New Delhi: Lactating mothers must fuel their body with the best nutrient-rich foods so that the baby grows stronger, smarter and healthier.
After all, a healthy mother is synonymous with a healthy baby. During the period of breastfeeding, the body of the mother is in the process of making milk 24 hours a day.
Commonly, breastfeeding mothers feel hungry every now and then and this hunger comes from the energy the body consumes for making each ounce of milk. High on energy and low on calories, these five superfoods offer ample nutrition for the mother as well as the baby.
Five Superfoods For Breastfeeding Mothers
Banana: The Midnight Snack
A convenient snack for late nights when keeping company with a sleepless little one, banana comes with healthy carbohydrates and B vitamins. Rich in pectin, this super-energising fruit helps in moderating blood sugar levels and aids in gut health. It is a prebiotic that supplies food to good bacteria in the colon. The magnesium present in it helps in fighting postpartum depression and helps uplift the mood too.
Fenugreek Seeds: The Bedtime Tea
The milk supply can sometimes decrease due to fatigue and stress. Fenugreek, commonly known as methi-dana is an excellent galactogen. It also helps in reducing aches and pains in the body. Research suggests that when consumed by lactating mothers, it helps in increasing rate of weight gain in babies. Take one tablespoon of Fenugreek seed boiled in water, as warm tea before bedtime.
Paneer/ Cottage Cheese: Power Of Protein
A powerhouse of nutrients, paneer should be the go-to protein when lactating. It is enriched with calcium that can strengthen bones with vitamin A that helps in the overall repair of the body post-delivery. The conjugated linoleic acid present in paneer helps in burning extra fat weight accumulated during pregnancy while accelerating milk production. It is recommended to include 100 grams in lunch.
Amaranth: All-In-One Seed
It’s the ultimate all-in-one nutrition formula for new mothers. It helps in stimulating milk production with a unique blend of healthy protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It can help in fighting hair loss post-delivery. It is a good source of iron, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, and copper that helps in regaining strength. Enjoy it as a breakfast cereal in milk as amaranth puffs or have it as vegetable porridge.
Water: Zero-Calorie Energy Booster
Most commonly ignored ingredient for boosting lactation, it is crucial for milk production. During lactation, the mother’s fluid needs go up. A new mom requires a minimum of 12 glasses of water, which can go up in case of sleep deprivation and non-caffeinated, unsweetened beverages count too.
Lovneet Batra is a nutritionist, a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, USA; lecturer at IHM Pusa; a consultant to the Sports Authority of India; and a consultant at Fortis Hospitals, Delhi
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