Breastfeeding is an essential postpartum phase that requires extra-nutritional care. Your dietary choices have a direct impact on your baby’s overall health. Thus, adding a banana in your regular diet while breastfeeding could be beneficial for you and your baby. However, some new mothers consider avoiding this fruit to cut some calories. But is it helpful?
In this MomJunction post, we provide all the essential information about consuming banana while breastfeeding, and the health benefits lactating mothers can reap from eating this fruit.
Can You Eat Banana While Breastfeeding?
You can eat bananas while breastfeeding since its regular consumption can be beneficial for nursing mothers and their babies. Banana is a nutritious fruit with a considerable amount of micronutrients and bioactive compounds such as phenolics, carotenoids, biogenic amines, and phytosterols (1). These compounds are good for the mother as well as the baby.
Health Benefits Of Banana While Breastfeeding
The regular consumption of banana as part of a balanced diet can provide the following benefits to the mother and the baby.
- Meets energy needs: Breastfeeding requires an additional consumption of 640Kcal/day for the first six months after the birth of the baby (2). Bananas can help meet this increased need for energy. One medium-sized banana provides approximately 109Kcal (3). So grab a banana and eat it as a midday snack or add it to your breakfast porridge.
- Supplies nutrients: Banana is a nutrient-dense fruit that has good amounts of potassium, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, and fiber, to name a few (4). All these nutrients are vital for a nursing mother as they aid in maintaining health and hasten postpartum healing.
- Supports weight loss: Banana contains resistant starch that stays in the stomach for a longer time and thus delays gastric emptying. This helps in controlling hunger by regulating food intake. This also helps in curbing overeating (4).
- Supports digestive health: Ripe banana contains non-digestible fiber that adds bulk in the diet and helps restore normal bowel activity (5).
- Contains gut microflora: A ripe banana has high amounts of FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo, Di, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols), which have prebiotic properties. Prebiotics help flourish probiotic levels in the colon, thus helping in proper absorption of nutrients (5).
- Helps relieve heartburn and indigestion: Research shows that bananas could neutralize the increased acidity, strengthen digestion, and help fight indigestion (5) (6).
- Supports immunity: Vitamins C and B6, and bioactive compounds such as phenols and phytosterols in banana help boost immunity due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (7).
- Helps fight depression: Banana contains an amino acid called tryptophan that might be helpful in fighting depression after childbirth. The body uses tryptophan to make serotonin, a feel-good hormone that helps fight depression and also enhances your mood by giving you a feel-good feeling (8).
Quick And Delectable Banana Recipes
Banana can be consumed straight as a satiating snack. However, some recipes could enhance its nutritional value by adding nutrients from other food while also making it more delicious. The following recipes are easy and quick to prepare.
1. Overnight oats and banana smoothie
An overnight smoothie is a good breakfast recipe for mothers who hardly get any time for themselves. This easy-to-prepare recipe saves time while also providing you all the macro and micronutrients necessary for speedy postpartum recovery.
You will need:
- 2 ripe bananas
- ½ cup toned milk
- 1 cup unsweetened plain yogurt
- ½ cup chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, and walnuts)
- 1tsp chia seeds
- Mix all ingredients and blend them in a blender until you get a smoothie of flowing consistency.
- Store the smoothies in a glass jar in the refrigerator and leave it overnight.
- Eat it at breakfast. Consume it at room temperature.
2. Tropical banana salad
This recipe is a perfect addition to your salad list. It will provide you with the goodness of tropical fruits that are healthy and also soulful. Eat this salad in the midday. This recipe is also easy to prepare and can be stocked in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
You will need:
- 1 banana
- 1 apple (chopped)
- 1 cup dragon fruit (chopped)
- 1 kiwi (sliced)
- ½ cup pineapple (sliced)
- 1tbsp mixed seeds and nuts trail mix
- 2tsp lemon juice
- Pinch of cinnamon and black pepper
- Mix all the fruits and lemon juice in a big bowl.
- Now add seeds and nuts trail mix and mix everything together well.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and black pepper before eating.
A Few More Simple And Delicious Ideas To Add Banana
- Add sliced bananas to your pancake and make it yummier.
- Have banana slices with bread and a teaspoon of peanut butter.
- Have a sliced banana with yogurt.
- Add sliced bananas to porridges.
- Add chopped bananas to fruit salads and puddings.
There are many more ways to add bananas in your diet, but the best is to follow your cooking instinct and enjoy banana as you want it.
Motherhood can be a pleasant journey if your health is at its best. Nutritious food is needed not only to prepare breast milk for your baby but also to heal your body. Adding a banana in your daily diet during lactation is a good step. It can help you stay healthy while also benefiting your baby.
How did you consume bananas while breastfeeding? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
2. Meeting Maternal Nutrient Needs During Lactation; National Center For Biotechnology Information
3. Banana, white, ripe (guineo blanco maduro); Food Data Central
4. Bananas; Harvard T.H Chan
5. K. P. Sampath Kumar et al.; Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Banana; Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
6. 5 Top Foods to Stave Off Acid Reflux Symptoms; AARP
7. David C. Nieman and Susan Hazels Mitmesser; Potential Impact of Nutrition on Immune System Recovery from Heavy Exertion: A Metabolomics Perspective; National Center For Biotechnology Information
8. Hulsken S et al.; Food-derived serotonergic modulators: effects on mood and cognition.; National Center For Biotechnology Information