Does my diet affect my health "down there?"
Absolutely! Practicing safe sex, having good hygiene and visiting a women's health care provider regularly are necessary, but diet is also an important part of maintaining a healthy vagina.
The vagina uses "good" bacteria, natural secretions and immune defenses to keep itself healthy. High sugar diets can kill off the good bacteria, causing an imbalance which leads to vaginal yeast or bacterial infections. Too many processed foods can depress your immune system, which can also cause infections and even vaginal dryness.
Eat fermented foods with probiotics, like yogurt and kombucha, which help increase the number of good bacteria in the vagina and can help prevent infections. Eat healthy fats like flax seeds and avocados to help create a protective, mucosal lining inside the vagina. Avoid meats and dairy products with artificial hormones, which can disrupt this protective lining. Drink plenty of water which will ensure the vagina stays well lubricated and help prevent urinary tract infections. Taking these small steps towards better nutrition will eventually make a difference, resulting in a healthy, happy vagina.