You’ve probably heard that drinking cranberry juice reduces your chances of developing urinary tract infections, but did you know it also wards off vaginal infections? Compounds found in cranberries could balance the vagina’s pH level, and its acidic property helping fight bacteria that cause infections. Be sure to read the label and buy pure cranberry juice without any added sugar.
There are many ways to help keep your vagina healthy: practicing safe sex, having yearly well-woman check-ups, exercising regularly, and having any infections treated as quickly as possible.
But you may not realize that eating a healthy diet and choosing certain foods can also promote vaginal health.
Adding Yogurt that contains large amounts of “good” bacteria helps protect you from “bad” bacteria that may enter your body. The good bacteria in yogurt may also help your vagina by balancing acid levels in your vaginal fluids. For the best benefit, choose yogurt brands that contain live, active cultures such as Lactobacillus.
Similar to yogurt, certain fermented foods contain helpful good bacteria. These fermented foods include some types of sauerkraut and pickles, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir. Check food labels to see if the product you’re buying contains live, active cultures.
High-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains contain prebiotics. Prebiotics are a favorite food of good intestinal bacteria, which help keep your entire body, including your vagina, healthy and in balance. The goal is to eat at least 28 grams of fiber or more per day. As a bonus, eating a high-fiber diet also helps keep your bowel movements regular and may reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Water can help your vagina by keeping tissues hydrated and helping your body eliminate wastes effectively.
Remember to take care of vaginal health! Even with good choices problems may still occur. If you develop symptoms such as burning, itching, discharge, unexplained bleeding, fishy odor, pain, incontinence, or an increased desire to urinate contact your health care provider.