'For mothers who constantly fret over their inadequate milk supply, here's a list of super foods that you can include in your breastfeeding diet'
1. Whole Grains: The easy to cook complex carbohydrate found in oatmeal has a good amount of calcium, iron and fiber content and is known to aid lactation by stimulating Pitocin - the milk making hormone. Also, whole grain breads, pasta and brown rice are an important source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
2. Dairy: Your blood supply of calcium is going into the production of your baby's feed so replenish your system with at least three cups of milk or curd in the day while breastfeeding your baby.
3. Leafy greens: Leafy green vegetables like spinach, fenugreek and dill are abundant in iron, calcium, magnesium and folate. They can be consumed as a vegetable, salad or a juice or added in an omelette to increase breastmilk and boost your immune system.
4. Nuts and seeds:
a. A breastfeeding diet which has fenugreek seeds helps in increasing the breastmilk supply owing to the phytoestrogens content similar to estrogen that is a trigger for breastmilk production. Drinking fenugreek tea or swallowing it straight up is a great way to benefit from the iron, calcium and other vitamins and minerals.
b. Similarly, dill, fennel and carom seeds are beneficial too. They can be consumed by boiling them in water and drinking it.
c. Sesame seeds are power-packed with calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and phosphorous. Toast them and sprinkle them liberally over salads, veggies, etc.
d. Almonds are a good non-dairy source of calcium and protein that can be added to a bowl of cereal or munched in between meals.
5. Gourds: The bottle gourd, ridge gourd and others of the same family are easy on the stomach and assist lactation while keeping the body hydrated with vitamin enriched fluids.
6. Fish: The Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and DHA found in fish, especially Salmon is important for the baby's development and for lactating mothers.
7. Pulses and legumes: Pulses like kidney beans, chickpeas and moong dal should be especially part of a vegetarian mommy's diet to maintain their required supply of proteins, minerals and anti-oxidants. They are rich in fiber, which aids digestion too. However, it's advisable to consume these rich beans during the day as they can sometimes cause gas.
8. Garlic: Use this herb generously as it does more than ward off vampires - it maintains the digestive fire, detoxifies the body, prevents infection and increases the milk in mothers and feeding babies.
9. Shatavari (Indian/Wild Asparagus): This potent herb traditionally used in Ayurveda is known to improve the quality and quantity of breast milk. It can be consumed with milk.
10. Water: An important super food which is most often ignored is water. Water helps in keeping the body hydrated and energized, which is very important for lactating mothers.
Keep these in mind when you plan your breastfeeding diet plan as these super foods will keep your baby growing and you glowing!