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Foods that will have your Vagina thanking You!

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Women struggle with Vaginal health at some point in their life and statistics show that at least 75% of women get at least one yeast infection during their lifetime. It is important to note that what we eat also has an effect on the vagina and vaginal health therefore, the key to improving your intimate well-being lies in what you put on your plate.

Below is a list of some common foods that will help you strengthen and preserve your vaginal health:

Natural yoghurt and other probiotics

Probiotics (good bacteria) help maintain vaginal PH and ward off yeast infections and keep your gut healthy. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like natural yoghurt, sauerkrauts, kefir and miso.

Cranberry juice

Cranberries prevent and relive symptoms of urinary tract infections by acidifying the urine and balancing the PH of the vaginal area. They contain strong acidic compounds which don’t get broken down during digestion making them able to fight bacteria that cause the infections. To benefit fully from cranberries it would be best to eat fresh cranberries by mixing them in natural yoghurt.

Fresh fruit and vegetables

As usual, fruits and vegetables make your overall health better as they contain certain vitamins and minerals essential for your well-being. For instance, Vitamin C will help boost your immune system. Avocados for instance stimulate vaginal health as they contain Vitamin B6 and potassium which support healthy vaginal walls. Green, leafy vegetables on the other hand help with blood circulation and prevent vaginal dryness.

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Seeds and nuts

Sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts all contain vitamin E and oils which help prevent vaginal dryness. Almond and pumpkin seeds are rich in Zinc which is an essential mineral that regulates the menstrual cycle and helps combat itching and other symptoms of dryness. Flaxseeds are rich in phytoestrogens and omega 3 fatty acids which help to boost estrogen levels and stop vaginal dryness.

Water

For vaginal mucous membrane to function properly, they require plenty of water in order to stay well hydrated and what better way to achieve this than by drinking plenty of water? Drinking sufficient amounts of water will ensure that your vagina stays lubricated as well as diminish foul smells from your lovely lady parts.

Garlic

Garlic, eaten raw contains major antimicrobial and antifungal properties. In case of a yeast infection, these properties contained in garlic effectively kill yeast and could also soothe the symptoms of the infection including soreness and itchiness and would best work if the raw, peeled garlic is used as a suppository and left overnight.

Food & Cuisine

Ultimate Baker releases sugar substitute for diabetics

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Ultimate Baker has released a new naturally-coloured xylitol sugar substitute created specifically for the diabetic market.



Ultimate Baker Xylitol is made purely with natural ingredients from fruit and vegetables, and the company claims that xylitol almost perfectly mimics the natural sweetness of sugar, while having 40% fewer calories.

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Xylitol carries a glycaemia index rating of 7, compared to the 60–70 rating carried by normal sugar, and this means that xylitol does not spike blood sugar or insulin.

Figures provided by the company claim that approximately 100 people in the US suffer from diabetes or prediabetes, and this has made the development of products tailored to diabetics crucial.

Sue-Ellen Cutler, vice-president of new product development at Ultimate Baker said: “Our goal is to create high quality products that are both visually appealing while free of the harmful synthetics and preservatives which are dominant across the baking industry.

“Xylitol is a product we’re just as proud to serve our families as we would all of our customers.”

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Food & Cuisine

Signs that your eating habits need to change

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Poor skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body and it offers much needed visual insight into what is going on with the body’s health.



For those who suffer with acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin or premature ageing, these are all signs that their diet might not be optimal. 

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‘In particular, acne, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions have been associated with an imbalance of gut bacteria leading to “leaky gut”,’ they said.

What is leaky gut? 

Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to ‘leak’ through the intestinal wall.

‘A variety of nutrients, derived from eating a balanced whole foods diet are important for skin health.’

It is important that people have a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish and flax seeds, along with vitamins A, E, C and zinc.

Changing one’s diet can drastically improve the skin but this can take three months or more so people need to be patient with dietary changes.

Low energy

Although carbohydrates and fats are primary fuels for making energy, the health expert said micronutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, iron, copper and sulphur are also an important part of the process.

Unfortunately diets that aren’t rich in these often lead to low energy levels. 

Anaemia, which is caused by a deficiency in iron, B12 or folate (B9), can also cause tiredness, as can poor thyroid function, which relies on nutrients such as iodine and selenium. 

‘Many people are also self-sabotaging their energy levels by relying on stimulants such as caffeine and sugar to get them through the day,’ they said.

 ‘However, this can have a negative impact on sleep and blood sugar balance, leading to peaks and troughs in energy throughout the day.

‘Switching to complex carbs and ensuring good quality protein each time you eat to stabilise blood sugars and reducing caffeine is therefore recommended.’

Fat accumulation around the middle

Everyone’s body is different and due to genetics people store fat in different areas.

According to the health expert storage of fat around the stomach (known as visceral adipose tissue) has been consistently shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and other health issues.

‘The most likely cause for VAT is a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, with excessive stomach fat being a tell-tale sign of insulin resistance, where the body becomes less able to utilise glucose for energy production and so instead stores it as fat,’ they said.

‘If you tend to have an apple body shape, then changing your diet and engaging in regular physical exercise is particularly important.’ 

Digestive Issues

The health expert said some of the most obvious signs someone’s diet needs changing is when they’re faced with digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea and bloating, which indicate the gut isn’t happy.

Eliminating processed foods and switching to a whole foods diet is likely to improve many people’s digestion due to the increase in fibre from fruit and vegetables.

Others may need to remove foods such as gluten, wheat or dairy from their diet for a period of time.

Improving the balance of bacteria in the gut by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and live yoghurt can benefit digestive conditions.

Alternatively people can take a live bacteria supplement, such as Lepicol ($17/£13), a three in one combination of gentle psyllium husk fibre which contributes to the maintenance of normal bowel transit.

Low mood and anxiety

Mental health is a complex issue that often involves a variety of factors but diet and lifestyle choices are being shown to play an important role.

‘Nutritional psychiatry is increasingly being used alongside conventional therapies for conditions such as anxiety and depression,’ they said.

‘A Mediterranean style diet, high in colourful fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and olive oil, with moderate amounts of fish and seafood, has been shown to be particularly effective.’

Poor Immunity

The health expert explained that recurring infections, such as colds, UTIs, thrush and fungal nail infections, are a sign that the body isn’t getting enough nutrients.

This is a sign that the immune system isn’t receiving enough support from the diet and that people need to increase their intake of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, vitamins A, C, E, and B6 and folate.

‘Focus on getting lots of colourful fruit and vegetables and good quality protein such as organic meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and legumes as these provide the building blocks and co-factors for immune cells,’ they said.

It’s also best to steer clear of processed foods, simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, known to feed unwanted bacteria and yeast in the gut.

Instead include prebiotic foods such as slightly under-ripe bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, oats and asparagus.

Hormonal issues

Diets high in sugars and refined carbs are likely to exacerbate hormonal issues such as period pain, menopause, endometriosis and fertility troubles.

‘Supporting healthy blood sugar balance is therefore a crucial step in regulating hormones, as is working on body composition to reduce excess fat cells, which produce their own oestrogens,’ they said.

They recommend increasing the intake of nutrients to help support healthy oestrogen detoxification.

This can be done by eating folate from leafy green vegetables and glucosinolates from broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts.

‘Dietary phytoestrogens found in flaxseeds, traditionally fermented soybean products and legumes can also be particularly useful for modulating oestrogen levels,’ they said.

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