Welcome back to the blog!
We are on the final blog in our Down There Skincare® blog series. This month, we discussed on how to stay clean and fresh all day, Itching and Irritation and Waxing and Shaving. If you have missed any of these blogs, you can read them HERE.
Today we're discussing an area of your down there care that many never think about, how the foods you eat can affect down there. Healthy vaginas have a naturally acidic pH, as well as a host of healthy bacteria that ward off infections and keep everything humming along as designed. Foods you eat can influence that pH, changing the way your nether region smells and feels. So if your vagina starts to smell, becomes irritated, or is just off (and you know you haven't switched detergents recently), you might want to watch closely how you hoo-ha acts after eating certain foods.
Let's take a look at common foods that are good for a healthy vagina and foods that can wreak havoc down there.
Let's start with the bad because let's face it, many people eat bad than good. The team at Eat This, Not That!, spoke to experts to uncover the biggest offenders you should steer clear of, as they're the worst foods for vaginal health.
1. Sugar - Sugar on candy and other food items promote vaginal yeast growth because the vagina releases secretions that contain sugar, which paves the way for yeast to accumulate in the moistened area.
2. Processed Foods - Foods that are processed, such as packaged sweets, popcorn, smoked meats, dairy, and dried fruits, can affect your immune system, and if your immune system is oppressed by your nutrition, this can cause bacteria to populate the area, causing itching, infections, including bacterial vaginosis.
3. Meat and Dairy with Preservatives - When you eat meat or consume products derived from animals who have been infused with growth hormones can actually disrupt endocrine function and the path of estrogen to the vagina, leaving it prone to infection.
4. Alcohol - Excess alcohol can dehydrate your system, and much like the reaction in your mouth and to some extent your skin, your vagina can also become dehydrated if you are drinking too much without consuming water.
5. High Fat, Greasy Foods - These foods can affect the balance of bacteria in the vagina and are also associated with a higher risk for bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV causes foul odor and discomfort.
6. White Bread - Refined carbs can cause a quick spike in blood sugar and this may increase your risk for bacterial vaginosis or developing a yeast infection.
7. Asparagus - Eating asparagus may do more than make your urine smell. It can also affect your vaginal pH, which may make it more prone to infections.
8. Coffee - Coffee may negatively affect our body's ability to fight candida and increase risk of a yeast infection.
9. Steak - Steak is high in saturated fat, which can lead to inflammation. And that's not ideal for vaginal health.
10. Artificially Sweetened Drinks - Artificially sweetened beverages impair the gut barrier, increasing risk of leaky gut. Leaky gut releases inflammatory cytokines, which can even lead to heightened anxiety and depression. There is an association of mood problems and vaginal health. Mood problems will lower libido, which in turn can indirectly impact your vaginal health.
Now I will say this, I eat everything on this list in moderation. Whether you indulge or not, make sure you drink a lot of water to flush it out of your system.
Now that we've learned what foods are known to be bad for your vagina, let's discuss the foods that are good. According to Eat This, Not That!, there are 20 known foods to boost vaginal health. I will only list 10 but feel free to read the linked article for more information on the below foods and the other 10.
1. Greek Yogurt - Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your intestines and play an essential role in everything from mood and weight maintenance to balancing our immune system. And they're particularly important for women's vaginal health! It helps balance out your vagina's PH levels to keep things fresh down there.
2. Cranberries - Two ingredients in cranberries—fructose and A-type proanthocyanidins (PAC)—may help prevent UTIs by either selecting against more adhesive strains in the stool or by directly preventing bacteria (and E. coli in particular) from adhering to the bladder wall.
3. Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, which helps strengthen muscle tissues for strong, healthy vaginal walls.
4. Kimchi - Another probiotic, helps maintain your vagina's PH levels to slightly acidic, Probiotics help ward off bad bacteria as well, keeping infections down there at bay.
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Helps to keep the blood flow pumping down there, which is a major boost for your sex drive.
6. Water - This shouldn't come as a surprise to you, but guzzling down H2O is probably one of the best things you can do to your hoo-ha. Hydration is key for overall health, but also for proper functioning of the vagina which has its own self-cleaning system. Adequate water intake will increase lubrication, allow secretions to be released and proper PH balance of vaginal tissues.
7. Vitamin C - Foods high in vitamin C such as strawberries, bell peppers, and citrus fruits are important for upping your immune system and fighting infections down south.
8. Flax - Flax contains a rich source of phytoestrogens that help increase your estrogen levels and lubricates the vagina.
9. Garlic - We're not telling you to consume it in raw form (unless that's your thing), but adding garlic to your meals can provide much TLC to your vagina. Thanks to its anti-microbial properties, garlic can help fight yeast infections.
10. Nuts - There's a reason why people go nuts for nuts! It's because their health benefits don't lie. Nuts like almonds and peanuts contain a rich source of vitamin E, which for your lady parts mean strong vaginal walls and muscles.
I hope you've enjoyed this roundup of foods that a good and bad for your vaginal health. Did you learn something new? Are any foods on the list a no-no for you? Comment below and lets us know.
I hope you enjoyed this series and received some value and information you can incorporate in your down there care routine.
August 1 is Monday and I will introduce a new blog series.
See you next week!