Quantcast
Shutterstock

Here’s What Your Vagina Wishes You Would Eat LESS Of

If your vagina isn't too happy with you right now, maybe it's your diet.

Women's Health

I don't know what it is, yet the older I get, the more interested I am in being intentional about taking care of my vagina. I think a big part of it is because, back when I was "out here", I didn't give much thought to how much that part of my body did for me. Oh, but with age, prayerfully comes wisdom. These days? Oh, trust me, I am super conscious about doing all that I can to keep my va-jay-jay happy because y'all, truer words have not been spoken when I say that when "she's" happy…I'm happy.

Several moons back, I actually wrote about the kinds of foods we all should eat if we want to keep our vaginas nice and healthy (check out "The Foods Your Vagina's Been Craving"). Today, let's explore the opposite—the foods that can actually cause all kinds of drama down below, if we're not careful. For the record, the intent is not to get you to no longer enjoy some of your favorite foods, so much as I'm hoping that you will reconsider before having an extra piece or drink that's made up of these ingredients—so that you and your vagina can be in optimum health, both inside of the bedroom and out.

1. Sugar

Shutterstock

It really does suck that something that is so much fun to eat isn't the best thing for us, but that's how life goes sometimes. The reasons why sugar is problematic as hell is because it can do everything from cause us to gain weight and trigger heart disease and type 2 diabetes to put pimples on our face and even increase the chances of us becoming depressed or being diagnosed with cancer. The reason why your vagina frowns on too much sugar is because we've got good and bad bacteria in that area of our body. Well, something that bad bacteria enjoys consuming even more than we do is sugar and when it gets too much of it—BAM! A yeast infection is sure to be on its way.

2. Dairy

Shutterstock

Ever since I heard someone say that humans are the only mammals to drink another mammal's milk and then have the nerve to do it past being a baby's age, that has given me a totally different perspective on the stuff. While cheese and ice cream are still two huge guilty pleasures of mine, I must admit that when I go without them, I feel much better. Anyway, if dairy is your thing, it's important to keep in mind that it can actually pull calcium out of your system, up your cholesterol levels, put more sodium into your body, increase the risk of prostate cancer in the men you love and cause you to become lactose intolerant as well. And why does your vagina roll its eyes at dairy? It's because foods like cheese can actually disrupt the gentle bacterial balance inside of your vagina; when that happens, it's another way to end up with an infection.

3. White Stuff

Shutterstock

If it's white, it ain't right. Food-wise, that is. The main problem with things like white bread, pasta and rice (except for like jasmine rice) is it's been so heavily processed that there are barely any nutrients in it (although it still contains a ton of carbs that ultimately turn into sugar). Eat too much of this stuff and you could gain a ton of weight with nothing beneficial to show for it. Not only that but white foods have a tendency to spike your blood sugar levels. When that happens, your vagina becomes more vulnerable and definitely more susceptible to bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.

4. Onions

Shutterstock

Common sense isn't that common. A wise person once said that, right? A married woman once said to me that while her hubby used to always be interested in having sex, when she decided to eat raw onions—a favorite food of hers, by the way—he had been going down on her less. She thought it was a random coincidence when, actually, probably not.

Onions are good for you in the sense that they are packed with nutrients (including vitamins B and C, potassium and the compound sulfur) and they're able to put cancer-fighting compounds into your system, as well as control your blood sugar and improve your bone density. Still, when it comes to your va-jay-jay, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is if something affects the way your breath smells, it's most definitely gonna affect the way your vagina smells and even tastes to a slight degree. And onions, specifically? They have a reputation for being particularly pungent. Before sex? Hard pass.

5. Junk Food

Shutterstock

A couple of years back, I actually wrote an article for this platform about why junk food is not good for us (check out "Why You Should Consider Leaving Fast Food Alone"). A main reason why it's problematic, from head to vagina to toe, is it suppresses your immune system. When that happens, your body cannot fight off free radicals, viruses and infections. In fact, if you eat a lot of junk and you notice that your vagina has been itching a lot all of a sudden, go cold turkey on that kind of food and see if that helps. Oftentimes, the culprit is your diet. Real talk.

