Foods for a healthier "down there"

Women of all ages should care about their vaginal health as it is a vital part of our femininity and overall health. Most women have some kind of vaginal issue at some point in their lives, which is why it’s crucial to maintain a healthy vagina even as you get older.

Yeast and bacterial infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), vaginitis, thrush, excessive discharge or vaginal dryness are all very common but can be avoided with a healthy diet and special care.

A healthy vagina has a naturally acidic pH level and plenty of healthy bacteria to help ward off infections.

Here’s 8 foods that promote great vaginal health:

1. Cranberries

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The benefits of cranberries for vaginal health are well-known – in fact drinking cranberry juice is highly recommended for women suffering from UTIs. It is full of compounds that fight off bad bacteria however to reap the benefits you’ll need to drink an all natural brand that is unsweetened.

2. Sweet potatoes

The vitamin A in sweet potatoes helps foster healthy vaginal and uterine walls and helps us produce natural energy hormones.

3. Soy

The phytoestrogens in soy help keep your vagina lubricated, however you won’t be able to see benefits from eating soy burgers. Stick with edamame (soy beans), tofu, tempeh, and miso – they can be added to dishes and absorb flavours.

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4. Dark chocolate

Yep, chocolate is great for your vaginal health. Dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao is a great source of antioxidants and can increase better overall sexual function. Chocolate is also rich in magnesium (which clams nerves), methylxanthines (boosts libido) and phenylalanine, an amino acid that produces dopamine to make you feel good.

5. Greek yoghurt

Eating Greek yogurt daily is great for maintaining vaginal health as it contains live and active cultures (Lactobacillus bacteria) that prevent disease-causing organisms from attaching to the vagina. It also helps maintain healthy pH levels in the vagina. To see benefits, eat 1 to 2 cups of probiotic yogurt daily.

6. Lemon

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Lemons also support vaginal health as their acidic nature helps maintain the vagina’s healthy pH level. On top of this, its loaded with antioxidants that help protect the cells from free-radical damage, and boost immunity. Drink lemon water once or twice daily and add a little raw honey.

7. Garlic

Garlic contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties that help prevent vaginal issues such as itching, burning, odour, vaginal discharge and even UTIs. Eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves on a daily basis or add garlic to your dishes and salads. If you don’t like the taste of garlic, ask your doctor if you can take garlic capsules.

8. Kale

Kale is a rich source of vitamins A and C and helps improve blood circulation, which is great for down below. Not to meant its a superfood so it’s great for your overall health. You can add kale to your salads, juices or smoothies, as well as baking it into chips.

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Editor’s note: This is not health advice – it is simply information for you. Discuss any changes to your diet with your doctor.