Oh, yeast infections. They're the worst, aren't they? Itchy things you can't scratch in public and can't even really explain why you're wiggling in your seat, distracted by wondering when you can get to the pharmacy for some Monistat. Just the thought of that terrible feeling has me reaching for an extra scoop of yogurt, one of several foods that can prevent you from getting yeast infections, because no one has time for itchy nether regions!
Yogurt with a lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic can prevent you from getting yeast infections, as can limiting sugary foods and carbohydrates. Most yeast infections are caused by the organism candida albicans, according to Medicinenet.com. If you're part of the very lucky 25 percent of women who aren't affected by yeast infections, you might not be aware of just how itchy and uncomfortable they can make your vagina, but it can also cause a cottage cheese-like discharge, and burning during urination or intercourse, according to Mayo Clinic. Yuck.
And that's exactly why the 75 percent of the rest of us ladies who do deal with yeast infections regularly or even on occasion are looking for any and every way to prevent them from visiting. These are the foods to limit and eat in abundance in order to keep yeast infections at bay.
One food that can prevent yeast infections is yogurt that contains lactobacillus acidophilus, a good bacteria that can protect against that mean bacteria, candida. The University of Maryland Medical Center explained, "Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most commonly used probiotic, or "good" bacteria,"" Those healthy bacteria protect against the bad bacteria in various ways; for instance, "L. acidophilus breaks down food in the intestine, several substances are formed (such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide) that create an unfriendly environment for "bad" bacteria." If you aren't a fan of yogurt, you can take a probiotic containing lactobacillus to help fend away those bad bacteria.
2. Fermented Foods
You can also increase your intake of fermented foods to potentially prevent candida from taking up residence in your vagina. Dr. Josh Axe, certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist, suggested on his website, "Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain microflora that help protect the intestines. Regular consumption can help improve the immune system, making the body less hospitable for candida."
3. Leafy Greens
Additionally, Dr. Axe recommended leafy greens that can help detox the body without adding any additional sugars to the mix; "Leafy green vegetables help alkalize the body, which fights against the acidic nature of yeast overgrowth." Add another cup of spinach to that smoothie!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Home Remedies explained that regular consumption apple cider vinegar could also help prevent yeast infections, because it "help[s] to maintain the pH balance of the body." The site also reported that taking a bath in diluted apple cider vinegar can treat a yeast infection. Apparently using a tampon soaked in apple cider vinegar is a remedy, too, but you should definitely check with your doctor before trying any of these methods.
5. Low Sugar Foods
It's important to understand that candida lives on sugar, so a diet heavy in sugar or carbohydrates is candida's dream. U.S. News shared, "[T]he more sugar there is in your body, the more the yeast will thrive, potentially leading to an overgrowth." One of the ways to prevent yeast infections is to lower your sugar intake, and to watch out for refined sugars and carbohydrates described with other words, "like glucose, fructose, lactose and maltose dextrose."
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