk of vaginal infections by the regular consumption of them.
A fiber-rich diet is super healthy for your vagina! High-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are prebiotics. “Prebiotics are essential for intestinal bacteria, which help keep the entire body healthy and in balance as well,” said Dr Mudaliyar. Eat them right away, if you haven’t started doing so.
When it comes to vaginal health, after probiotic foods, cranberries are the second foods that most people think of. Well, cranberries are beneficial for preventing recurrent issues of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in women and can fight against the bad bacteria growth that can cause problems down there. Try to eat them in the quantity recommended by the expert.
* Eggs because they’re a great source of vitamin D.
* Fish because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is good for the vagina.
* Add broccoli because they’re rich in antioxidants.
* Turmeric can help avoid infections due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Sugar can wreak havoc on your vaginal health. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, high consumption of sugar can disrupt the pH balance and vaginal biome, leading to infection.
Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration in your body, which means it can dehydrate your vagina as well. So avoid alcohol and drink some water for good vaginal health.
* Wear cotton underwear only
* Avoid using fermented soaps and lotions down there
* Wash your vagina properly with water only
* Avoid overusing antibiotics as it’s detrimental to your vaginal health.
* Stop douching right away
* Eat healthy and do some kegel exercises regularly to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
* Always use protection for intercourse
* Avoid removing pubic hair frequently