The vagina uses natural secretions, immune defenses, and “good” bacteria to keep itself healthy. Eating a healthful, balanced diet might also further prevent infections and improve vaginal conditions.
Certain foods and drinks contain compounds that may improve vaginal health and symptoms of vaginal conditions. These include probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented food and beverages.
Balancing pH levels
The vagina is a moderately acidic environment with a pH of around 4.5. This acidity helps healthful bacteria to grow and prevents harmful microbes from developing.
Lactobacillus species bacteria is the most dominant type of “good” bacteria found in a healthy vagina.
Lactobacillus could benefit vaginal health in the following ways:
- regulating the microflora in the vagina
- improving the vagina’s acidity levels
- stopping harmful microbes from attaching to the vaginal tissues
- working with the body’s immune system
Probiotic supplements are available, but some nutritionists recommend getting them from fermented foods and drinks, such as:
- yogurt and kefir
- kimchi and sauerkraut
Prebiotic compounds may also help stabilize vaginal pH by promoting the growth of healthy bacterial populations. Foods rich in prebiotics include:
- leeks and onions
- asparagus and Jerusalem artichoke
- whole wheat products
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