Many mothers have a problem in breastfeeding their baby as they are not able to produce enough breast milk, which is very nutritious for babies as it has the right balance of fat, sugar, water and protein.
Breastfeeding is said to reduce a baby’s risk of developing allergies, respiratory illnesses and other infections and helps in the newborn’s overall mental and physical health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that babies should be breastfed till they reach six months of age.
Following are five superfoods that help in increasing lactation:
Almonds and nuts such as walnuts and cashews are great for nursing mothers. Almonds have protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are beneficial for mother’s and baby’s overall health. At the same time, these nuts are good non-dairy source of calcium and the monounsaturated fats in almonds increase the richness of breast milk. But those with a history of nut allergies should not eat almonds.
Fish, especially salmon, is a good source of protein and DHA, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid. This helps in the development of the newborn baby’s nervous system. Salmon also contains vitamin D. As per a 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, salmon consumption during pregnancy results in improved quality of breast milk during early lactation.
Spinach, along with other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli is considered a must for nursing mothers. Spinach has vitamin A which helps in healthy development the baby. At the same time, its antioxidants boost the newborn’s immunity. Moreover, spinach is a non-dairy source of calcium. It also has folate which is said to help in preventing various birth defects if consumed during pregnancy.
Brown rice is considered better than white rice due to its high fiber and nutrient content. It is rich in complex carbohydrates and helps in keeping a person full longer. At the same time, it maintains a consistent blood sugar level. Moreover, brown rice provides calories needed for the body to produce good quality breast milk. As per a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, regular intake of pre-germinated brown rice has beneficial effects on psychosomatic health.
Eggs are laden with protein, lutein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, folate and choline. According to a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, if choline is taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it may protect newborn babies from future illness by helping in normal brain development. At the same time, egg yolks, which is rich in vitamin D, is good for newborn babies.