Probiotics for Vaginal Health


Probiotics for Vaginal Health

Probiotics are microorganisms or a mixture of live bacteria and yeast that keeps us healthy. The body contains both good and bad bacteria; infections are caused by excess bad bacteria. The good bacteria fight bad bacteria returning balance to the body. Probiotics supplements are a way to add good bacteria to the body. Probiotics are commonly beneficial to the gut ( large intestine) yet there are other places in the body that host bad bacteria. Locations that are exposed to an outer environment like mouth, vagina, skin, urinary tract, and lungs. 

Good bacteria keep the body healthy by fighting off the bad bacteria, supporting the immune functions and inflammation. Good bacteria help to digest food, break down and absorb medication and create vitamins. There are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics but the most commonly used good bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics also contain good yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii. 

Probiotics for Vaginal Health 

Vaginal inflammation, yeast infection and Urinal tract infections are caused by the excess amount of bad bacteria in the vagina. It can cause itchiness, burning sensation, unusual discharge and odor. The imbalance can be for various reasons like having sex with a new partner, over douching, unprotected sex, medication like antibiotics or sensitivity towards new products, washing panties with strong detergents, scented soaps and bubbles bath, menstrual cycle, pregnancy or abortion. 

Vagina should always contain a bacteria called Lactobacillus which produces a lactic acid to fight bad bacteria and also preventing growth of bad bacteria. Vagina is slightly acidic in nature; if the vagina is less acidic bad bacteria grows causing inflammations and infections. 

Probiotics helps balance the pH levels in vagina. Lactobacillus produces hydrogen peroxide subsequently. Hydrogen peroxide defend pathogens. But it is important to notice that vagina is a self cleansing organ and it does not need any fancy intimate products. Food and lifestyle choices mainly contribute to yeast infections and development of bad bacteria. Though probiotic supplements is a easy way to add good bacteria, there are many food items that help with Vaginal health. 

Here is a list of Indian foods that are natural supplements of probiotics. Dairy and fermented foods are good sources of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. 

Yogurt/ Curd is one of the best available natural probiotics that can be added to the daily diet. 

Idli / Dosa are the rich sources of probiotics. Prepared with fermented rice and lentils, the fermentation process increases the minerals and makes it more nutritious. 

Cottage cheese (Paneer), though all types of cheese are fermented, Cottage cheese is the best source of probiotics. It can be consumed raw with pepper or with salad. 

Green peas contain potent probiotic Leuconostoc mesenteroid associated with fermentation under low temperature. 

Pickles, not all vegetables can be fermented. Pickles are a great way of fermenting vegetables. Make sure before eating that the vegetables are not just pickled but fermented. 

Buttermilk can be preferred if one is not willing to consume yogurt. Traditional buttermilk which is a leftover liquid from making butter is a good source of probiotic. 

There are many more foods like Sourdough bread, Kimchi, Akhuni (fermented soyabeans), Miso Soup, Kefir etc. which are good sources of natural probiotics. There are also drinks that are rich sources like kefir, coconut kefir, lemonade, Apple cider vinegar etc.. 

Along with foods, drinks and supplements few lifestyle changes may help you develop vaginal health. Simple things like protected sex, peeing after sex to avoid thriving bad bacteria, avoiding scented products, less douching, healthy diet can avoid yeast infections, and balanced pH levels in vagina. 

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