Probiotics For Vaginal Health

African American woman eating yogurtThe vagina is a complex organ. From hygiene to diet, the vagina requires critical attention in order to be healthy. Like any other organ in the body, the vagina best performs when a diet contains the essential nutrients it requires. One of those diet essentials is probiotics.

So, what is a probiotic? Probiotics are “good” bacteria that are found in the body. These beneficial bacteria metabolize and recycle hormones in the body. The human body contains a community of many different types of bacteria. In fact, there are a greater amount of bacteria in the intestines than cells in the body. Probiotics work as reinforcements for the body. Due to various reasons, women experience bacterial and hormonal imbalances when the body has less “good” bacteria than “bad” bacteria. This imbalance will cause the body to experience drastic changes, such as, weight gain, acne breakouts, constipation, among others.

Probiotic Foods

Probiotics can be consumed as dietary supplements or by food consumption. You may be familiar with probiotics from foods that you commonly eat, per Dr. Axe of Food is Medicine. Some of these foods include kefir. Kefir is in the same family as yogurt. It is a combination of kefir grains and milk. The difference between this and yogurt is that kefir is fermented with yeast, so it is higher in probiotics.

Another probiotic rich food is raw cheese. Sheep’s cheese, goat’s milk and other soft cheeses are high in probiotics. The key to using cheese as a probiotic is to purchase unpasteurized cheeses.

Apple cider vinegar also serves as a probiotic. Drinking a small amount each day will do.

Probiotics & Women’s Health

Probiotics are recommended for women because of the complexity and sensitivity the vagina has towards the “good” and “bad” bacteria. When these imbalances occur, certain types of bacteria will form in the vagina and lead to pH imbalances. A pH imbalance often leads to fishy odor and sometimes unusual discharge in the vagina. In other cases, this imbalance can make the vagina more susceptible to yeast infections. These are some reasons why probiotics are recommended to women for vaginal health concerns.