You’ve (probably) heard these cliché mantras many times before: You are what you eat. Food is your medicine. As annoying as it might be to hear these sayings over and over again, we can’t deny the science behind a lot of the claims.
There’s actually a whole list of food that contributes to a healthy vagina. It may sound unreal, but there are more and more experts coming forward these days to talk about the incredible connection between our diets and our vaginas.
Before we get into it, let’s start with what constitutes a healthy vagina. The number one thing to think about having a balanced pH level. When that’s in good order, you probably have good discharge going on, which naturally cleans out all the gunk that shouldn’t stay in your body. Dr. Mary Rosser, OGBYN at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, told Women’s Health magazine that a balanced pH level also means the vaginal environment is a little acidic, which contributes to healthy bacteria that chases away infections.
Don’t worry, though, you don’t need to constantly be checking your own pH levels to know whether you’re making the right lifestyle choices. As long as you eat the right foods and clean yourself the right way (no douching, ever!), you should be good to go.
Here are six foods that will contribute to a healthy vagina.
1. Greek Yogurt
Unprocessed, natural yogurt is something you should be incorporating into your everyday diet — if you’re able to eat dairy, that is (although yogurt is generally easier to digest than other dairy products). It’s full of live and active cultures, which are probiotics that will keep the pH levels in your vagina at a good place. Just make sure you look at the label and see that it does, in fact, include those cultures you’re looking for.
Not into yogurt, or just can’t eat it? That’s ok. There are other probiotics out there that can do just as much good: sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and miso.
2. Cranberry Juice
Have you ever heard someone with a UTI being recommended to drink lots of cranberry juice? That’s because it’s packed with acid compounds that fight the bad bacteria that are responsible for infections. But you shouldn’t wait for an infection before you go buy some. Cranberry juice also prevents the bacteria from gathering together in the first place. Be sure to get the natural option without all the added refined sugar. Dr. Rosser says sugar can actually make everything worse down there.
You know how much healthy fat is in this food, but that’s just the start of it. There’s a lot of Vitamin E in avocados, which prevents vaginal dryness in the long run. Regularly incorporating this kind of fresh produce into your diet has even been linked to less intense menstrual cramps during that time of the month.
4. Sweet Potatoes
I was surprised to hear my favorite kind of potato made the cut, but apparently they’re rich in Vitamin A, which ups the production of the happy hormones that give us the energy we need to get through the day. All root vegetables, in fact, are famous for giving us a bit of extra spunk when we need it. Additionally, sweet potatoes are said to strengthen your vaginal and uterine walls.
Little did you know, but soy supposedly can act as a natural vaginal lubricant (when ingested, though, not applied externally) because it’s got low doses of estrogen that your body might be needing to produce moisture. As always, though, stay committed to only eating the natural versions of it — that means no pre-packaged soy burgers and nuggets, as those are filled with nasty preservatives and fake ingredients.
6. Dark Green Vegetables
Your mom pushed you to finish those veggies for good reasons when you were a kid. Veggies like kale, spinach, and broccoli have all kinds of minerals and vitamins that keep the blood circulating in all parts of the body. They also naturally purify your blood, making your menstrual cycle a bit easier to endure. Dr. Rosser recommends stocking up on this kind of produce as often as possible. You and your vagina can’t go wrong with those fresh veggies.