As if you needed another reason to eat healthier, especially with the start of a new year. Turns out, though, eating a balanced diet not only supports weight loss, boosted energy and improved digestion, it also helps to maintain vaginal health.
According to Sheila Warren, RN, women's health navigator at Gwinnett Medical Center, everything from discomfort and cramping to infection prevention and sexual function can be impacted by your diet.
The truth is, your vagina already does a miraculous job maintaining its overall health and cleanliness. For better or worse, though, the foods you eat do play a powerful role in your health down there. For instance, eating fish rich in omega-3s and probiotic-rich foods help to support the health of your lady parts.
While this doesn't mean that you need to drastically change your diet, after all, many of these foods are very nutritious, it's important to know if the foods you eat are helping or hurting your vaginal health:
- Sweet stuff. Those delicious desserts aren't doing you or your vaginal health any favors. That's because yeast loves sugar, so the more you eat, the more likely you are to develop a year infection.
- Onions. It isn't just your breath that smells after eating onions. Any food that impacts your breath is likely to cause vaginal odor, too. Onions in particular actually change the bacterial flora down there, which can cause a strong odor.
- Asparagus. While it may be packed with nutrients, the tasty vegetable has developed quite the reputation for causing smelly urine. Even though the temporary smell is harmless, it's important to note that it can also affect the pH of your vagina.
- Anything fried. The cons of eating fried foods are two-fold when it comes to vaginal health. Not only can fried foods, which are high in fat, impact the delicate bacterial balance down there, they're also associated with an increased risk for bacterial vaginosis.
- Coffee. Not unlike onions, drinking a warm cup of joe can leave you with smelly breath and vaginal odor. On top of that, coffee may actually increase your risk of a yeast infection--thanks to the fact that caffeine may limit your body's candida-fighting capabilities.
- Refined carbs. When it's chilly outside, nothing sounds better than a big bowl of pasta with some garlic toast on the side--right? Unfortunately, refined carbs like these spike your blood sugar and increase your risk for bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.
- Cheese. Unlike its dairy counterpart (Greek yogurt), cheese can disrupt your vaginal bacteria, making a yeast infection more likely.
Expert care for down there.
Vaginal health is complex and it varies for each and every woman. That's why the experts at Gwinnett Physicians Group OB/GYN work with you to determine what's best for you--and your vaginal health--at every stage of life. To tackle health topics big and small--like vaginal health--GMC invites you to register for our upcoming Women's Wellness Day. This innovative event provides women of all ages the opportunity to learn from some of the area's top health experts on how to make 2018 the best year yet!