The cervix is an important element of the women's reproductive system. It is a small canal of about two inches with a small hole in the middle, and links the uterus and vagina. The cervix ensures that your reproductive systems perform certain functions such as childbirth and menstruation.
An unhealthy or weak cervix can become prone to different issues such as cervicitis, cervical fibroids, cervical ectropion, and cancer.
Why is the cervix important?
The cervix carries out diverse functions that are important for the reproduction and safety of your whole-body system. These functions include:
- Fertility — One of the vital roles that the cervix plays is that it helps to accelerate fertilization, thereby helping you to get pregnant easily. This is done with the help of the cervical mucus, a fluid produced by the cervix. During ovulation, the cervix releases a thinner and less acidic mucus to allow the smooth passage of the sperm into the uterus. The sperm can access your eggs easily to enable fertilization.
- Vaginal delivery — During pregnancy, the cervix releases a collection of mucus called ‘mucus plug’ to protect both the uterus and fetus. The mucus plug secures the entrance of the uterus and prevents bacteria from accessing the uterus. When it is time for birth, the mucus plug disintegrates and becomes softer to enable the baby to leave the uterus. Based on how much the cervix dilates during pregnancy, your doctor/nurse can give an estimate of when the baby will be born.
- Serves as a passage — The cervix also acts as a passage during monthly cycles and pregnancy. During menstruation, the blood being shed must pass through the cervix from the uterus before leaving the vagina. When you have penetrative sexual intercourse and sperm is ejaculated into the vagina, the sperm has to pass through the cervix to gain access to the uterus where the egg is been fertilized.
- Protection of the uterus — The cervix also hinders objects inserted into the vagina from slipping into the uterus. This is why although many objects like tampons and diaphragms are inserted into the vagina, they do not go into the uterus.
Nutrition and your cervix
Outside of the recommended yearly exam done by a medical expert, it is important to regularly care for the cervix. Like every other part of the body, the cervix possesses cells, and they need to stay healthy to help them keep performing their functions. Nutrition is one vital way that ensures this; foods that strengthen the cervix contain the right minerals and nutrients that are essential for boosting the health of the cervix. Read along further.
Foods that can strengthen the cervix
1. Green tea
Mostly referred to as one of the most beneficial beverages in the world, green tea is filled with fantastic antioxidants that can help fortify the cervix. It contains polyphenol which is a plant compound loaded with ECCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). This nutrient can help alleviate the symptoms of many diseases including problems associated with the cervix. A study has shown that this nutrient can help suppress the effects of cervical cancer. Other benefits that your body can get from green tea include weight maintenance, boosting brain function, and the prevention of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
2. Sweet potatoes
One of the important nutrients that can improve the functions of the cervix and wade off diseases like cervical cancer is beta-carotene. Certain studies have shown that a diet high in beta-carotene combined with other vitamins can significantly lower the risks associated with cervical cancer. Try to consume them with the outer skin, as many of the nutrients are located there.
Broccoli contains the essential vitamin B, also called folate. Folate is popularly prescribed to females of childbearing age in order to boost the health of the reproductive system. Broccoli is a good example of food to strengthen the cervix during pregnancy because of its generous composition of B vitamins. It can help fortify the cervix hence making fertilization easier and quicker. In addition, broccoli can halt the growth of tumors, preventing the spread of cancerous cells.
4. Pink grapefruit
Grapefruit are quite popular for their tart but sweet taste. They are loaded with many nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, thiamine, and diverse antioxidants. It also contains vitamin A, which can boost your immunity, alleviate inflammation, and wade off diseases. Most importantly, pink grapefruit contains lycopene, which is the primary component that can help strengthen the cervix. Due to the beneficial advantages that it offers the cervix, lycopene supplements are often utilized as a treatment option for people with an HPV (human papillomavirus) infection.
Papayas are not only popular for their incredible taste, but because they are filled with several antioxidants that can keep you looking young, wade off diseases, and combat inflammation. The amount of vitamin C in papayas is better than in oranges, and they contain other antioxidants like zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin. This fantastic combo can help fortify the cervix, and reduce the chance of developing HPV and cervix cancer. In addition, papayas can improve the health of the heart and prevent skin damage.
6. Winter squash
Winter squash contains nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, alpha-carotene, antioxidants, and other anti-inflammatory compounds that can not only enhance the functions of the cervix but can also improve general health. It strengthens the immune system. Winter squash also contains polysaccharides that can offer the body diverse advantages like structural support, boost cell communication signals, and energy storage.
7. Black raspberries
Black raspberries are good foods to strengthen the cervix because according to research, raspberries can hinder the growth of infected cells in the cervix hence helping to fight against cervical infections, especially HPV. This advantage is linked to the great amounts of ellagic acid present in raspberries. Ellagic acid is a compound that possesses both anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic qualities that can help cause the death of cancerous cells. Furthermore, this fruit possesses potassium that is vital for the functions of the heart. They have also been proven to aid the reduction of blood pressure. Consuming raspberries can also aid the prevention of strokes, and weak bones, and support beautiful skin.
8. Bell peppers
It is important to include foods such as bell peppers that can help improve the health of the cervix. Additionally, the vitamin C in bell peppers is important in pregnancy because it is employed in the making of collagen, one of the fibers that the fetus requires to fully develop. Consuming bell peppers as part of the foods to strengthen cervix during pregnancy can also help repair body tissues and support immunity, thereby preventing your cervix from being invaded by viruses or bacteria.
Salmon is great for a diet aimed at strengthening the cervix and preventing cancer, as it possesses qualities that can fortify this part of the body against cancer. Salmon is filled with amazing healthy fats — omega 3-fatty acids that have proven to be effective in hindering the development of cancerous cells. In addition to these fats, this fish contains another powerful nutrient called astaxanthin that can protect your body against free radicals thereby preventing cancer.
Maintaining the health of the cervix is important as this part of the reproductive system performs important functions such as uterus protection, pregnancy, and vaginal delivery support. Your day-to-day meal plan has a great influence on the health of your cervix. A diet for a healthy cervix includes foods that strengthen the cervix such as winter squash, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, and pink grapefruit.