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Breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and the baby. Breastfeeding your baby will provide him with all the essential nutrients he needs for development and to fight infections and it can lower your risk of developing severe diseases. And consuming nutritious foods while breastfeeding can improve the quality of your breast milk. Eating fruits and other healthy stuff can contribute to breast milk production, but when it comes to fruits, should you eat all of them? Bananas, for instance, are super-healthy, but can you eat them while breastfeeding your baby!
Can You Eat Bananas While Breastfeeding?
Banana is a tropical fruit and is widely consumed all over the world. And yes you can eat it while breastfeeding your baby. It is rich in several nutrients such as potassium, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, iron, dietary fibre, etc. And eating a banana during breastfeeding can have several health benefits for you and your precious little one.
Benefits of Eating Bananas While Breastfeeding
Bananas are very nutritious for nursing mothers. Some of the benefits of eating bananas in the breastfeeding phase are given below –
1. Can Provide You With Energy
Bananas contain about 17% of the daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates. Hence, they are a great source of energy and extra calories. Breastfeeding moms need an extra 500 calories per day, and 225 g of bananas can provide around 200 calories of energy.
2. Helps Maintain Blood Pressure and Strengthens Bones
Bananas are rich in the mineral potassium which helps maintain electrolyte and fluid balance in our bodies. Potassium can also ensure the proper transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction. Bananas also help maintain blood pressure.
3. Aids in Digestion
Bananas are a good source of fibre which helps stimulate regular bowel movements. Bananas also contain prebiotics which promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and thus promotes digestion.
4. Lowers the Risk of Cancer and Helps in Tissue Repair
Bananas are a good source of Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that helps repair the tissues and maintain healthy bones and teeth. The antioxidant properties of bananas fight free radicals which cause cancer and also prevent heart disease by stopping the arteries from hardening.
5. Helps Fight Infections and Synthesise Haemoglobin
Bananas contain 41% of the RDA of Vitamin B6. This vitamin helps manufacture antibodies that are essential for fighting off infections. Vitamin B6 also plays an important role in the production of haemoglobin, the blood protein which carries oxygen to all the cells in your body.
6. Can Help Reduce Depression
Bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan which is essential for the production of the nerve transmitting chemical called serotonin. This chemical can help regulate mood, sleep, social behaviour, and memory, and thus lower the chances of depression.
Delicious Banana Recipes for Nursing Moms
Here are a few tasty and healthy banana recipes that you can try and enjoy in your nursing stage.
1. Banana and Strawberry Smoothie
The banana smoothie is quick and easy to make and can be enjoyed in breakfast or an evening snack.
What You Will Need
To make the smoothie, you will need a ripe banana, a cup of milk, a tablespoon of yoghurt, a small cup of strawberries.
How to Make
Take all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the smoothie into a glass and enjoy immediately. If you do not want to use milk, you can substitute the milk with orange juice.
2. Banana and Egg Pancakes
Banana pancakes are easy to make and make for healthy and delicious breakfast. So check out the recipe below!
What You Will Need
To make the pancakes, you will need 2 ripe bananas, 4 to 6 eggs, a small cup of chopped walnuts, honey or maple syrup for the topping, a pinch of salt.
How to Make
Mash the bananas well in a bowl. Beat the eggs using a beater or fork until it is well blended and mix this with the mashed banana. Add the chopped walnuts and a tiny pinch of salt. Next, lightly grease and heat a pan. Put a ladle-full of batter onto the hot pan and spread it to make a small circle. Let it cook and then turn it to let the other side cook. Once done, turn off the heat and serve it topped with honey or maple syrup drizzled over the top of the banana egg pancake.
Side Effects of Having Bananas While Nursing
Bananas may not be recommended for some women while breastfeeding as it may cause certain side effects such as:
1. May Aggravate Cough and Cold
Eating bananas are known to aggravate cough and cold in some people. So, nursing moms who have a cold and cough should avoid eating bananas.
2. May Lead to Allergies
People who are allergic to latex should avoid bananas as it can cause a similar allergic reaction in such people.
3. May Increase Blood Sugar Levels
As bananas contain high levels of fructose, they are not recommended to people who have diabetes or high blood sugar levels. If you are a breastfeeding mom and have diabetes, it is suggested that you avoid eating bananas.
Bananas are very nutritious and beneficial for breastfeeding mothers. However, before making this superfood a part of your diet, check that you are not allergic to it. Better yet, consult your doctor whether or not you can have them while breastfeeding.