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 other places in the body 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 immune functions and inflammation. Good bacteria help to digest food, break down and absorb medication and create vitamins. Many types of bacteria 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, douching, unprotected sex, medication like antibiotics or sensitivity towards new products, washing panties with strong detergents, scented soaps, and bubbles baths, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or abortion. 

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

Probiotics help balance the pH levels in the vagina. Lactobacillus produces hydrogen peroxide subsequently. Hydrogen peroxide defends 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 the development of bad bacteria. Though probiotic supplements are an easy way to add good bacteria, many food items 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 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 the potent probiotic Leuconostoc mesenteroid associated with fermentation under low temperatures. 

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 probiotics. 

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

Along with foods, drinks, and supplements, a 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, a healthy diet that can avoid yeast infections, and balanced pH levels in again. 

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