5 Foods for Breastfeeding Mothers
Nursing mothers should include these foods in their diet to help the body produce and supply more milk.
The journey of a breastfeeding mother can be confusing and difficult, especially for new mothers. The body of a breastfeeding mother produces milk throughout the day, so, it is quite normal for mothers to feel hungry.
Therefore, doctors advise that breastfeeding mothers consume nutrient-dense foods that act as fuel to the body.
This article will help you find the best foods to eat while breastfeeding.
Research has proved that these foods have lactogenic properties – meaning foods that help the body produce breast milk. These foods are also galactagogue – they increase the milk supply.
Avocados are highly useful for nursing moms as they are filled with nutrients essential for breastfeeding. Avocados help with the common complaint of hunger among nursing moms, which arises due to the high caloric demands of the body to produce milk.
Avocados are a great option for nursing mothers since they are nearly 80 percent fat and have high satiety levels, which means they help maintain a feeling of fullness besides providing the body the heart-healthy fats. Avocados are also rich in vitamin B, vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Nuts are another powerhouse among foods that have a high percentage of essential minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin K, and B vitamins. They also provide essential fatty acids and protein to the body. Nuts are also considered to be lactogenic in different parts of the world.
The more interesting fact is that nuts have been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for ages, especially almonds, which have been mentioned in the Ayurvedic literature.
Legumes and Beans
Beans and legumes are rich sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytoestrogens. Chickpeas were even used as a galactagogue in ancient Egypt. They're also a staple food in North African, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisine, thus making it one of the highly accessible galactagogues.
Though chickpeas are the most common lactogenic legume, limiting yourself to one legume for its lactogenic properties is of no use. For example, soybeans are rich in phytoestrogen among all other beans. Consuming a variety of beans and legumes is good for the general health and also a healthy milk supply.
Mushrooms are not commonly known for their lactogenic properties, but there are certain types of mushrooms that are rich in polysaccharide beta-glucan, which is a lactogenic agent responsible for the galactagogue properties.
Research has found that women who consume more beta-glucan-rich foods like oats, barley, yeast, seaweed, certain types of mushrooms, yeast, and algae have experienced an increase in milk production.
Chia seeds have been popular in recent times due to their weight loss and high satiety levels, which make a person feel full for a longer time. They have been widely consumed for centuries and are a staple food of the Aztecs and Mayans.
Chia seeds are a rich source of fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acid. It is due to their high fiber, protein, and fatty acid concentration that chia seeds help people feel more satisfied and fuller longer after a meal. Thus, it helps the nursing mothers fight their hunger pangs and helps their bodies fight the calorie deficit.
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