Top 10 Indian Foods to Increase Breast Milk - Milk Supply Mama

Top 10 Indian Foods to Increase Breast Milk

Last Updated: January 8, 2024By 7.8 min read

Hey there, new mom! First off, congratulations on your little bundle of joy! It’s an incredible journey you’re on, and as you’re probably aware, breastfeeding is a big part of it. You might be wondering if there are any specific foods you can eat to help increase your breast milk supply. Well, you’re in luck! Indian cuisine is filled with delicious and nutritious options that can help you out in this department. So, grab a cup of your favorite herbal tea, get cozy, and let’s explore these top 10 Indian foods that can give your breast milk production a little boost.

Article Overview

The Importance of Breast Milk

Breast milk is often referred to as “liquid gold” for a good reason. It’s the perfect food for your baby, packed with all the nutrients they need for growth and development. Plus, it provides essential antibodies that help protect your little one from illnesses. As for you, breastfeeding has numerous benefits, including helping you lose pregnancy weight, reducing the risk of certain diseases, and creating a strong bond between you and your baby.

Understanding Lactogenic Foods

Now that we’ve established the importance of breast milk, let’s talk about lactogenic foods. These are foods that naturally help increase your milk supply. They work by promoting the production of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk synthesis. The great news is that Indian cuisine contains a variety of lactogenic ingredients, which makes it an excellent choice for breastfeeding moms looking to boost their milk supply.

Top 10 Indian Foods to Increase Breast Milk

1. Fenugreek (Methi)

Fenugreek is a popular herb in Indian cuisine, and it’s also a fantastic galactagogue (a substance that promotes lactation). You can consume fenugreek seeds or leaves to reap their benefits. Fenugreek contains phytoestrogens, which mimic the hormone estrogen, aiding in milk production. Its seeds also stimulate sweat glands, and since mammary glands are modified sweat glands, it promotes lactation. To incorporate fenugreek into your diet, try adding the seeds to your favorite curry or making a tasty methi paratha (fenugreek flatbread) using fresh fenugreek leaves.

2. Fennel (Saunf)

Fennel is another amazing galactagogue that you can easily add to your meals. Fennel is rich in phytoestrogens and has been used traditionally as a galactagogue. It helps stimulate the production of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk synthesis. It has a licorice-like flavor and is often used as a spice or garnish in Indian dishes. You can make a refreshing fennel tea or add the seeds to your favorite sabzi (vegetable dish) for a flavor and milk supply boost.

3. Garlic (Lahsun)

Garlic is a powerful lactogenic food that not only helps increase breast milk supply but also adds a burst of flavor to your meals. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which is believed to stimulate the production of breast milk. It also has the added benefit of giving your milk a distinct flavor that may encourage your baby to nurse more. You can add it to almost any savory dish, like stir-fries, curries, and rice dishes. If you’re a fan of garlic, try making garlic naan or garlic-infused spinach (palak) curry for a tasty way to up your milk production.

4. Cumin (Jeera)

Cumin is a versatile spice that’s widely used in Indian cuisine. It’s believed to help improve digestion and increase breast milk supply. Cumin contains essential minerals like calcium and iron, which help with milk production. Additionally, it is believed to have properties that increase the secretion of prolactin, further promoting lactation. You can add cumin to your favorite curry or rice dish or try making jeera rice, a simple yet delicious cumin-infused rice recipe.

5. Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Holy basil, or tulsi, is a sacred herb in India, known for its numerous health benefits, including its lactogenic properties. Holy basil has galactagogue properties that help stimulate milk production. It also aids in reducing stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact milk supply. You can brew a soothing cup of tulsi tea or add fresh tulsi leaves to your favorite soup or curry for an extra boost in milk production.

