5 Foods to Avoid for Balanced Female Health "Down There"
This Nutrition Bite shares the top 5 foods to AVOID if you want a happy, healthy va-jay-jay (fyi: we’re not scared of the v-word, but just in case y’all are more comfortable with euphemisms… ;D. )
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “you are what you eat”…
But have you considered the fact that what you eat can actually affect your vaginal health?
Your vagina is home to a complex ecosystem of microscopic bacteria known as the vaginal microbiome.
And when this colony of bacteria is strong, it can protect you from yeast infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and urinary tract infections.
When it’s weak, the bad actors from the bacterial colony and outside sources are more likely to be able to wreak havoc on your poor lady bits.
And that’s not all.
What you eat can also affect your hormones. Which in turn affects your vagina. You see, when estrogen levels drop, your vulva and vaginal tissues tend to thin.
Which means you’ve got a greater chance of developing those pesky vaginal infections. Making sure you’re not exacerbating the situation with foods that bring *more* hormones into your body are critically important.
So, what’s a responsible vagina owner to do?
Glad you asked. In this article, I’m breaking down what foods to avoid, what foods to get more of in your diet, and my best overall tips for keeping things running smoothly down there.
Let’s dig in
First off, let’s talk about what foods can make things difficult for your vagina to function at its best.
Maybe not surprisingly, this is actually a list of the most common foods we’re told to avoid for many health reasons.
FOODS TO AVOID
Excess sugar is bad news for your gut and vaginal microbiome. Sugar is added to just about everything these days, from spaghetti sauce to salad dressing – so you can easily go over your daily limit without even enjoying something sweet! Sugar is a favorite food of those bad bacteria lurking in your microbiome, so when you eat too much, it’s easy for the bad bacteria like candida to overrun the population… and yeast infections can result.
2. Wheat and Gluten
Gluten is a protein that’s found in wheat, barley and rye — and it’s common in heavily processed foods. Gluten can cause issues, even if you don’t have celiac disease (an autoimmune disease where eating gluten destroys the small intestine lining). So, you may want to try cutting it out for a while and see how your vagina feels as a result.
3. Processed Foods and Refined Carbohydrates
A diet that’s rich in processed foods is dangerous because these foods often contain higher levels of unhealthy fats, sugars, and calories than less refined options. Processed foods are often easier to chew and swallow which means you’re more likely to consume more…which means excess weight and the health risks that accompany it. And, as researchers showed, the negative effects from overly refined foods don’t just come from cookies, cakes, and french fries. Processed foods include canned soups and grains in a microwave pouch.
Alcohol can rob your body of moisture… hence the dehydrated, hangover feeling you get when you’ve had too much. And since your vagina is lined with a mucous membrane that relies on moisture to function properly, alcohol is generally a not-so-great beverage to consume if you’re concerned about keeping your vagina juicy. Plus, drinking alcohol in excess can lead to sexual dysfunction and interrupt sleep, two things that certainly do not make for a happy woman.
5. Meat and Dairy Containing Artificial Hormones
Some common and conventional farming methods involve treating livestock with hormones to increase growth and milk production. Unfortunately, this means that the steroids, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that animals may be implanted with can wind up in the animal products you’re eating… which can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones that help control vaginal health. Try to opt for humanely raised, free-range, and organic options when you can.
This is where things get fun and interesting…because when it comes to a healthy vagina, the key is really to simply eat real food. It’s not complicated. But it can be difficult in these times of convenience foods and drive-thru everything. Believe me, I get it.
And if you’ve suffered from any of the most common ailments to this part of the anatomy… You KNOW how ~uncomfortable~ they can be!