What are the Foods to be Included in Vegetarian Breastfeeding Mothers?
Veganism is a diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products, and other animal-derived ingredients. Vegans are against the use of animal products in any form. Hence they are also against breastfeeding.
The vegan diet is not just about what one eats but about how one lives. Vegans are against the use of animal products in any form including breast milk. Breastfeeding is seen as an act of violence by vegans because it involves animals like cows and pigs who are killed for their milk or eggs.
What about a vegetarian diet and breast-feeding?
A vegetarian diet is often healthier than an omnivorous diet because it has less saturated fats and cholesterol. It may be healthier for women to breast-feed their children if they are vegetarians because they will not be exposed to as many chemicals from animal products such as hormones or antibiotics and other preservatives.
If you follow a vegetarian diet, it’s especially important to choose foods that’ll give you the nutrients you need. For example:
Choose foods rich in iron, protein and calcium:
Iron is found in foods like spinach, beans and lentils. Protein is found in foods like dairy products, beans and lentils. Calcium is found in foods like milk and yogurt.
- Iron deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness or shortness of breath.
- Protein deficiency can cause weight loss or muscle wasting.
- Calcium deficiency can cause bone pain or fractures.
Iron Rich Vegan Foods:
Iron is an essential mineral that is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron rich vegan foods can be a great option for people who are looking to eat healthy and want to add more iron in their diet.
Some of the best plant-based sources of iron are:
- Black beans
- Iron enriched cereals
- Chia seeds
- leafy green vegetables
- Peas and
- Dried raisins
The best way to get your daily dose of iron is by eating a variety of foods that contain this mineral. To help your body absorb iron, eat iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits.
Vitamin C rich foods:
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the human body. It is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and prevents disease. To help your body absorb iron, eat iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits.
There are many vegan foods that are rich in Vitamin C. Some of these foods include:
- Tomatoes and
Protein Rich Vegan Foods:
It is a misconception that vegans need to eat a lot of vegetables in order to get enough protein. Veganism is a lifestyle choice and not a diet, so it is possible to get all the necessary nutrients from vegan food sources.
Protein rich vegan foods include:
- Hemp seeds
- Chick peas
- Soy products and
- Dairy products
Calcium Rich Vegan Foods:
A vegan diet is not always the best source of calcium, so it is important to eat foods rich in this nutrient.
Some of the best sources of calcium are dairy products, but they are not vegan. Luckily, there are many other options that can provide you with the same amount of calcium as dairy products. Here are some examples:
- Kale: One cup contains 120 mg of calcium.
- Soy milk: A cup provides 300 mg of calcium.
- Broccoli: One cup has 75 mg of calcium.
- Brussels sprouts: One cup provides 45 mg of calcium.
Good sources of calcium include dairy products and dark green vegetables. Other options include calcium-enriched and -fortified products, such as juices, sesame seeds, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu.
Vegan’s supplement intake while breastfeeding:
The following are supplements that can be taken by vegan lactating mothers:
Fermented foods: Fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut contain probiotics which help to balance the gut microbiota and promote immune system health.
Iron rich foods: Iron rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds should be included in the diet of a vegan lactating mother to prevent anemia.
Vitamin B12 supplement: Vitamin B12 is essential for the development of the nervous system.
Vitamin B-12 is found almost exclusively in animal products, so it’s difficult to get enough in vegetarian diets. As vegan’s don’t eat fish, they might consider talking to doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement.
If you don’t have enough vitamin D, you might need vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D fortified foods such as cow’s milk and some cereals are available in the market. Limited sun exposure can also cause vitamin D deficiency.
Your baby needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Too little vitamin D can cause rickets, a softening and weakening of bones.
Could my diet cause my baby to be fussy or have an allergic reaction?
It is possible that the food you are eating could be causing your baby to be fussy or have an allergy. For example, if you are allergic to dairy, it is possible that your baby could also be allergic to dairy.
Some of the foods that can cause babies to have an allergy or be fussy include:
- Cow’s milk
- Soy products
- Wheat products contains glutens.
Certain foods or drinks in your diet could cause your baby to develops a rash, diarrhea or wheezing soon after nursing, consult your baby’s doctor.
If you notice any of these, avoid the food or drink for up to a week to see if it makes a difference in your baby’s behavior. Avoiding certain foods, such as garlic, onions or cabbage etc.
This article will provide information on the foods to be included in vegetarian breastfeeding mothers. The foods to be included in vegetarian breastfeeding mothers are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, soy products like tofu and tempeh.
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