6. Oats (Jaee)

Oats are a great source of dietary fiber and are known to help increase breast milk supply. Oats contain a high amount of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that is thought to help increase prolactin levels, thereby boosting milk production. They’re easy to incorporate into your diet and can be enjoyed in various ways. Try making a bowl of oatmeal with your favorite fruits and nuts or cook up a batch of savory oats with Indian spices for a delicious and lactogenic breakfast.

7. Spinach (Palak)

Spinach is packed with essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and folic acid, making it a fantastic choice for breastfeeding moms. It’s also a lactogenic food that can help increase milk supply. Spinach is rich in essential nutrients like iron, calcium, and folic acid, which are necessary for maintaining a healthy milk supply. It also contains plant estrogens that may contribute to milk production. You can add spinach to your favorite curry, make a palak paneer dish, or blend it into a smoothie for a healthy and nutritious meal.

8. Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain that’s more nutritious than white rice and can help boost your milk supply. It’s a great source of complex carbohydrates, which can help keep your energy levels up while breastfeeding. Brown rice has a higher concentration of complex carbohydrates compared to white rice, which can help increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin, in turn, stimulates prolactin release, promoting milk production. You can substitute brown rice in any dish that calls for white rice, like biryanis, pulao, or even a simple side dish.

9. Almonds (Badaam)

Almonds are a rich source of healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients like vitamin E, making them a great lactogenic food for breastfeeding moms. Almonds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to increase prolactin levels and support milk production. They also contain essential nutrients like vitamin E, which contribute to overall maternal health. You can snack on a handful of almonds, add them to your oatmeal or yogurt, or try making a traditional Indian almond milk called badam doodh for a delicious and milk-boosting treat.

10. Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi)

Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium, and they’re believed to help increase breast milk supply. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is essential for hormone synthesis, including prolactin. They also provide complex carbohydrates that help maintain energy levels and promote milk production in breastfeeding moms. You can enjoy them roasted, mashed, or even in a delicious Indian-style sweet potato curry.

Additional Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

In addition to consuming lactogenic foods, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and get enough rest. Make sure you’re eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to keep your energy levels up and support milk production. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, as dehydration can negatively impact your milk supply.

It’s also important to manage stress and seek support when needed. Reach out to friends, family, or a lactation consultant if you’re struggling with breastfeeding or need advice on incorporating lactogenic foods into your diet.

FAQ Section About Indian Food To Increase Breast Milk

How soon will I see an increase in breast milk supply after consuming these foods?

While the results may vary, some moms may notice an increase in breast milk supply within a few days to a week of consuming lactogenic foods.

Are there any potential side effects of consuming lactogenic foods?

Some lactogenic foods, like fenugreek and garlic, may cause mild side effects like gas, bloating, or an altered taste in breast milk. If you notice any adverse effects, try reducing the amount of the specific food you’re consuming or consult your healthcare provider.

Can I consume these foods during pregnancy to prepare for breastfeeding?

Many of these lactogenic foods are safe to consume during pregnancy, but it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet.

Are there any foods to avoid while breastfeeding?

Some foods like caffeine, alcohol, and certain allergens (if your baby has a known allergy) should be consumed in moderation or avoided while breastfeeding. Additionally, it’s a good idea to watch out for any foods that seem to cause discomfort or an allergic reaction in your baby, as this could indicate a sensitivity.

How can I ensure that my baby is getting enough breast milk?

Monitor your baby’s weight gain, diaper output, and feeding cues to ensure they’re getting enough milk. If you’re concerned about your milk supply or your baby’s growth, consult your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant for guidance.

Top 10 Indian Foods To Increase Breast Milk

Breastfeeding is an incredible journey, and making sure your baby gets all the essential nutrients they need is crucial. By incorporating these top 10 Indian foods into your diet, you can boost your breast milk production and enjoy delicious, wholesome meals at the same time. So go ahead, experiment with new recipes, and savor the flavors of Indian cuisine while giving your baby the best start in life. Remember, you’re doing an amazing job, mama!

Indian Food To Increase Breast Milk: Further Reading

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