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Intimate Well-being: Foods that Improve Your Va.ginal Health

Va.ginal health is something many women struggle with at some point in their lives. Yeast and bacterial infections, urinary tract infections and different irritations can be unpleasant, painful and uncomfortable. 

About 75% of women get at least one yeast infection during their lifetime, and if you ever suffered one, you know that it is a real nuisance and can disturb quite a few areas of your life.

Foods and drinks have a different effect on the body’s pH; some promote your health and vigor, while others work against it. 

Not surprisingly, what we eat also has an effect on the va.ginal health. Often, the key to improving you intimate well-being lies in what you put on your plate.  
Here are Foods that will Improve Your Va.gina Heath 

Natural yoghurt and other probiotics
Eating probiotics plays an important role in maintaining the vaginal pH at its slightly acidic level, and warding off yeast infections. 

Probiotics, also referred to as the ‘good’ or ‘beneficial’ bacteria, keep your gut healthy, thus supporting the well-being of the whole body and balancing the body’s pH. 

The best sources include fermented foods like natural yoghurt (Greek yoghurt), miso, kimchi, sauerkrauts and kefir (you can also use kefir to cleanse your colon). When buying your yoghurt, make sure to go for the one that contains live and active cultures and avoid sugary and flavored yoghurts that will do little for your vaginal health.

While some hail this drink for its probiotic effects, others advise not to consume it while fighting a yeast-overgrowth due to the sugar and yeast it contains (these two are food for organisms – such as a candida – that cause yeast infections).

Cranberry juice
Pure cranberry juice is well known for its beneficial effect on the bladder. It both prevents and relives the symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTI). Cranberries acidify the urine and balance the pH of the vaginal area. 

They contain acidic compounds that don’t get broken down when they travel though the digestive system, so they can fight the bacteria that cause urinary infections. Most store-bought cranberry juices unfortunately contain way too much sugar to serve its healing purpose. 

Your best bet is to either look for pure, unsweetened cranberry juice or eat fresh cranberries. Unsweetened cranberries do taste tart and many people find them unpalatable. Try mixing them in your yoghurt or sweeten them with stevia which will not disturb your vaginal pH. 

Garlic
Garlic is known for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. For best results, eat this ancient remedy raw and try to avoid these 6 common mistakes when using garlic as a medicine. 

If you suffer from a yeast (candida) infection, a garlic vaginal suppository (garlic pessary) is recommended – it effectively kills the yeasts and soothes the symptoms of the infection, which include itchiness and soreness. 

As odd as it might sound, you simply insert a clove of fresh, peeled garlic into your vagina and leave it overnight. You can design a sort of a tampon by wrapping the garlic in a gauze or cheesecloth before inserting it. Repeat the treatment for three consecutive nights.

The active ingredient in garlic is called allicin – it is responsible for garlic’s potent smell and its healing effect. True, consuming and using a lot of raw garlic might temporarily give you a distinct odor, but this is not a lot to put up with in exchange for a healthy and vibrant vagina.

Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a part of a balanced diet that also supports your vaginal health. Certain vitamins and minerals found in fresh veggies and fruits are particularly good.

Vitamin C is a well known immune system booster. Citrus fruits, guava, strawberries, kiwifruit, green and red peppers and broccoli are all rich in vitamin C.

Leafy greens should be consumed in abundance. They help with the circulation and prevent vaginal dryness. Try to eat plenty of spinach, kale, cabbage, salad, Swiss chard, collards and other leafy greens. 

Avocado is another wonder of nature that stimulates vaginal health and also helps with the libido. Avocados contain B6 and potassium and support healthy vaginal walls.

Seeds and nuts
Vitamin E prevents vaginal dryness and can be found in sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts, as well as in the oils derived from these nuts. Almonds and pumpkin seeds are also rich in zinc. 

This essential mineral regulates the menstrual cycle and helps combat itching and other symptoms of dryness. Flaxseed is another super-food that is good to include in your diet on a regular basis. 

Rich in phytoestrogens and omega-3 fatty acids, it helps to boost estrogen levels and stops vaginal dryness. It is important to consume ground flaxseed in order to enjoy their benefits. 

Water
The mucous vaginal membranes require plenty of water. To function properly, they need to stay well-hydrated. The best way to achieve this is by drinking sufficient amounts of water. 

At least six to eight 8-ounces glasses of water should be drank each day (1.5 to 2 liters). Water helps to lubricate your vagina and also diminishes the smell of your private parts.

Foods to avoid
If vaginal health is your priority, steer clear of certain foods. Products that disturb vaginal (and body) pH and contain nutrients bacteria and yeast feed on should be avoided, especially while you are trying to heal an infection. 

The main offenders include sugars, alcohols (these also contain sugars) and wheat. Often, the best way to treat a candida infection is to starve the yeast – these organisms are very fond of a sugary environment, therefore a strict low carb diet is recommended. 

Some also advise skipping foods that contain yeasts, such as beer and bread. Generally speaking, if you want to enjoy a healthy vagina, you should stick to a balanced diet, avoid processed and sugar-rich foods and eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. - Online Sources 

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