Is It Safe To Eat Onions While Breastfeeding?

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Onion is a type of vegetable that brings out the flavor of any dish it is added to. Further, consuming onions while breastfeeding can impart various health benefits. For example, it helps in treating gestational diabetes, enhancing immunity, and preventing various diseases.

However, you should consult your healthcare provider about the amount of onion you can consume while breastfeeding since excessive consumption may cause certain undesirable side effects.

Scroll through this post to learn more about the consumption of onions while nursing, including nutritional facts about onions and the health benefits and side effects of consuming them while breastfeeding.

Onion-Nutritional Facts

Before we look at whether onions are good for you when you are lactating, let’s look at some nutritional facts about onions:

  • Onions are flavorful vegetables full of essential nutrients and flavonoids.
  • These vegetables are great sources of Vitamin C, Sulphuric compounds, Flavonoids and Phytochemicals.
  • Onions contain an essential anti-oxidant element named Quercetin, which helps prevent cancer.
  • Onions contain essential phytochemicals like disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene, and vinyldithiins. These elements help maintain good health and have strong antimicrobial properties.
  • The vital antioxidants and flavonoids present in onions, help improve heart health, reduce inflammation and decrease the risks of cancer.
  • Onions are extremely low in calories, cholesterol, sodium and unwanted fats.
  • Onions contain dietary fibers and folic acid, which helps in cell regeneration.
  • Onions are good sources of Vitamin B-complex like pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folate, and thiamine.
  • Red onions are rich sources of chromium, which is a trace mineral that helps to regulate insulin levels in the blood. Regulation of insulin levels during pregnancy is essential to minimize gestational diabetes risk (1).

Health Benefits Of Onion While Breastfeeding

Onion is a well-known ingredient and features in many recipes. For lactating moms, onion offers some health benefits, which include:

  • Boosts immunity

The high Vitamin C content of onions boosts the immune system for lactating moms.

  • Increases good cholesterol

Onions help boost HDL cholesterol levels in lactating mothers, and help you maintain a healthy lipid profile.

  • Detoxifies blood cells

Essential amino acids like methionine and cystine, help detoxify the blood cells and maintain a healthy body.

  • Cures gestational diabetes

Many pregnant women have the tendency to suffer from diabetes during pregnancy. Sometimes gestational diabetes continues in the breastfeeding phase too. Onions possess anti-diabetic properties, which help reduce diabetic issues.

  • Anti-bacterial

The anti-bacterial and antimicrobial property of onion helps protect you from microbial or bacterial infections.

  • Anti-inflammatory

Onions contain a special element Quercetin. It is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and helps relieve asthma or shortness of breath in lactating moms.

  • Digestion

The fibers present in onions help digestion and reduce the risk of diarrhea or gastric ulcers in lactating mothers.

  • Regulates blood sugar levels

Onions contain chromium, which helps regulate the blood sugar levels of lactating mothers (1).

Side Effects Of Eating Onions While Breastfeeding

Onions have many health benefits, but just like other foods, an excess can lead to nasty side effects, some of which include:

  • Skin Hives with intense itching.
  • Eczema- a dry skin problem
  • Eye infection
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Breathing Problems
  • A feeling of bloating in the abdomen

Can You Eat Onions While Breastfeeding?

Let’s answer the main question now.

  • Onions are rich sources of essential nutrients and antioxidants. But excessive consumption of onion can elevate the tendency of heartburn in lactating mothers.
  • If you are allergic to certain food elements, it is better to consult your dietician and then include such vegetables in your diet. People intolerant to onions may suffer from red and itchy eyes.
  • Carbohydrates present in onions can induce problems of bloating and the lactating mother can suffer from serious health issues.

Onions contain several nutrients such as vitamin C, flavonoids, and essential phytochemicals. Consumption of onions while breastfeeding may boost the immunity of lactating mothers, increase their good cholesterol, and aid digestion. This vegetable’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help relieve many health symptoms and keep mothers healthy. However, consuming onions in excess may cause skin hives, nausea, and breathing problems. Therefore, consult your doctor on the right amount of consumption to stay away from the side effects.


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Dr. Dur Afshar Agha

Dr. Dur Afshar Agha is a consultant pediatrician with decades of experience in various medical facilities both in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. She has headed the Department of Preventive Pediatrics at the prestigious, Children’s Hospital and Institute of Child Health in Pakistan and is a life member of the Pakistan Paediatric Association. She has also completed her Post Graduate Program... more

Jessica Albert

Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has prior experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor. Being a mother herself, she puts all her knowledge into creating content about... more