Vaginal health is something that isn’t talked about often – and is also ignored most of the time. It is a vital part of our overall health and it’s important that women of all ages sit up and take notice of what’s going on with their nether regions.A healthy vagina has a naturally acidic pH level and plenty of healthy bacteria to help ward off infections.Itching, burning, redness, and discomfort can be caused by any manner of things, and it is never pleasant when it happens. While regular check ups are beneficial, there are some ways that women can ensure that they keep everything down there working as it should:
1. Healthy bacteria is important: According to Dr. Jennie Ann Freiman, your vagina, like your gut, requires healthy bacteria to fight infections and maintain a normal pH. Improve your gut and vaginal health at the same time eat probiotic foods like yoghurt, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea.
Studies have indicated that consuming probiotics help women with vaginitis and other chronic infections in their nether regions. Prebiotic and probiotic supplements aren’t great substitutes for these foods, Dr. Freiman says: “Lab formulations don’t beat Mother Nature.”
2. Consume healthy fats: Dr. Laura Berman says a healthy diet goes a long way toward a healthy body, and that includes a healthy vagina. While vitamin E — found in wheat germ, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados — helps keep skin in tip-top shape while preventing vaginal dryness. Healthy fats like those found in nuts, olive oil, and avocados regulate your cholesterol, keeping your estrogen levels in balance, which in turn creates a healthy mucosal lining that can help ward off infection. Almonds and other types of nuts are especially good, because they contain B vitamins and calcium that prevent vaginitis.
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3. Sugar is best if avoided: According to Dr. Burt Webb, too much sugar can damage or kill the important vaginal bacteria Lactobacilli, which can lead to yeast infections, soreness, and irritation—three things you really don’t want to deal with.
4. Drink lots of water: Water helps all functions of the body run more smoothly, especially where muscles and bodily fluids are concerned. Dr. Bryan Larsen confirms that appropriate hydration is important for maintaining a healthy vaginal balance. Hydration can also help prevent any unusual odors from surfacing down there. Our mucous membranes are found in places such as the eyes, mouth, nose and vagina, and these places need a well-hydrated body to function properly.
5. Processed foods are a no-no: According to a study in the Nutritional Journal, processed foods can wreak havoc on your immune system, which in turn allows harmful bacteria to take over – particularly in your gut and in your vagina. Resulting problems in your nether regions include bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, dryness, pain during sex, and urinary tract infections.
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