If we tried to list off all the benefits of a healthy diet, you’d be sitting reading this article all day, so let’s cut to the chase – by making certain diet changes you can eat your way to a happier vagina and better orgasms.
Bet that got your attention more than the usual ‘you’ll feel better for eating healthier’ information we’re bombarded with, didn’t it?
Yup, according to Pauline Cox MSc, author of Hungry Woman and nutritional advisor to Wiley’s Finest sustainable supplements, as we progress into our 30s and beyond, our diet is crucial for keeping things happy down below.
Let us explain. Genito-Urinary syndrome of menopause (GUS) is term that describes the multiple changes that occur in the sexual organs of the female body, from our late thirties and forties through to menopause and beyond.
What can this look like? Vaginal dryness, itching, pain or burning, painful urination, recurrent UTIs, vaginal wall prolapse, loss of libido are just some of the symptoms that can occur with GUS.
There is a 50% change that you’ll have some of these symptoms by the time you reach 50, so what can we do to support the health of vagina and preserve our reproductive longevity? Well, it can start with what you put in your body (via the mouth, get your mind out the gutter).
Nitric Oxide to the rescue…
According to Cox, increased blood flow to the clitoris and vagina during sexual arousal is in part linked to a powerful compound called nitric oxide.
She explains: “When women orgasm, there is an increase in labial and vaginal pressure, controlled through blood flow to the clitoris. This blood flow is as a result of nitric oxide, without nitric oxide, there is no increased blood flow!
“Increasing levels of nitric oxide improves blood flow to the pelvic region, sex organs, improving lubrication, the health of the tissues of the sexual organs and orgasms.”
So how do we raise our nitric oxide levels? Good news, our levels can be upped by by the foods we consume, enhancing our vaginal health and the supporting orgasms.
Here are Cox’s top seven foods for boosting Nitric Oxide levels:
Beetroots are hard to beat when it comes to foods that boost nitric oxide levels.
Packed with nitrates that are converted into nitric oxide, a daily portion of beetroot can support cardiovascular health and sexual health.
The vaginal microbiome is highly populated with lactobacillus bacteria. Lactobacillus-rich foods such as fermented beetroot, sauerkraut and live, natural yoghurt, are reportedly effective as supporting the vaginal microbiome as well as the gut microbiome.
Packed with magnesium, iron and phytonutrients, dark chocolate is also good for our sexual health. Helping to boost nitric oxide levels, ensure you go low on the sugar and stick to the dark side! 85% or above is ideal, with raw cacao powder having one of the highest scoring antioxidant levels of all foods.
Garlic, which is rich in sulphur and antioxidants, supports the synthesis of nitric oxide through activating key enzymes needed for nitric oxide production.
Green Leafy Veg
Spinach, kale, rocket and cabbage are all super sources of nitrates…the building blocks of nitric acid. A daily dose of greens will help support your nitric oxide levels as well as a super source of magnesium and potassium, both essential nutrients for women’s health.
Sprinkling a spoonful of pomegranate jewels onto your salad or with your yoghurt can boost nitric oxide levels and support sexual health. Pass the pomegranate!
Omega 7 fatty acids are excellent for helping to alleviate internal dryness, which many women experience at various stages of life. Sea buckthorn berries are the richest food source of omega-7. Sea buckthorn juice can provide a daily dose of vitamin C, needed for collagen synthesis (collagen is essential for the structural integrity of the vaginal wall) as well as omega-7.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for keeping chronic inflammation at bay, which women as more prone to as they approach perimenopause.
Chronic inflammation can lead to tissue damage and a loss of integrity of that tissue. Wild fatty fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, or supplementing with a high-dose, high-quality fish oil such as Peak EPA by Wiley’s Finest.
Our food shop is about to get a serious revamp...