Since the beginning of time, it’s been up to us females to keep up with our bodies and our health. It’s all about sticking together and female empowerment does not stop when it comes to vaginal health!
Remember ladies – vaginal health is just as important as your mental and physical health. And did you know that eating a balanced diet may also prevent further infections and improve overall vaginal health?
Although a good fitness regimen is important, your diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Not only does a healthy diet result in a healthy gut, but it also lessens your risk of a number of chronic illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.
Although you may be familiar with the effects that dairy can have on things such as your skin, however, you may not know what exactly dairy is doing to affect your overall vaginal health. Don’t be fooled by its delicious taste, because you’re going to want to think twice before you add milk to your coffee next time.
The Science of The Female Body
Let’s face it – we’ve all struggled to keep up with maintaining the “perfect” vaginal health. In fact, prevalent cases of BV, or bacterial vaginosis, is said to be around 21.2 million per year. It offers not only through sexual activity but also through naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina becoming out of balance in any way. This can be monitored by, surprise, surprise, your diet.
According to Mary Rossner, M.D, Ph.D., an OB-GYN at Montefiore Medical Center in New York “Healthy vaginas have a naturally acidic pH, as well as a host of healthy bacteria that ward off infections and keep everything humming along as designed.” Essentially the vagina uses these natural elements to keep things overall healthy.
What Does pH Have To Do With It?
Not surprisingly, however, the foods that you eat can influence your overall pH, as well as change the overall balance of the chemicals and bacteria in that area. For example, women with high blood sugar due to diabetes may be at an increased risk of yeast infections. So it’s safe to say that your diet affects pretty much everything to do with vaginal health.
Well what exactly does vaginal pH mean and why does it matter? A healthy pH is a key factor in good vaginal health. Essentially an acid environment is protective. It helps to create a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria. It also blocks yeast from multiplying too quickly, which can lead to infection.
You may be wondering what exactly the ideal pH is of a healthy and normal vagina. Well, the optimal pH is between 3.8 and 4.5, which is considered to be moderately acidic. It is important to note that your vaginal pH can vary based on where you are in your reproductive stage of life.
Dairy and The Female Body
If you’re unfamiliar with this, certain meat and dairy products contain something called xenoestrogens. These are artificial hormones that imitate estrogens. According to Burt Webb, M.D, these xenoestrogens can block estrogen from the gina, which prevents the mucosal lining from forming. As a result, this can leave you open to infection.
Despite common thoughts, it’s actually very normal for your vagina to have a particular smell. In fact, as long as you know you are not suffering from a particular infection, chances are you are fine. Navigating smells is a common part of maintaining good vaginal health. However, there comes a time where you catch a sniff down there. And you don’t love what you smell – and that’s normal too!
The foods that you eat actually directly influence the scent of your vaginal secretions, so, if you don’t like the way you’re smelling, try switching your diet. According to SheKnows and the Berkeley Wellness Center, foods such as meat, dairy, garlic, strong spices, and alcohol can leave a strong smell down there.
It’s important to mention again that dairy products can cause hormonal issues and imbalances due to high levels of insulin. The same thing applies specifically to products that include cheese. According to Mayo Clinic, too much cheese in your diet can disrupt that naturally occurring bacteria, resulting in more often than not in a yeast infection.
Incorporating them into your diet in moderation will not have an impact on your overall pH down there. They suggest that if you’re looking for a better alternative, try switching to yogurt, which has beneficial probiotics.
Healthier Dairy Alternatives
As you can see, there is a huge correlation between everything going on down there and your diet. Especially when it comes to dairy. And if you are concerned about your overall vaginal health, then it may be beneficial to attempt to switch up your everyday diet.
Lucky for us, there has been a rise in vegetarian and vegan diets. As a result, a plethora of dairy alternatives have become available to us. Try switching to oat or almond milk, which is a much healthier alternative to cow’s milk.
Not only are dairy alternatives healthier, but they also provide beneficial elements to us. For example, soy milk is packed with plenty of vitamins, including Vitamin A, D12, and B12. So, as you can see, switching up your diet can really have some win-win results not only on your overall physical health but your vaginal health as well!