Have a hot date coming up? Planning to take it to the next level with your guy? If you’re a little worried about how you’re going to smell down there, you might want to pay attention to your diet. The foods you eat can do a lot of bad – and good too! – for your nether regions, be it yeast infections, vaginal dryness, odours, sweatiness and such. Whether you eat out a lot, or have the chance to cook at home, we dish out (get it?) the good, the bad, and the ugly local foods for optimal vaginal health – and the ultimate sexiness.
1) Eat more: Green leafy veggies
Of course, all vegetables are packed with antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals to strengthen your immune system and keep yeast infections at bay. They also flush out the icky fungal poisons from your system, and green leafy veggies are best at getting the job done. So consider having a green salad for lunch, ordering more leafy greens at your next zichar dinner, and swapping a fruit juice for a veggie juice when you’re thinking of what to get at the hawker centre juice stall.
2) Eat more: Fish
Fish is highly popular for the omega 3 fatty acids it contains, which help reduce inflammation in our body – useful to relieve some of the symptoms of yeast infections. Isn’t this an exceptionally good reason to indulge in another trip to a Japanese restaurant and nosh on some super fresh tuna or mackerel sushi? Or dig into that teriyaki salmon bento set at the food court!
3) Eat more: Probiotics
If you’re prone to yeast infections, probiotics will become your best friend to restore your healthy probiotic flora and protect against chronic infections. Besides taking a probiotics supplement, you can also get these “friendly bacteria” from plain yogurt, yogurt drinks, and probiotic drinks – you know, those little ones with loads of lactobacillus in them! ;)
4) Eat more: Soya bean
This one’s for ladies experiencing a little vaginal dryness. Foods like soya bean actually contain phytoestrogens that can help in this area, though studies show it doesn’t work for all women. But hey, it’s worth a shot right? In any case, it’s never easy to turn down a really yummy soy milk or tauhuey! Beansprouts have also been recommended for limiting yeast growth too, but we’re sorry there’s still no evidence whether that hot-plate tofu is going to help though!
5) Eat more: Winter melon
Winter melon (also commonly known in Chinese as dong gua) is packed with super powers of detoxification. It also helps to strengthen the spleen and spleen meridian, which are important towards a balanced vaginal environment. You can easily add this to the meals you cook at home – in soups, congees, stir-frys – but you can also cook it with water and a tiny bit of sugar to make a delicious and refreshing winter melon tea.
6) Eat less: Sugar
Sugar is probably one of the top villains working against a healthy va-jay-jay. When you have a yeast infection, the more sugar you consume, the more you’re actually feeding the yeast, and helping them grow and thrive. The World Health Organization actually recommends about six teaspoons or 25 grams for most adults – and six teaspoons of sugar is what goes into one cup of your favourite bubble milk tea, so you might want to ask for less sugar, and take it less frequently!
7) Eat less: Greasy food
A prominent factor in gynaecological problems lies in greasy food. It’s very normal for us to eat light the whole day and then “pig out” after work. Unfortunately what this does is it makes our spleen work extra hard, and it can lead to problems like dampness and vaginal itching. Unfortunately, this means your favourite char kway teow, murtabak, nasi goreng sayur, most curries – including that yummilicious laksa lemak and green curry – now have to go on the “eat less often” list. It might make your tummy sad, but it’ll make elsewhere much happier!
8) Eat less: Yeasty, moldy foods
Eating loads of foods that contain yeast or mold will only set you up for a potential yeast infection or make the one you have even worse. You might not think about it, but this includes a lot of the foods we eat every day. All breads and pastries, cheese, milk, ketchup, soya sauce, chili sauce, MSG, hot dogs, mushrooms, melons, fruit juice, root beer, alcohol, even fermented dishes like miso, kimchi and tempeh, all need to be taken in moderation.
And now for the Ugly
9) Smelly VS Sweet Foods
Since the foods you eat can influence the pH levels of your nether regions, it also changes the way it smells and tastes. For instance, if you eat strong spices, curry, onions, garlic, dairy, red meat, seafood, asparagus, broccoli, coffee, or alcohol, you know, foods that make your sweat more… odiferous, it’s natural that they will do the same for your vag. Think Phoebe Buffay from Friends singing her famous “Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?” It’s also been said that eating sweet foods like fruits, especially pineapples, could help you smell and taste better, but nothing’s been scientifically proven.
Whatever it is, eating healthy, fresh food is always better than highly processed and oily food, and a healthier you means a healthier vagina. And don’t forget your partners in this cause. Say hello to a more confident, sexier you!