Are you breastfeeding? Do you find yourself browsing health charts and diet plans to ensure that your little one gets all the necessary nutrients? Do you wonder what fruits you should consume during this special phase? If you nodded along to these questions, read this post.
Fruits are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals and help prevent deficiency of vitamin A and C. Fruits can be a healthy addition to a nursing mother’s diet as they are rich in vital nutrients such as potassium, folate, and antioxidants (1). Read on to know about the best fruits to eat when breastfeeding.
1. Green Papaya
Green papaya is the green, unripe variety of the golden yellow papaya. It is one of the well-known galactagogues that helps mothers make more breast milk during lactation. The enzymesiXBiological agents that accelerate chemical reactions in living organisms green papaya enhance milk production. Also, the fruit provides essential vitamins like vitamins A, B, C, and E, which can help you maintain optimum nutrition levels.
If you are a lactating mom, you should include some apricots in your postpartum diet. Apricots are rich dietary sources of vitamin C, A, calcium, and potassium. Apricots boost levels of important chemicals called phytoestrogens, which mimic the activity of estrogeniXA hormone responsible for the development and functioning of female reproductive organs . These chemicals help regulate milk-producing hormones in females and increase milk supply.
Avocados are rich sources of essential fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and omega-9 fatty acids. These amino acids are essential for many body functions and help you produce rich breast-milk. Avocados are wonderful for maintaining your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Add avocadoes to your healthy eating regimen in different ways to reap the full benefits of this delicious fruit.
Strawberries are lip-smacking fruits that are one of the perfect go-to healthy snacks for breastfeeding moms. As a nursing mom, you should include these amazing fruits in your diet. They are full of iron and boast of an array of vitamins like Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. If you are allergic to strawberries or someone in the family has a history of strawberry allergy, consult your doctor before you eat them. This is because allergens can also affect your little one through your breast milk.
If you are looking to increase your folic acid levels, include bananas in your diet. Bananas are rich in other vitamins and minerals as well. Bananas also help you replenish calories that you lose while breastfeeding your little darling.
6. Sapodilla (Chikoo)
Breastfeeding is a tiring activity, and you will need the energy to feed your baby. Thus, you need to supplement your diet with energy-rich foods to prevent any nausea, vomiting, or faintness. Sapodilla or chikoo is a tropical fruit and one of the best fruits for your body. Chikoo provides your body with the strength and energy to nurse your baby.
It is one of the best fruits to eat during breastfeeding. Blueberries are veritable storehouses of essential nutrients. In addition, their natural antioxidant properties help boost your immunity and protect you from infections. Blueberries are especially rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and K, calcium, potassium, and carbohydrates.
When you are pregnant or nursing, your body will need a steady flow of vitamins and essential minerals. To fulfill your nutrient requirement, consider consuming some cantaloupes or sweet melons. You can snack on these fruits or add them to your dessert in a fruit salad.
Also known as Anjeer, they are calorie-dense fruits, rich in vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, dietary fibers, protein, carbohydrates, soluble sugars, and many other nutrients that are essential for breastfeeding women (2)(3)(4). Consumption of figs can bring along many benefits for breastfeeding women. It is available both in fresh and dried forms. So, you can either include this healthy fruit in your fruit salads, smoothies, and other recipes or munch on the dried figs with other dried fruits and nuts. Also, ensure to eat in moderation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which fruits should I avoid while breastfeeding?
Fruits, or any food items, do not affect the quality of breastmilk (5). However, many people believe that lactating mothers should avoid strong-flavored and acidic (or citrus) fruits, such as lime, kiwi, and pineapples, as they may affect the quality and taste of breast milk. But research has suggested otherwise. It is found that these fruits do not affect the pH of maternal plasma nor does it alter the taste of breast milk (5). Lactating mothers are advised to continue eating all types of food and only refrain from them if the baby reacts adversely to them.
2. Which fruits can cause gas in breastfed babies?
In the case of breastfed babies, gassiness is mainly caused due to swallowing too much air while eating fast. Most babies can condone the majority of food that their mothers consume. However, keeping an eye on your baby’s tolerance patterns is also advised. If some food you had makes them uncomfortable or gassy, it is better to avoid it for the time being (6).
3. How much fruit should a breastfeeding mother consume daily?
She may have two servings of food every day (7). Try to include fruits of different colors to gain maximum nutrition.
4. Can eating too much fruit while breastfeeding cause stomach upset for the mother?
Eating excessive amounts of fruit while breastfeeding may potentially cause stomach aches for some mothers. This can be due to the high fiber content in fruits, which may lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea. However, each person’s fruit tolerance can vary, and not all mothers will experience an upset stomach. Consuming a balanced and varied diet, including fruits in moderation, and listening to your body’s cues is recommended. Consult a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized guidance if you have concerns or persistent digestive issues.
5. Can eating too much fruit while breastfeeding causes allergic reactions in the mother?
Eating too much fruit while breastfeeding is unlikely to cause allergic reactions in the mother. Allergic reactions are typically triggered by specific allergens, such as certain foods, pollen, or medications, rather than the overall quantity of fruit consumed. However, individuals need to be aware of their allergies or sensitivities and consult with a healthcare professional if they have any concerns or experience symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Certain fruits to eat while breastfeeding can help you gain back strength. As breastfeeding is a special moment in a woman’s life, you may not want to avoid it or deprive your baby of nourishment. However, it is tiring and requires patience and practice to do it correctly. Therefore, nourishing yourself by adding nutritious fruits to your maternal diet is vital. Remember, breastfeeding is a deep bonding experience with your baby, and it should make you feel special and aid in the baby’s development.
Infographic: Best Fruits You Should Eat While Breastfeeding
Eating a diverse and well-balanced diet is crucial for both the mother’s and baby’s health during breastfeeding. Adding fruits to this diet can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The following infographic includes a list of fruits one can incorporate into a pregnancy diet. Explore!
- Fruits provide important nutrients like potassium, folate, and antioxidants for nursing mothers.
- Green papaya is a potent galactagogue, but those allergic to kiwi or latex should consume it with caution.
- Apricots contain phytoestrogens that regulate milk-producing hormones and increase milk supply in lactating women.
- Avocados are rich in essential fatty acids and amino acids that help produce nutrient-dense breast milk and maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Strawberries contain essential vitamins and minerals, while bananas are a good source of folic acid for nursing mothers.
- Sapodilla helps prevent nausea, vomiting, or faintness in lactating mothers, and blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent infections.
- Figs, raw.
- Meeting Maternal Nutrient Needs During Lactation.
- Guide to Breastfeeding.
- Goun Jeong et al.; (2017); Maternal food restrictions during breastfeeding.
- What’s causing gas in my breastfed baby?
- Diet for Breastfeeding Mothers.
- Kevin B. Comerford et al.; (2016); The Role of Avocados in Maternal Diets during the Periconceptional Period Pregnancy and Lactation.