If your mammaries are feeling malnourished, don’t panic! Like anything else, healthy milk production calls for a balanced diet. However, even if you’re laying off the junk food, you may find you’re not quite keeping pace with your infant’s appetite while you should communicate as much of your breastfeeding experience to your doctor as you can, you don’t necessarily need to shell out for expensive supplements to give your boobs a boost.
Here are ten snack foods you can try to help encourage milk production.
When it comes to restoring the natural proteins and nutrients your body needs for milk production, it’s hard to look past the original super snack – trail mix. Dried fruits, particularly apricots and bananas, are loaded with phytoestrogens and other vitamins. Nuts such as almonds, cashews, and pistachios, and seeds such as flax seeds (fibre), pumpkin seeds (iron), and sesame seeds (calcium) are dense with the ingredients your body needs to create milk.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be on a diet of caveman food to maintain optimal milk production. Even nursing mothers need to indulge from time to time, and dark chocolate is the best way to tick both boxes. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that counteract the naturally occurring free radicals that can suppress lactation.
Hard-boiled eggs are a great way to stock up on protein. For a little change of pace, whip those yolks for a more devilish snack.
Greek yogurt contains less sugar than its sweeter counterparts in the dairy section. Low in calories yet high in protein, Greek yogurt pairs well with 50-100 ml of granola for a healthy crunch.
This versatile fruit is great raw, and some Asian cultures even cook it in soups. Papaya is known to promote lactation, especially if eaten before it’s ripe. Green papaya is a great addition to salads and makes a great addition to a stir-fry.
Not exactly a snack in their own right, but fennel and fenugreek are herps that should feature prominently on shelf during your lactating months. A great source of phytoestrogens, these herbs can bring some adventurous flavour to your next meal. You might be put off by their strong notes of black liquorice but hey, you can’t please all the people all the time.
You should limit your alcohol consumption when breastfeeding, because alcohol can limit milk production. However, you may have heard a popular myth that the odd beer here and there is good for lactation. That’s largely due to the presence of brewer’s yeast, which is bursting with B vitamins. You can substitute brewer’s yeast into your baking recipes to get the perks without the drawbacks!
Fresh greens are healthy, tasty, but few make a better base for garden salads than spinach. Spinach is rich in iron, which is directly linked to milk production levels. Use spinach for zesty salads or sandwich greens.
Carrots are the tastiest source of beta-carotene, of which your body needs a surplus when lactating, as well as potassium and carbs. Tasty on their own, carrots also pair well with a nice, healthy hummus and can help you shed some of that lingering baby weight.
Believe it or not, sushi can be a great snack food for breastfeeding mothers. While most styles of sushi are fine (though you should be weary of fishes with high mercury levels like tuna), the Japanese staple makes this list for the raw salmon. Salmon is a known superfood with a wealth of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which can make your breast milk aid the development of your baby’s brain.