You’ve been told this since childhood, but it bears repeating: the foods that you eat have a major impact on your overall physical and mental well being. Every time you put into your body serves a different purpose. Some foods help you recover from workouts, others provide you comfort after a tough day, and several can give you thicker, longer hair. Heck, there are even foods that are good for vaginal health. I know — who knew?
You may have heard rumblings that cranberry juice can help with urinary tract infections (UTIs) or that eating garlic, curry, or other pungent foods can affect the way that you smell down there. But there are some foods that you can eat that will make your vagina healthier, which you’re probably not opposed to.
Whether you’re dealing with vaginal dryness, painful urination, or just about any other vaginal issue, there are foods that you add to your diet that can help alleviate those conditions. You don’t have to completely change everything you eat, but mixing in a few vagina-friendly foods just might work wonders. Ultimately, a healthy vagina is a happy vagina and, as the saying goes, you are what you eat.
1. Green Tea
Swapping out some coffee for green tea might be a better choice than cranberry juice if you want to stave off UTIs. In an interview with Prevention, gynecologist Dr. Carolyn DeLucia said that the catechins that are present in green tea can lower the presence of bacteria, which lowers your risk for developing an infection. A few cups of tea each day should be all you need. Just don’t drink it too close to bedtime, or you run the risk of staying awake all night.
Eating yogurt for breakfast or a mid-morning snack can keep your vagina healthy. According to Everyday Health, yogurt can keep you from developing yeast infections or help clear it up if you do get one. Enjoy for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Flaxseeds are very versatile. You can add them to smoothies, stir them into cereals, add them to salads, or even grind them as a vegan substitute for eggs. They’re also great for your vagina. According to Essence, flaxseeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help alleviate vaginal dryness, as Dr. Susun Weed told Essence.
4. Fermented Foods
In an interview with Reader’s Digest, integrative gynecologist Dr. Katherine Thurer said that fermented foods contain healthy bacteria, which help maintain the right balance of flora in your digestive system and vagina. Kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, and miso are all examples of fermented foods that can help keep your vagina healthy.
Avocados are having a bit of a moment, and now you have one more reason to eat them. In an interview with Glamour, Dr. Brian A. Levine said that the healthy fats present in avocados can help keep your cholesterol and estrogen balanced, which keeps the mucosal lining of your vagina healthy and keeps infections at bay. Fewer vaginal infections and more avocado in your diet? Win-win.
Like flaxseeds, salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids. According to the previously-mentioned article from Prevention, these fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties that will keep prostaglandins in check and alleviate painful period cramping. Additionally, in an interview for the previously-mentioned article from Reader’s Digest, registered dietitian Staci Small said that foods rich in omega-3s can also help with vaginal dryness. Tuna is a good source of omega-3s too, so if salmon isn’t your thing, tuna steak or a sushi dinner could be just the thing.
Small also said that because strawberries are high in vitamin C, which helps with collagen production and healthy adrenal function, they’re a great choice when it comes to foods that promote vaginal health. Slice some into your morning yogurt, throw some into your smoothie alongside a tablespoon of flaxseeds, or just eat them on their own. Delicious and healthy.
You’ve probably heard before that you need to drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated and healthy. And that includes your vagina. In an interview with the aforementioned Glamour article, Dr. Octavia Cannon said that staying adequately hydrated can also help prevent any less than desirable smells from emanating from down there.
Soy can be a good choice when it comes to boosting vaginal health. According to the previously-mentioned article from Everyday Health, the weak strain of estrogen that naturally occurs in soy might help ease vaginal dryness in some women.
According to the aforementioned article from Reader’s Digest, eggs are a good source of vitamin D. A 2015 study found that upping your vitamin D intake can treat bacterial vaginosis (BV), which is a relatively-common infection. Eggs are also a good source of protein, so if you eat them for breakfast, they’ll keep you full until lunch. A healthy vagina and a full stomach mean a happy woman.