Beans While Breastfeeding - Its Safety And Health Benefits

Beans While Breastfeeding

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As a breastfeeding mom, you need to pay close attention to your diet, as it can affect your breast milk production. Your diet should include most essential food groups like protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins. However, in the race to get all those nutrients, we sometimes consume foods (beans) that may trigger gas and other stomach problems.

Here, we look at some of the effects of consuming beans while breastfeeding and how you can overcome the gassy side effects. So read on to learn more.

What Are Beans?

What Are Beans

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Beans are the mature form of legumes, and you can easily find them in the market in canned, frozen, or dry forms. They are an excellent source of plant proteins and also comprise nutrients like iron and zinc. Vegetarian people can consume beans as a substitute for animal protein. Beans also contain high levels of potassium, folate, and dietary fiber. Some commonly found beans include:

  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Lima beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Lentils
  • Split peas (1)

Is It Safe To Eat Beans While Breastfeeding?

Yes, as a lactating mother you can safely consume beans and Brussels sprouts. Not only the beans are inexpensive on your pocket, but the protein-rich food regulates your blood sugar levels, reduce obesity, combat heart disease, reduce cholesterol levels, relieve constipation and minimize the risk of cancer and diabetes. Beans provide fuel for your body while you are nursing a baby. When you consume the adequate amount of plant protein, your breast milk production improves.

However, if a certain form of beans tends to cause gassiness for your feeding baby, try to eliminate that from your diet list. Additionally, there are different ways in which you can reduce the gassy effects of the beans.

[ Read: Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding ]

Benefits Of Beans During Breastfeeding:

You can safely intake the iron-rich beans like the black beans and kidney beans during the lactation period. The nutrient-dense legumes have several beneficial impacts on your health conditions:

1. Prevents Cardiovascular Disease:

Researchers conclude that higher consumption of legumes minimizes the risk of heart diseases. The phytochemical present in the bean helps in protecting your body against cardiac arrests or myocardial infractions.

2. Fights Cancer:

Beans contain a high percentage of cancer-fighting plant chemicals like phytosterols and isoflavones that effectively reduces your risk of cancer.

3. Lowers Cholesterol:

The soluble fiber present in fibers helps in regulating your blood cholesterol level during lactation. Studies conclude that 10 grams of soluble fibers per day reduce your LDL cholesterol level by 10 percentage. The components saponins and phytosterols play a significant role in reducing your LDL level cholesterols.

4. Supports Weight Loss:

After childbirth, one of the concerns that haunt the mother is weight loss. The rich fiber content of the beans helps in satisfying your hunger pangs and supplies a steady source of energy. It helps in maintaining a healthy body weight, especially after the birth of your baby.

5. Manages Blood Sugar Level:

Beans serve as diabetes sufferer’s superfood, as the perfect balance of protein and complex carbohydrates regulates the blood sugar level. After eating simple carbohydrate, the glucose level of the body rises suddenly and that leads to diabetes. (2)

Side Effects Of Eating Beans While Breastfeeding:

Here are certain side-effects of beans that you should remain alert of:

1. Causes Migraines:

Some variation of beans can trigger allergic reactions and migraines in the woman. In such a scenario, the mother should eliminate the particular type of bean from her diet immediately.

[ Read: Breastfeeding Diet ]

2. Raises Blood Pressure Levels:

When you already intake monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor for overcoming the symptoms of depression during breastfeeding, you should strictly avoid consumption of fava beans. It can interact with your medication and raise your blood pressure level suddenly.

3. Interferes With Vitamin Absorption Process:

Some of the beans like soybeans can interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D, B12, and beta-carotene. When you cook the beans under high temperature, the components of the beans can sometimes become inactive and initiates the vitamin absorption. But it is better to fulfill your daily vitamin requirements by taking plentiful amounts of fresh fruits, dark green veggies, and lean meats during lactation.

4. Initiates Gout:

If you are a gout sufferer, it is best to consult with the doctor before including beans in your daily diet. Gout sufferers should stay away from beans, lentils, forgo dried beans, and other legumes, due to their high purine content. The excess amount of purine in the body raises the uric levels and initiates unwanted gout attacks.

5. Makes You Gassy:

Excessive consumption of beans, like lentils, peas, and beans can induce the embarrassing flatulence problem. It can also make your feeding baby suffer from gassiness and other digestive problems.

Tips To Avoid Gassy Problems With Beans:

Here are some natural methods to minimize the gassy effects of beans:

  • Always try using canned beans and wash them properly with regular tap water for multiple times.
  • You can mash the beans before consuming.
  • If you would like to use non-cooked beans, try to soak them water for overnight. It is advisable to change the soaking water for 2-3 times before you use it for cooking. While cooking, boil them in water for at least 2-3 minutes and throw away the water. It helps in eliminating the indigestible carbohydrates of the beans and reduces gassiness.
  • Pressure cook the beans, as it helps in minimizing the gas-producing qualities.
  • Add herbs like fennel, lemon balm or caraway while cooking beans. The acidic elements helps in preventing flatulence.

[ Read: Chia Seeds While Breastfeeding ]

Recipes With Beans For Breastfeeding Moms:

You can consume the following healthy bean recipes during your breastfeeding phase:

1. Black Beans With Peppers And Onions:

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 Tsp. Olive oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • Salt to taste

How To:

  1. Soak the black beans in water for overnight, and change the water in the morning.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add the chopped onion, and peppers. Sauté the veggies, until they turn golden brown.
  3.  Add the spices like coriander, cumin, salt and basil to flavor the veggies.
  4. Lastly, add the black beans, and cook all the ingredients for 7-10 minutes.
  5. Serve the black bean recipe with rice, pasta or tortilla wraps. (3)

Did you consume beans during your lactation period? Did the legumes induce gas and flatulence problems? Share your views regarding beans consumption here!

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