6. Asparagus

Shutterstock

I don't know about you but, to me, there is nothing like some roasted asparagus tips that have been drizzled in butter, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Chile. The cool thing about this particular veggie is it's actually pretty good for you. Not only is it loaded with Vitamin K and folate, it's also got a fair amount of vitamins A and C, along with other antioxidants and dietary fiber. This means that asparagus can help to keep you regular, lower your blood pressure and improve your digestive health overall. So, why should you consider laying off of it, I'd say a day or two before having sex? There's something in it that makes urine wreak and sometimes cause our vaginal secretions to not be very pleasant smelling either. Not only that but it throws our vagina's pH balance off which can—you already know—trigger an infection.

7. Coffee

Shutterstock

There are few foods that are more complex than coffee. While, on one hand, it is able to do things like burn fat, make you more alert (at least temporarily), increase your physical performance, reduce your risk of certain cancers and even having a stroke, coffee also can trigger insomnia, make you anxious, irritate your stomach, make your colon lazy and become addictive. And when it comes to your vaginal health, like onions, it can also give your vagina an unpleasant odor. Plus, the caffeine in coffee has an odd way of hindering your body from fighting candida as strongly as it should. An overgrowth of candida is what causes a yeast infection. So yeah…push the java back, just a bit.

8. Red Meat

Shutterstock

Much like coffee, there are some good and then not-so-good things about red meat too. Let's go with the good part first. Because it is high in iron, Vitamin B12 (something that a lot of Black women are low in) and other minerals, consuming it in moderation can be smart; especially if you are anemic or borderline anemic. The flip side to this is you've got to make sure that you eat leaner cuts because red meat can also be high in saturated fat which can cause a sorts of health issues (including heart disease) up the road. The main reason why your vagina would probably wish that you'd go without a few more hamburgers is because saturated fat can trigger bodily inflammation; that can definitely lower your system's immunity and also make your vagina susceptible to an infection.

9. Fried Foods

Shutterstock

I have an air fryer and it really has changed my life. That said, I must admit that I'm someone who has a bit of a weakness for fried foods. I live in the South, so some good fried chicken or even some seasoned fries are like catnip to me. Still, I know that anything that is heavily fried in oil can clog my arteries, increase my diabetes risk and might even put the toxic substance acrylamide (which happens as the result of high-temperature cooking) into my system.

Besides, it's not like my vagina is all that thrilled whenever I have a hush puppy, some mozzarella sticks or a plate of fried green tomatoes (I told y'all that I was southern). For one thing, the fat in fried foods can throw off my vagina's pH balance. Secondly, fried foods are actually directly linked to bacterial vaginosis—both for me and for you. Something to ponder, the next time you decide to fry something up real quick.

10. Stuff with Preservatives in It

Shutterstock

The long short of what preservatives is, is they are chemicals that are put into foods and drinks in order to make them last longer. The reality is a lot of the food that you see on the aisles at grocery stores are loaded with preservatives and some of them are pretty bad for your health. For instance, nitrates which are used to preserve meats can lead to colon cancer if consumed too often and sodium benzoate which are in a lot of sodas and packaged foods can increase ADHD, oxidative stress, allergies and inflammation. We already discussed that inflammation is definitely not the friend of any vagina, so try and stick to fresh and organic foods, as much as you possibly can. Your vagina will certainly thank you for doing so.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image by Shutterstock

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

To be or not to be, that’s the big question regarding relationships these days – and whether or not to remain monogamous. Especially as we walk into this new awakening of what it means to be in an ethically or consensual nonmonogamous relationship. By no means are the concepts of nonmonogamy new, so when I say 'new awakening,' I simply mean in a “what comes around, goes around” way, people are realizing that the options are limitless. And, based on our personal needs in relationships they can, in fact, be customized to meet those needs.

Keep reading...Show less

Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.

Keep reading...Show less

I think we all know what it feels like to have our favorite sex toy fail us in one way or another, particularly the conundrum of having it die mid-use. But even then, there has never been a part of me that considered using random objects around my house. Instinctively, I was aware that stimulating my coochie with a makeshift dildo would not be the answer to my problem. But, instead, further exacerbate an already frustrating situation…making it…uncomfortable, to say the least.

Keep reading...Show less

Gabourey Sidibe is in the midst of wedding planning after her beau Brandon Frankel popped the question in 2020. The Empire actress made the exciting announcement on Instagram in November 2020 and now she is spilling the deets to Brides magazine about her upcoming wedding. "It cannot be a traditional wedding. Really, it can't be. I don't want anything done the 'traditional' way," she said. "Our relationship is very much on our terms and I want it to be fun, like a true party."

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts