You Are What You Eat: The Best and Worst Foods for Women
You are what you eat, so they say. The good news is you have control over what you eat, and you can use this to your advantage. But with the abundance of foods, research, and other information available, how can you know what’s best for you?
There’s a wide of variety of foods that can help address health concerns such as boosting your immune system, warding off diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and even improving your vaginal health. In this article, we talk about the foods that support good health as well as the ones to best avoid.
Foods to Be Mindful Of
These are the foods that you should avoid or limit if you’re looking to help maintain the balance of your vaginal pH:
If you’re prone to yeast infections, you should cut back on sugar as this can promote yeast growth. Additionally, foods high in sugar can alter your vagina’s pH level, which may lead to yeast overgrowth and infections.
If you’re menstruating, drinking alcohol might worsen your menstrual cramps. If you’re trying to get pregnant, alcohol may get in the way. Women who drink alcohol have a higher infertility rate compared to women who don’t.
Foods That Promote Vaginal Health
Maintaining good vaginal health isn’t as complicated as you might think.
The vagina has a natural pH range of 3.8 to 4.5, with a microbiome populated by millions of microorganisms living in a delicate balance. Disturbing this balance can cause discomfort and even infections such as UTI and bacterial vaginosis (BV).
One of the easiest ways to take care of your vagina is through eating the right food, such as the ones below:
Probiotic-rich foods help maintain your pH levels and gives your body its fill of good bacteria, which can help fend off harmful bacteria that can cause infections like bacterial vaginosis (BV). Fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso are good sources of probiotics. Additionally, you can take probiotics for BV prevention.
A compound found is soy is found to be beneficial for your vaginal health. Phytoestrogens, the compounds that mimic estrogen, are especially helpful if you’re experiencing a drop in your estrogen levels. Alternatively if you have a spike in estrogen levels- excess soy can be hurtful. Be mindful of where your body is at and talk to a medical professional and/or nutritionist to be safe.
Cranberries, aside from boosting your immunity, contain a ton of antioxidants and acidic components that help fight off infections such as UTI. Remember to choose fresh cranberries or pure cranberry juice without any added sugar as choosing the sugar-loaded ones can actually worsen an infection.
High in folic acid and iron, leafy greens help prevent vaginal dryness and can help especially if you’re trying to get pregnant. Folic acid benefits your baby while folate is essential for creating healthy eggs. Iron helps if you’re trying to conceive as you tend to lose a lot of blood during menstruation.
The food that you eat can make a lot of impact on your health, for better or for worse. You can start your journey towards having better vaginal and overall health by taking these steps towards healthier lifestyle changes.
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