Women's Wellness 5 MIN READ 135 VIEWS March 1, 2023

Foods That Promise Good Vaginal Health

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Vaginal Health

Vaginal health is an important aspect of women’s overall health. Disruption in vaginal health can impact fertility, appetite for sex, orgasm, etc. It will greatly affect your relationship with your partner and can mess with your self-confidence.

Various factors like bad hygiene, medication, tight-fitting pants, and pregnancy affect vaginal health. Vaginal discharge that gives out a bad odour is one of the signs of vaginal health going out of balance. While hygiene plays an important role in the upkeep of vaginal health, nutrition also contributes to a great extent to managing the vaginal pH balance.

An imbalance in the pH allows bad vaginal bacteria to thrive and sets the stage for bacterial or fungal infections. Douching can only mask the bad odour but is not a cure for vaginal infections. In fact, it will reduce acidity and disrupt the vaginal biome. The best way to maintain a healthy pH balance is through foods for vaginal health. Foods that help in increasing good bacteria will make the vaginal fluid slightly acidic which is critical for vaginal health.

Best Foods for Vaginal Health

It is normally misunderstood that douching is the best way to upkeep vaginal health. Douching can interfere with the vaginal pH levels which have to be maintained between 3.8 and 4.5. You should avoid cleaning your vagina with harsh soaps if you want your vaginal pH level to stay balanced.

Though your vagina is capable of self-cleansing and protection, proper vaginal care like good hygiene, regular visits to a gynaecologist, safe sex, etc. play an important role in maintaining the vaginal pH balance. Keeping yourself hydrated, tweaking your diet, and adding supplements with lactobacilli also help.

Nutrition, however, is equally important for the overall health of specific parts of your body, including the vagina. There are foods that help in maintaining the vaginal pH balance and foods that help in keeping it lubricated. Though there is no one-size-fits-all in terms of diet, here are some foods that are recommended for robust vaginal health.

1. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and beta carotene which help in keeping the mucous membranes healthy. This is a vital criterion to avert bacterial vaginosis (BV) which is a very common vaginal infection. Deficiency in vitamin A combined with vitamin C, D, E, beta-carotene, calcium, and folate deficiencies enhance the risk of bacterial infections.

Women with PCOS i.e. polycystic ovary syndrome normally have the problem of insulin resistance. Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre which helps in controlling insulin levels and promoting fertility. Kickstart your mornings with breakfast recipes with sweet potatoes to get an adequate dose of vitamin A.

2. Foods Rich in Probiotics

The lactobacillus strains present in probiotic-rich foods are as important for vaginal health as they are for gut health. These strains help in reducing the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis and also work as a remedy for BV. They inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and are instrumental in maintaining the vaginal pH balance.

Studies have shown that probiotics-rich foods like yoghurt, tempeh, yeast, pickles, sauerkraut, miso soup, etc. help in preventing bacterial vaginosis, reducing the symptoms like bad odour and vaginal discharge, and avert the recurrence of the infection.

3. Cranberry Juice

100% cranberry products are loaded with antioxidants and acidic compounds that are great to treat urinary tract infections. They fight infections and prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Cranberry juice (non-sweetened) and cranberry supplements are especially beneficial to treat UTIs in women. They also contain vitamin C and E that support the immune system and improve vaginal health.

4. Foods with Low Glycemic Index

Bacterial Vaginosis is one of the most prevalent gynaecological disorders in women. Foods with low glycemic index (GI) help in averting the symptoms of this issue i.e., vaginal odour, itching, burning, and discharge. Swelling and redness are a part of the symptoms. The main reason for this infection is an imbalance in vaginal bacteria. BV makes you more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections.

Including foods with a low GI level aids in controlling blood sugar levels which will help prevent BV. Foods with a low GI include:

  • Milk
  • Nuts, beans, and legumes
  • Carrots and non-starchy vegetables
  • Oatmeal, barley, and quinoa
  • Grapefruit, oranges, and apples
  • Yoghurt

5. Vitamin D Rich Foods

Vitamin D is a key nutrient that helps in maintaining vaginal health. Include eggs, sardines, cheddar, and milk fortified with vitamin D, cooked salmon, and trout to derive adequate quantities of this vitamin. If including these foods for vaginal health is a challenge, you can opt for vitamin D supplements.

Studies have shown that vitamin D helps reduce vaginal dryness, maintaining vaginal pH balance, and helps enhance the proliferation and diversity of cells in the inner lining of the vagina in women in their menopausal phase.

Vitamin D also helps in enhancing overall vaginal health by boosting your immune system.

6. Soy and Soy Products

Women with low oestrogen levels benefit from consuming soy. Soy has phytoestrogens that are similar to oestrogen in abundance. These phytoestrogens help in preserving vaginal health. A dip in the oestrogen level could be due to various factors like age, medication as well as menopause. But the major cause for the dip is vaginal dryness.

Consuming soy products that are not heavily processed supports your muscles to retain more water and the isoflavones present in these products are useful for the skin in women who are through with their postmenopausal stage. They help minimise vaginal dryness.

7. Avocados

Avocados are rich in healthy fats, potassium, and vitamin B6 all of which help in enhancing oestrogen levels as well as vaginal lubrication and strengthening the walls of your vagina. With all these positive effects along with another benefit of avocado i.e., an increase in libido, you can have a great sex life.

8. Leafy Green Vegetables

You can derive an array of health benefits from leafy green vegetables, including vaginal health. Dark leafy greens are blood purifiers. Nitrates present in leafy green vegetables widen blood vessels and promote blood circulation to your entire body, including your vagina. Improved blood circulation will help prevent vaginal dryness while increasing libido. Vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium available in leafy greens promote overall muscle health, including vaginal muscles.

Foods to be Avoided for Better Vaginal Health

While focusing on vaginal health, you will have to limit or avoid certain foods. They are:

  • High-sugar foods, red meat, refined grains as well as organ meats, make you more prone to bacterial vaginosis.
  • Foods with low GI index like white bread, bagels, white rice, sugar, honey, processed grains like instant oatmeal, sugary cereals as well as snack foods.


A distinct vaginal odour is not usually considered unhealthy. But if you have a vaginal odour and discharge that does not seem normal, it could be a symptom of an infection. If that is the case, you should talk to your doctor to avoid any medical conditions.

Vaginal pH balance and odour are influenced by various factors like food, hygiene, sexual activity etc. However, tweak your diet for positive benefits as nutrition plays a pivotal role in vaginal health.

Probiotic foods will manage vaginal microbes, apples keep your vagina lubricated, and high-fibre foods help avert bacterial vaginosis. The quality of your diet can have a direct impact on your vaginal health. Incorporate the foods mentioned above to prevent vaginal infections and maintain overall vaginal health.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vaginal Health

Foods that help maintain vaginal pH balance, lubrication, and prevent vaginal infections are all good for vaginal health. The foods include high-fibre foods, probiotic-rich foods, vitamin D-rich foods, foods with low GI level, and minimally processed foods.

Foods that trigger vaginal pH imbalance are the ones that cause more acidity in your body. The foods to be avoided are

  • Sugar
  • Certain dairy products
  • Processed foods
  • Fresh meats and processed meats like turkey and corned beef
  • Sweetened beverages and sodas
  • Foods high in protein and protein supplements

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