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11 Best Foods For Vaginal Health, According to Dietitians

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11 Best Foods For Vaginal Health, According to Dietitians

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • The foods you eat may affect vaginal health. 
  • Conditions of the vagina often arise when it has a weak microbiome or your immune system is compromised.
  • Eating foods that promote your overall health and support a healthy microbiome, such as fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods, supports vaginal health.

Having good vaginal health is important for your overall well-being, comfort, and confidence.

Many factors contribute to your vaginal health, including your diet.

The foods you consume regularly can have an impact on the health and hygiene of your vaginal area. 

This article explores how foods affect your vaginal health, common symptoms of vaginal issues, and the 11 best foods you can eat for optimal vaginal health. 

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How Foods Affect Vaginal Health

Your vagina is a part of the body that requires a specific moisture balance, pH, and optimal microbiome to stay healthy.

The most common conditions of the vagina occur when the microbiome is out of balance.

A robust microbiome includes a combination of good organisms on and in your body that help fight infection.

The foods you eat can influence the moisture level, pH, and microbiome in your vagina. 

Common Symptoms of Vaginal Issues 

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is one of the most common vaginal issues.

It happens when bad bacteria overpopulate (and outnumber) the good bacteria in your vagina. 

Vaginal yeast infections are another common condition that occurs when there is an overgrowth of the fungus, Candida.

Common symptoms of vaginal issues include:

  • Unusual discharge: A change in color, consistency, or odor of your vaginal discharge may indicate an infection.
  • Itching and irritation: Itching and discomfort in the vaginal area may be alerting you to an infection.
  • Pain during sex: Having discomfort or pain during intercourse is a symptom of several vaginal conditions.
  • Burning sensation while urinating: A burning sensation while you pee may be a sign of a vaginal infection.
  • Vaginal odor: An unusual or foul odor coming from your vagina is a sign that there is a problem.
  • Vaginal dryness: Having a dry vagina can cause discomfort and increase the risk of irritation.
  • Swelling or redness: Swelling or redness of the vagina or surrounding area can be a sign of inflammation or infection.

If your symptoms persist, it’s best to reach out to your gynecologist for an assessment.

11 Best Foods for Vaginal Health 

Here are several foods that can support your vaginal health.

1. Probiotic-rich yogurts

Yogurts are made through fermentation and the addition of bacteria, usually Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

They're a great probiotic-rich foods which can support the microbiome health of your vagina. 

Commercially made yogurts have different levels of probiotics.

Look for unsweetened yogurts that contain live cultures for optimal probiotic benefits.

2. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have several benefits for your vaginal health.

They're high in fiber, which helps strengthen your microbiome and maintain your pH levels.

During studies, women who ate high-fiber foods had a lower risk of developing BV.

Sweet potatoes are also low on the glycemic index, meaning that they help keep your blood sugar balanced.

Per the CDC, keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range is also an important aspect of decreasing your risk of vaginal problems. 

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3. Blueberries

Blueberries are a delicious and healthy food choice for promoting vaginal health.

They're high in antioxidants and vitamin C, which help support your immune system and lower your infection risk. 

Vitamin C is also important for keeping your vaginal walls healthy.

Your body uses vitamin C to make collagen, a protein that strengthens your skin, bones, and tendons. 

4. Apples

Apples benefit your vaginal health in several ways.

They’re high in fiber and low on the glycemic index, which helps stabilize your blood sugar and decrease your risk of BV.

They also contain antioxidants, which help enhance your immune system. 

An older study from 2014 found that women who ate an apple a day had better vaginal lubrication and overall sexual function. 

5. Strawberries

Strawberries are a delightful fruit that can benefit your vaginal health in multiple ways.

Strawberries contain vitamin C and antioxidants, which helps strengthen your immune system against vaginal problems. 

Vitamin C also plays a role in maintaining your skin health, including your vaginal skin.

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6. Avocados

Avocados are a delicious snack or addition to a meal that can benefit your vaginal health.

They are rich in healthy fats, which help enhance skin integrity and keep it healthy. 

Avocados are also important for good blood flow, which can help keep the tissues of your vagina healthy.

7. Greens

Dark leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, and spinach are packed with many vitamins such as A, C, E, and K that are great for your overall health and immunity.

A body that is healthy is much better at fighting off potential vaginal infections.

These greens are also a good source of folate that helps repair cell damage and protect against cervical cancer. 

8. Kombucha

Kombucha is a type of fermented tea with many vaginal health benefits.

Studies show kombucha has antioxidant properties, may decrease inflammation, is antibacterial, and can help enhance your body’s microbiome. 

These combined benefits make Kombucha a great beverage for supporting your overall and vaginal health.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar

Research is limited on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, which is made from the fermented juice of crushed apples.

However, apple cider vinegar is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which supports your overall immunity.

If you consume it, make sure to dilute it with water first to protect your esophagus.

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10. Pickles

Fermented pickles, which are different from brine pickles, have the probiotic health benefits that fermented foods have.

These health advantages can include a better immune system, a stronger microbiome, and greater resistance to infection.

11. Fermented Cheeses

Fermented cheeses, such as cheddar, parmesan, brie, and others, contain active probiotic cultures that may indirectly benefit your vaginal health.

They do this by supporting your gut microbiome, which contributes to your overall well-being, including maintaining your vaginal microbiome.

A healthy microbiome helps fight off potential vaginal infections.

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Takeaway

Your diet plays a role in the health of your vaginal microbiome, pH level, and vaginal lubrication, all of which are important aspects of a healthy vagina. 

To promote vaginal wellness, eat foods high in antioxidants, fiber, and fermented foods that have probiotic attributes. 

How a Dietitian Can Help

If you have concerns about your vaginal health or dietary choices, consulting with a women's health registered dietitian can be helpful.

They can assess your individual needs and recommend dietary changes tailored to your preferences. 

Find a dietitian near you to learn more nutrition tips to manage your health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of a healthy vagina?

A healthy vagina is free of discomfort, pain, or itching.

Vaginal discharge throughout the month can change from colorless to creamy white depending on your cycle but should be odor free.

What foods are good for pH balance?

Foods that promote a healthy pH balance are those that enhance your microbiome, such as fermented foods or those that contain fiber.

Consider eating probiotic yogurts, kefir, kimchi, fermented cheese, and fermented pickles.

What foods should be avoided with BV?

BV is the overgrowth of bad bacteria in your vagina.

If you have BV, it’s best to avoid foods high in sugar or carbohydrates, as these foods encourage bacterial growth.

References

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