While it may not be a popular topic of conversation at the dinner table, maintaining a healthy vagina plays a large role in a woman’s overall health. Especially because 3 of out every 4 women will get a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime, and it can wreak havoc on the immune system. Urinary tract infections are also more common than you might think. Over 50% of women will develop painful urinary tract infections throughout their lives.
Vaginal health is something that we don’t commonly talk about, but it’s important. Infections occur when the bacteria in the body can’t work effectively due to an imbalance, leading to an overgrowth of yeast. This list of foods can improve vaginal health, balance the body’s pH, and keep the immune system working properly to help fight unwanted infections. If these foods aren’t part of your diet, you’ll want to consider adding them!
You probably already know that avocados are a superfood! Their health benefits are endless, and they are great for promoting vaginal health. Avocados are rich in potassium, Vitamin B6 and healthy fats that strengthen the vaginal walls.
Foods that are high in natural probiotics are rich in bacteria cultures (the good kind of bacteria) that promote vaginal health. Greek yogurt can help the body fight yeast infections, balance pH levels and kill harmful organisms. Other fermented foods such as sauerkraut and miso have the same benefits!
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with powerful nutrients and vitamins, including Vitamin A, C and B, fiber, manganese, potassium and iron. Sweet potatoes help keep the vaginal and uterine walls strong and healthy by providing the body with antioxidants.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc and Vitamin E, which help regulate menstrual cycles and fight off vaginal irritation. Pumpkin seeds may also help to relieve menstrual cramps — a major plus!
Another superfood, garlic, is a powerful anti-fungal that can ward off unwanted diseases and infections. Its strong antimicrobial properties can help prevent itching, UTIs and unpleasant odors. It’s also known to fight off yeast infections and give the immune system a boost!
6. Dark, Leafy Greens
Kale, spinach and collards are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, great for promoting blood circulation and fighting off infections. Dark, leafy greens can also help reduce itching and burning sensations in the vagina, and prevent dryness.
7. Cranberry Juice
You may have guessed that this would appear on the list! Cranberry juice improves vaginal health by fighting off bacteria that causes UTIs, and balancing the body’s pH level. Be careful not to reach for sugary cranberry drinks. Stick to a pure, unsweetened and natural juice, or eat a handful of cranberries each day!
8. Dark Chocolate
Don’t you love it when you find a legitimate health reason to eat a guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate is great for the immune system. It’s high in antioxidants and magnesium, and rich in an amino acid known as phenylalanine that produces dopamine — the feel-good chemical!