As a new mother, you’ve just gone through the physical and emotional process of childbirth and have probably entered into post-pregnancy confinement. During this recovery time, it is important to focus on your health and the health of your newborn — one way to do that is by breastfeeding. While there are many things that can aid in successful breastfeeding journeys, did you know that incorporating fruits into your diet can actually benefit it? In this blog post, we’ll be exploring how adding fruits to meals or snacks may help support lactation while also providing other nutritional benefits!
What Do The Different Colours Mean?
First off, let’s understand something – those colours in fruits are caused by something. Just as Chlorophyll in plants gives them that greenish tinge, the colours in fruits come from something called polyphenols.
But what exactly are polyphenols? Are they the same as antioxidants? Why should they mean anything to us mere mortals?
A Closer Look at Polyphenols and Their Role in Fruit Color
Have you ever wondered why some fruits are bright red while others are green or yellow? The answer lies in a group of compounds called polyphenols, which are found in many plant-based foods. Polyphenols are responsible for the colourful hue of fruits, as well as for their antioxidant properties.
What Are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are natural compounds found in plants that act as antioxidants. These compounds give fruits and vegetables their characteristic colours, as well as provide health benefits such as reducing inflammation and helping to protect against certain diseases. There are several types of polyphenols, including flavonoids and phenolic acids.
Health Benefits of Polyphenols
While polyphenols are primarily responsible for giving fruits their distinctive colours, they also offer numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant activity. Studies have shown that consuming foods with high levels of polyphenols can help reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing oxidative stress and improving cholesterol levels
Breastfeeding mothers have very important nutritional needs that must be met in order to ensure both the healthy growth and development of their baby as well as their own health and well-being. Research suggests that breastfeeding mummies should aim to have at least 2-3 servings of local seasonal fruits per day for maximum nutrition, paired with 3 servings of vegetables per day from different colour varieties. Eating a variety of coloured fruits and vegetables is important as each colour holds different nutritional qualities, such as minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and fibres – you don’t want to miss out on anyone! Ensuring an adequate intake of all these micronutrients can help mummies meet their nutritional requirements and also provide babies with these nutrients through breast milk.
Furthermore, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is more beneficial than people often realise when it comes to metabolic health. Research has shown that those who have an adequate intake of produce have lower risk factors for metabolic-related illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. As this type of diet provides essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, it can help support the body’s metabolism while improving overall health and well-being. Of course, including fruit and vegetables in your diet should always be accompanied by other lifestyle changes in order to ensure that you remain as healthy as possible!
Fruits Provide Adequate Fibre & Antioxidant Intake To Support Gut Health
As mothers, we all know how important it is to take care of ourselves. After post-pregnancy confinement, women often experience a variety of physical and mental health changes that can make the transition back into regular life difficult. One way to help alleviate this is by focusing on gut health. Good gut health can improve your mental health, boost your immune system function, and overall make you feel better
What is Gut Health?
Gut health refers to the balance between good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract. This balance helps ensure that our body functions properly, from digestion to nutrient absorption to immune system support. When our gut is healthy, it helps us feel better both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, many factors such as poor diet or stress can disrupt this balance and may make us more prone to falling sick or experiencing digestive issues.
Good gut health has many benefits for post-pregnancy confinement moms and breastfeeding moms alike. For starters, good gut health helps our bodies absorb more nutrients from food which will give you more energy throughout the day. Furthermore, it supports our immune systems so that we can fight off any illnesses or infections quickly and effectively. Finally, good gut health has been linked to improved mental clarity, better moods, and even less anxiety – all things that are essential during a time of transition!
How To Improve Gut Health
Improving your gut health is fairly simple; start by eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Limit processed foods as much as possible as they contain additives which can upset the delicate balance of bacteria in your stomach. Additionally, drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep everything running smoothly! Finally, get plenty of rest and find ways to de-stress such as taking an afternoon walk or reading a book before bedtime – both activities have been proven to reduce cortisol levels (the hormone associated with stress) in our bodies!
As if all of that is not beneficial enough for you to seriously consider taking care of your gut health, you should also remember that what you eat can be translated across your breast milk and right into your baby’s own gut (well, after going through the mouth and stuff, but you get the point).
It’s common knowledge that breastfeeding is beneficial for both mom and baby. But did you know that fruit consumption can also help to improve the composition of your breastmilk? Fruits are a great source of essential micronutrients, which will positively impact the composition of your breast milk just by having them as part of your regular diet
What Exactly Are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals found in small amounts in food sources such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy products, eggs and meat. They are essential for growth and development. Some examples include calcium (important for bones), iron (important for red blood cells) and zinc (helps with tissue repair).
Fruits contain many of these micronutrients including Vitamin C (which helps with healing) can be found in red dates, oranges (citrus fruits), tomatoes, etc; Vitamin A (which improves your collagen formation to promote wound healing) can be found in goji berries, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, grapefruit, guava, and so on; potassium (important for heart health) and folate (which helps prevent birth defects).
The combination of these micronutrients supports the mother’s nutritional stores and breast milk.
It is important to eat healthy while breastfeeding in order to provide the best milk for your baby. Eating a variety of fruits can be one option of foods to increase breast milk and will help you get the nutrients you need and give your baby a good start on a healthy life.
However, if you are still looking for foods to boost milk supply, we have an article on that which you can find on our blog. Failing which, if you really don’t like reading further, but are interested in increasing breast milk with food, then might we suggest trying our very own ReLacto lactation meals?
Yes, we are a lactation meal service provider who will deliver your meals right to your doorstep so all you have to do is enjoy it! Swing on our homepage today to browse through our varied menu and whet your appetite!