Top 8 Lactogenic Foods
Nursing mums may sometimes wonder if there are any foods that can improve their milk supply. There are, in fact, such foods, and they’re called lactogenic foods or galactagogues. Adding lactogenic foods to your diet, along with frequent nursing or pumping can give your milk supply a boost.
Here are some examples of the best lactogenic foods you can add to your diet!
As a natural galactagogue, apricots especially the dried ones, contain phytoestrogens which help to balance the hormones involved in lactation. Apricots are high in fiber, Vitamin A, C, potassium and calcium. They also contain tryptophan, which naturally boosts prolactin levels.
Oatmeal is a comfort food. Sitting down to a warm bowl of oatmeal helps a nursing mum relax, which in turn may cause her body to release oxytocin (a hormone involved in milk production). In regards to this, being relaxed may help with the milk let-down process. As a food that has long been recommended as a way for mums to boost their milk supply, oatmeal also boasts properties in it that help to lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy blood pressure, which is definitely a boost to one’s health!
3) Brown rice
Besides oatmeal, here’s another whole grain that is notable when it comes to lactation. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate, which provides energy needed for breastfeeding. Consuming brown rice may cause an increase in serotonin levels in the brain and this helps regulate your moods, appetite and sleep. It also stimulates prolactin secretion, a key hormone involved in lactation.
This yummy leafy vegetable is a good source of calcium, iron, Vitamin K, A, and folate. Folate (or folic acid) is particularly important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach also contain phytoestrogens, which are believed to promote breast tissue health and lactation. They are plant-based chemicals that have similar properties as estrogen.
High in fiber, folic acid, Vitamins A, C, and K, asparagus is advantageously great for nursing mothers. They contain phytoestrogens to aid in milk production and maintain a healthy milk supply. Moreover, asparagus contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid which may stimulate prolactin production (a major hormone involved in lactation) and subsequently improve milk supply.
Carrots are a lesser known galactagogue, but like spinach, they contain phytoestrogens. Carrots are also high in beta-carotene and Vitamin A, both of which lactating mothers have an increased need for. Carrot juice is especially great for breastfeeding moms. It is believed to provide extra energy needed by lactating women, and it may help boost the supply of breast milk.
Papayas have always been a popular breast milk booster in Asia. Traditionally, it is made into a soup using green (not ripe) papayas. It is thought that the enzymes and phytochemicals in papaya may enhance breast tissue as well as improve lactation. Papaya has also been used as a natural sedative to help nursing mums relax, and at the same time help with the milk let-down process.
Though not technically considered a galactagogue, salmon is a great source of essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids which are said to give breast milk supply a boost. They improve a nursing mum’s nutrition so that she can produce the hormones necessary for milk production. Essential fatty acids are, after all, a key component in breast milk.