Best and Worst Foods for Your Vagina

Best and Worst Foods for Your Vagina

Want a healthy vagina? Snack on yogurt and skip happy hour.

A healthy vagina is important when trying to maintain your overall health.

The most common vaginal health issue women experience is vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina. Some common causes of vaginitis are yeast infections, bacterial infections or trichomoniasis. Symptoms of vaginitis include itching, burning, discharge, pain or abnormal bleeding.

There’s no hard evidence that one specific diet can help boost vaginal health. However, there may be some foods like yogurt that might promote a healthy pH balance in the vagina.

We asked Jasser Thiara, MD, OBGYN, at Reston Hospital Center in northern Virginia to share some of the best and worst foods you can eat for vaginal health.

1. Enjoy yogurt and other “live” foods. Active and live cultures, called probiotics, may help your vagina maintain a healthy acidic pH balance, says Dr. Thiara.

Fat-free Greek yogurt, kefir, fermented soy foods like tempeh or miso, or raw sauerkraut are great probiotic-rich foods to add to your diet.

2. Try cranberries. The jury is out on whether or not cranberries may slightly help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs occur when bad bacteria, or sometimes fungi or viruses, invades the urethra, the slim tube by the opening of the vagina, or bladder. It was thought that cranberry juice or cranberry pills may change the pH balance of urine, which may slow or prevent bad bacteria from growing. However, a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, in which cranberry supplements were used to prevent UTIs, showed no benefit. The bottom line: You can try sipping on low-cal cranberry juice or taking cranberry supplements for UTIs, but it probably won’t be effective in preventing UTIs.

3. Limit your alcohol. Your afterwork cocktail might take the edge off, but it could also affect the way you taste—and not for the better. Moderate drinking for women means no more than one drink, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of liquor or 12 ounces of beer, daily.

4. Pass on garlic (or don’t). Some foods like garlic, asparagus, onions and certain spices like curry might make you taste or smell a bit funky as they change your pH balance. However, if you love these foods and it’s part of a healthy diet don’t feel like you have to pass up. The choice is yours.

5. Up your water intake. Drinking enough water has countless health benefits, especially for women. Adequate water intake keeps your lady parts naturally lubricated. Aim to get about eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. You can also load up on hydrating foods like berries, melon or apples.

6. Sweeten up with some pineapple. There’s anecdotal evidence that eating pineapple can make you taste sweeter. Pineapple is also packed full of vitamin C and antioxidants, which make it a great addition for your overall health.

Although experts aren’t exactly sure how much you’d need to eat to influence the taste or smell of your vagina, one cup of fresh pineapple chunks only has about 83 calories, so experiment with the servings and find what amount suits you best.

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