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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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