If this doesn’t convince you to eat more greens, nothing will.
Chances are you’ve already heard about how your diet affects your heart health, immune system, and gut health. But what you eat also affects your sexual wellbeing. These three surprising changes will be enough to convince you to go vegetarian (or at least start eating more plants).
1. Sex becomes hotter.
Eat certain foods, and you might notice an increase in libido, lubrication, and overall vaginal health, says Mary Rosser, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the general ob-gyn division at Montefiore Health System in New York. “Avocados and root vegetables like sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, which may generate sex hormones, such as testosterone, that affect arousal. Dark leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and polyphenols, that increase circulation and may make the vaginal wall healthier and more lubricated,” says Dr. Rosser. (Here are more healthy foods that boost libido.)
2. Your balance will shift.
Veggie-focused diets tend to be higher in carbs than those that include meat and that may throw off vaginal pH, says Dr. Rosser. “Eating too many carbs can make you more alkaline, which can lead to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis,” she explains. Combat this with a daily serving of yogurt for a month or two after starting a vegetarian diet. “This will keep your vagina’s pH level stable during the transition to prevent infections,” she says. (Here’s what else you should know about your vaginal bacteria.)
3. Body chemistry changes.
Eating more plants means you’re getting more fiber. In addition to symptoms like bloating, which can affect arousal, your vaginal odor may also change, says Candice Candelaria, R.D.N., the owner of Metabolic Zen, a nutrition counseling company that specializes in women’s health. “What you eat directly affects your body chemistry,” she says. It should take about a month for your system to adjust and your scent to return to normal. In the meantime, Candelaria advises drinking plenty of water to speed up the process and cutting back on refined carbs and sugar, which can also affect odor.