What you eat plays an important role in maintaining a good number of probiotics that can help prevent pathogenic bacteria from causing an infection.
Simply put, poor nutrition can weaken your immune system, thus increasing your risk for bacterial infections.1 Therefore, it’s important that you increase your intake of foods that can maintain a balanced gut flora.
When Addressing Bacterial Vaginosis, Load Up on Probiotics
If you’re looking to add probiotics to your diet, the best way to get them is by eating fermented foods. If you’re just beginning to eat this type of food, the following examples can help you get started:
• Cultured vegetables, such as natto and kimchi
• Homemade condiments, such as salsa or mayonnaise
• Cultured dairy products like yogurt, kefir and sour cream
• Fermented fish such as Swedish gravlax
It’s recommended that you take your time with the examples provided. You can eat a specific food in small bites, or use it as a condiment so you can slowly get used to the taste.
Should your palate disagree with fermented foods or beverages, you can purchase a high-quality probiotic supplement. But before you run off to the store, there are three criteria that must be met before purchasing:
• The probiotic strains in your chosen product must survive your stomach acid so they can reach your intestine alive and provide longer-lasting benefits.
• The probiotic strains must have health-promoting features.
• The probiotic activity must stay alive throughout the entire process, from production to end-user consumption.
Focus on Eating Foods With Strong Antibacterial Properties
Foods known for their antibacterial properties go well with probiotics. Together, they can help control the presence of pathogenic bacteria not just in your vaginal tract, but throughout your entire body as well. In turn, not only will you have a lower risk of bacterial vaginosis, but other bacterial infections in general. Here are some examples you can try:
Researchers have thoroughly studied garlic and have concluded that not only is it an antibacterial food, but an antiviral and antifungal as well.2 This is mostly attributed to its sulfenic acids, which turn into antioxidants when digested.3
• Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that are not only antibacterial, but health-promoting as well. Using coconut oil in your daily cooking or baking will allow you to regularly reap its benefits with minimal effort.
• Manuka Honey
Manuka honey contains a unique antibacterial compound called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), which is not present in other types of honey. UMF has been found to be effective against more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including those that are resistant to antibiotics.
• Apple Cider Vinegar
Most forms of vinegar happen to have antibacterial properties, but apple cider vinegar is inherently strong and effective, making it a popular choice. It contains certain acids that penetrate into cell membranes that can kill bacteria. Aside from adding it to your diet, you can use apple cider vinegar directly on wounds and cuts as an antiseptic.