HEALTH & FITNESS ARTICLES
The Best Foods for Nursing Mothers - Whole Foods
Breastfeeding mothers need to increase consumption of calories by about 300-500 per day. However, these calories should not be in the form of processed and sugary foods. It is very important to include whole foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in their diet. These foods supply the essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary for the body, in addition to the required calories.
The best foods for nursing mothers
Foods rich in Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acid containing foods are very important for the mother as well as the baby. These foods play a vital role in the development of a baby’s brain and its nervous system. Omega-3 foods are known to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, various cancers, and improve cognitive ability. Salmon and tuna fish are good sources for deriving Omega-3 fatty acids.
Nursing mothers must have a healthy diet that is rich in whole foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Whole grains: Whole grains are rich sources of vitamin B, fiber, and minerals. Nursing mothers should eat plenty of whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, oats barley, and rye. These are high in healthy calories.
Fruits: Fruits are an excellent source of fiber and calories. Besides calories, fruits also provide essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C. Bananas provide Potassium and Vitamin B6.
Foods rich in iron: Breastfeeding women need to have an iron-rich diet so that they do not become anemic. Raisins, prunes, and various meats are rich in iron and should be consumed to avoid iron deficiency.
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Although they are rich in fatty acids, these fatty acids lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. They are also useful for brain and eye development of the feeding baby. Incorporate avocado in sandwiches and salads in your diet.
Water and milk
Breastfeeding a baby demands additional water loss from the mother. Hence this should be compensated by taking in adequate amount of water daily. Drink at least 3-4 liters of water per day. This can be in the form of water and water-containing beverages. Beverages can include fruit juices, soups, milk, smoothies, and buttermilk. Avoid drinking too much tea and coffee as these are not good for the baby. Milk is a very important constituent of your diet. Milk is a good source of calcium for the baby and the mother. Ensure that you get five servings of milk and other dairy products per day.
Nursing mothers should have a diet that is rich in whole foods and other nutrients that are essential for the proper development of the baby and for maintenance of their own good health. They should avoid consuming substances that can have adverse effects on the baby. Caffeine containing foods such as tea and coffee should be avoided or reduced as far as possible. Similarly, alcohol should not be consumed.
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