How is your diet connected to recurring BV?
Well, think about it – everything that you put in your body, ends up nourishing it, protecting it, strengthening it or the opposite – hurting your body and weakening it. We need to remember that BV is a group of different types of bacteria that were able to fight off your body’s attempt of clearing infections. More than that, we know that BV causes something called ‘biofilms’ to form which are much harder to break down and destroy even when we take antibiotics. Biofilms are groups of bacteria that are close to each other and create a disgusting goo which keeps them stronger and alive – gross right?! That goo is actually made out of sugar and needs to be nourished in a humid or wet environment to survive and grow.
Granted, there are many other factors that affect the growth and strength of biofilms such as the bacteria strains that are found in your vagina. Our job is to do everything we can to lower our risk of getting a recurring BV infection and strengthen our immune system to the point that it can fight off infections on its own, without the use of antibiotics! So let’s talk about a healthy diet and how it could help us!
First of all…
There have been a few studies that showed how some vitamins can help prevent severe BV by strengthening our immune system.
These vitamins are A, C, E, K, and D. Folate (folic acid) is also extremely good for our immune system. Another supplement that showed some success with preventing severe infections is calcium. It’s a great idea to start taking a daily multivitamin if you’re not doing so already. If you’re in your fertile years, it’s also recommended to take a prenatal so you are prepared for any expected (and unexpected) pregnancies. You should, of course, talk with your doctor and do your own research about the different supplements that are available and learn about the best product for you to consume.
Additional studies have shown a connection between a high consumption of saturated fats to severe and recurring BV infections. Now, we're not saying that you should completely cut saturated fat out of your life because that’s probably impossible, but you can definitely try to reduce it in your diet using a few simple tricks. (See below!)
Here’s a list of foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat:
- Dairy – milk, butter, cakes, cream, cheese.
- Fatty meats – red meat, lamb chops.
- Processed food & meats – sausages, burgers, bacon.
- Let us repeat this one – BUTTER! Even if you don’t eat that much butter at home, many restaurants and food services use butter in almost everything to make your food taste delicious!
A great rule of thumb to know if a fat is saturated or not – saturated fats are usually hard at room temperature and unsaturated fats are liquid. Think about coconut oil vs. olive oil, butter, fat in red meat, etc…
Other foods we should definitely do our best to avoid:
- Fried Food – Fried food has unfortunately been linked to BV. We know, it hurts, but don’t worry, we have a great solution for it below!
- Coffee – Ugh, life without coffee sucks! But coffee has been linked to affecting our PH level. Instead of deciding to completely cut off coffee in your life, tell yourself that it’s only temporary and try to commit to a month or two without coffee. A great replacement that we really enjoy is drinking a hot cup of the following: 1 small shot of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of raw honey, and hot water. You can also add a bit of lemon to the mix. If you absolutely cannot stop drinking coffee, try to only drink it once a day and make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- This one is gonna hurt, so we’ll put both of these items together...
Sugar + Refined Carbohydrates. This one hurts, especially for us girls with a strong sweet tooth! Unfortunately, sugar and RC have a bad impact on our body and especially our immune system. It's so important to try to avoid these as much as possible if you're suffering from recurring BV!
- Alcohol. The issue with alcohol is that it makes us dry. Meaning, our vagina won’t be able to make enough lubrication – the good kind that keeps our PH levels low, you know? A drink or two once or twice a week is fine, just don’t over do it and make sure to drink lots of water! Hey – no more hangovers right?!
Ok, so after a long list of what we can't eat, here are some great alternatives of how we can still eat delicious food and give our body the nutrients it needs to conquer BV!
Burgers – Instead of eating fast food like In-n-Out, McDonald’s, Jack in the box, etc. take a look at Gordon Ramsay's recipe. This burger is delicious and you will never want to go to a drive through again! One note - cut the butter amount in half, or even try to use a vegan butter alternative for this one.
Fried food – Our secret? GET AN AIR FRYER. They really should be called “Mini Ovens”, because that is all it really is. It’s simply moving hot air around your food faster than your ordinary oven can, and the result is amazing, crispy, crunchy, semi-fried-like-tasting yumminess! We've tried a few different air fryers, this one is definitely our favorite in terms of performance, price, and customer service. You can add zero oil, or a tablespoon or so of oil, but either way, it’s far better for you than actually deep frying something that is swimming in oil for a couple minutes.
French Fries = Sweet potato fries in your new air fryer, amazing! (you won't miss ‘regular’ fries at all!)
Nachos/Fried Chicken = Cauliflower. YES CAULIFLOWER. Here’s a quick recipe – cut the cauliflower into small flowers, steam them for about 15 minutes so they are soft, but not goo, then create the following mix in a big bowl: 2 eggs, salt, mustard, pepper, paprika, garlic, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (depending on how big your cauliflower is), put the steamed cauliflower in and mix so everything is covered, then add breadcrumbs and mix, and put it in the air fryer. Boom! This is your new treat! It resembles a mix of nachos and fried chicken. You’ll forget you are eating cauliflower, and won’t ‘miss’ fried foods!
Dairy – There are a lot of good alternatives to many dairy items – almond milk, vegan cheese, coconut milk & cream (for ice cream and Alfredo sauce, yummy!). Try introducing these new alternatives to your diet, it will be worth it!
Chocolate chip cookies – Check out this recipe, add more dark chocolate chips if you have a sweet tooth, these turn out great!
Bacon – Turkey bacon is the best and has so much less fat and grease compared to traditional bacon! We love the one from Trader Joe's!
Most importantly - don't forget to add vaginal probiotics to your daily vitamin routine. Our V-Luxe probiotics contain 8 strains of good bacterias that have been clinically studied to help with vaginal health. Our probiotics also contain prebiotic - food for the good bacteria to eat and thrive on! You can choose to purchase our V-Luxe starter kit to help you prevent BV, yeast infections, and UTIs, or you can opt to order our V-Luxe probiotics only. Either way, we believe that our V-Luxe probiotics are the best solution to naturally help you prevent recurring BV, yeast infections and UTIs.