10 Health Benefits of Eating Banana During Breastfeeding

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Eating banana during breastfeeding can provide you with essential nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, and fiber. Besides, banana contains several phytochemicals that can support overall health in the long run. But since bananas are also high in carbohydrates, some new moms might consider avoiding them to cut down on calories and lose weight. Is this the right move?

Read on as we give you an insight into the safety of bananas for pregnant women and their possible health benefits. We also give you some delectable banana recipes you can try without feeling guilty.

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.

  1. 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.
Bananas during breastfeeding meet increased energy needs.

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  1. 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.
  1. 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).
Bananas help control hunger and curb overeating.

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  1. Supports digestive health: Ripe banana contains non-digestible fiber that adds bulk in the diet and helps restore normal bowel activity (5).
  1. 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).
  1. Helps relieve heartburn and indigestion: Research shows that bananas could neutralize the increased acidity, strengthen digestion, and help fight indigestion (5) (6).
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
Bananas may be helpful in fighting depression after childbirth.

Images: iStock

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

Oats and banana during breastfeeding

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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

How to:

  1. Mix all ingredients and blend them in a blender until you get a smoothie of flowing consistency.
  2. Store the smoothies in a glass jar in the refrigerator and leave it overnight.
  3. Eat it at breakfast. Consume it at room temperature.

2. Tropical banana salad

Tropical banana salad during breastfeeding

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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

How to:

  1. Mix all the fruits and lemon juice in a big bowl.
  2. Now add seeds and nuts trail mix and mix everything together well.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and black pepper before eating.

A Few More Simple And Delicious Ideas To Add Banana

  1. Add sliced bananas to your pancake and make it yummier.
  2. Have banana slices with bread and a teaspoon of peanut butter.
  3. Have a sliced banana with yogurt.
  4. Add sliced bananas to porridges.
  5. Add chopped bananas to fruit salads and puddings.

Banana is a carbohydrate-rich, nutritious fruit that can offer several nutrients and health-promoting compounds. You can consume bananas during breastfeeding in moderation to ensure a well-balanced diet. Eating bananas can provide you with several nutrients that can help meet your increased nutritional needs when nursing. Remember, your diet affects breast milk quality, so make sure that your diet includes foods from various food groups. Banana and nuts milkshake, banana bread, and banana and oats smoothie are some delectable banana recipes you can safely consume when nursing.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Singh B et al.; Bioactive compounds in banana and their associated health benefits – A review.; National Center For Biotechnology Information
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
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Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different...
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Dr. Preeti Gangan

(DCH, IBCLC)
Dr. Preeti Gangan is a pediatrician and a lactation consultant certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, Virginia, US. Dr. Gangan has completed her MBBS and post graduation in Pediatrics (DCH) from the prestigious Seth G S Medical College & KEM Hospital, Mumbai. She has 15 years of experience in her field of medicine.