You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well. Common issues like UTI’s, yeast infections and medications can cause vaginal dryness but one of the big culprits for both cause and prevention is diet. Supplementing your diet with nutrients and vitamins to encourage your body to produce the hormones it needs are one of the many home remedies for dryness. There are many factors that can cause dryness and the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with it, and diet is one of the big culprits on the list. Keep reading to learn about adopting nutrition habits that both alleviate and prevent dryness!
Fatty acids like Omega 3 are great for our bodies and support a number of different body functions. These acids are included in foods like fish, seaweed and sunflower seeds. They are known to maintain cardiovascular and circulatory health and can support increased blood flow to the vaginal area which can help to increase natural lubrication. Plus, introducing fatty acids into your diet can have all kinds of positive benefits such as maintaining a strong immune system and keeping your energy levels up. Some other foods you can explore that have high levels of omega 3 are:
- Raw pumpkin seeds
- Canola Oil
- Chia Seeds
Believe it or not, some soy products are high in compounds called isoflavones. Isoflavones are chemical compounds that show promise in their potential anti-inflammatory properties. More importantly, they are considered to be phytoestrogens, or estrogen derived from plants. Soy supplements are undergoing research to be considered as a treatment method for postmenopausal cancer, but at the basic level some women have had success supporting natural lubrication by taking natural soy supplements. Soy intake should remain low, but certain foods like soy sauce, tempeh and even chickpeas can help support vaginal health.
When dryness is caused by aged related drops in hormone levels, you may need to support your body to produce those hormones at a normal level again. Women’s multivitamins contain essential amino acids and vitamins such as A, B, D and E which can all support and maintain natural lubrication and uncomfortable symptoms due to dryness. Vitamin A can help support healthier skin, and can help maintain your body's mucous membranes. B can support immune function, which is extremely important for vaginal health. These vitamin blends will help support your body functions as a whole!
Pure and natural cranberry juice is a well known aid for anyone who has dealt with a urinary tract infection. Cranberry juice helps the body flush it’s system out, and if your dryness symptoms are caused by a suspected UTI loading up on this slightly bitter drink might be just what you need! Not to mention it’s also packed with vitamins like E and C. Vitamin E can help promote better vaginal health, and vitamin C is just good for you!
One of the best things you can add to your diet to improve vaginal health is probiotics. Foods like kombucha and yogurt contain microbes that are great for your gut and help support pH levels in the vagina. Your pH levels can be related to sexual health and function, and there are even specifically targeted probiotic supplements you can take for vaginal health. These foods can support your body to restore any natural bacteria that might be present in lower levels as you age.
Maybe this one is a little obvious, but make sure to drink plenty of water! If your body is dehydrated, your mucous membranes will also dry out and make things itchy, uncomfortable, painful and cause further irritation. The average person is recommended to drink roughly three liters of water a day. That’s almost a full gallon! Most of us likely aren’t drinking enough water in the first place, and it can help support tons of essential bodily functions including our sexual organs.
To summarize, there are a number of different dietary solutions you can explore to prevent and combat dryness. For one, try introducing more fatty acid rich foods such as fish, nuts and certain vegetable oils. Secondly, vitamins like A, B and E can help support natural lubrication and vaginal health in healthy doses. Women's multivitamin formulas are designed to give your body the vitamins it needs and might not be getting from other sources. Probiotics like yogurt are a well known source of microbes that support vaginal health. Lastly, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice if you are suffering from a UTI! These can help keep your body hydrated and support your body to flush out any unwanted bacteria.