Can some foods actually cause vaginal yeast infections?

What is a vaginal yeast infection?

A vaginal yeast infection (or candidiasis) is a fungal infection that can cause irritation, itchiness, and abnormal discharge. They’re super common and they really suck.

Around 75% of women will have at least one yeast infection in her lifetime. Lucky us.

The vagina usually consists of a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria, there to keep our vaginas and bodies healthy. When something tips that balance – such as hormone changes, antibiotics, or too much of a triggering food – a natural fungus found inside the body called candida can grow out of control and cause a yeast infection.

Luckily, yeast infections are pretty easy to treat and clear up quite fast with over-the-counter anti-fungal medication.

Foods that can cause vaginal yeast infections

We know, we know: Food is life. But there are some certain ingredients that can upset your vagina’s natural balance that you may want to keep in mind.

Some common culprits include:

  • Highly refined carbs (e.g. white bread, pasta and flour tortillas)
  • Sugar and sugary foods (e.g. cookies, pastries, ice cream, chocolate)
  • Alcohol (e.g. wine, beer, whiskey, gin, and vodka contain high levels of yeast)

So, pretty much all the best foods. Soz.

This isn’t to say these foods and beverages should be avoided at all costs. Like most things, they should be enjoyed in moderation. You might be reaching for the anti-fungal meds if consumed too regularly!

What to eat to promote a healthy vagina

Hit the grocery store and stock up on these foods to help promote a healthy, happy, balanced vagina and keep infections at bay.

  • Yoghurt with live bacterial cultures
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Kombucha
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles
  • Probiotic supplements.

These are just some foods that have been found to help reduce the risk of vaginal yeast infections. Eating these foods shouldn’t be seen as a cure-all – if you’re experiencing symptoms, always remember to see your doctor.