Can You Eat Mushrooms While Breastfeeding? We Take A Closer Look
It is crucial to maintain a healthy diet when breastfeeding, as the food you eat contributes to the nutrients you provide to the baby. Furthermore, overeating the wrong foods can lead to elevated levels of harmful toxins in your bloodstream, which can also be transferred to the baby. So should you be avoiding mushrooms while breastfeeding?
The short answer is no. Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D and other nutrients, an overall healthy food to eat while breastfeeding.
Why Are Mushrooms Good To Eat When Breastfeeding?
It can be a good idea to start eating mushrooms while breastfeeding because of their vitamin D content. It is vital to maintain a high vitamin D intake while breastfeeding because it helps regulate calcium in your body. When breastfeeding, your body can leech calcium from your bones to provide enough for the baby. If your body lacks vitamin D and calcium, your bones could become weak and brittle. Not providing enough of these to the baby through breast milk can also cause problems in their bone development.
Mushrooms are also a good source of beta-glucan. Beta-glucan has several functions in the body, mainly used for reducing cholesterol levels and supporting the immune system. However, there is also some evidence that it can also raise prolactin levels in the body. Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates greater breast milk production.1
What Else Should I Eat While Breastfeeding?
You don’t need to go on a specific diet while breastfeeding, but it is essential to eat a healthy variety of foods to get a wide range of nutrients to support both you and the baby. Breastfeeding does toll your body an extra 500 calories or so a day.2 This increased appetite can lead to less healthy eating habits if you don’t prepare by stocking up on some healthy snacks:
Avocados are a source of B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and potassium. They are also full of healthy fats, providing a sense of fullness along with nutrient-rich calories to sate your appetite.
Asparagus may increase the levels of prolactin in the body by behaving similarly to estrogen. This effect is not fully understood, but it has been found to stimulate the mammary gland in animal studies.
Besides B vitamins and vitamin K, most nuts also contain large amounts of iron, calcium, and zinc. They are also a great source of fatty acids and protein. Nuts are also widely believed to increase milk production. However, there has been very little research into foods that may increase milk production, and this particular claim has not been proven.
Are There Foods That Can Be Harmful When Breastfeeding?
Just as eating a healthy diet will support your health while breastfeeding, overeating the wrong foods could negatively impact you or the baby. Watch your intake of these foods:
The caffeine that you consume can end up in your breast milk. This is difficult for a baby’s developing digestive system to break down, and as a result, large amounts of caffeine can build up in their system.4 This can cause them to have trouble sleeping or become more irritable. It is recommended not to drink more than 2 or 3 cups of coffee per day and avoid energy drinks altogether, as they are full of added sugar and unhealthy chemicals.
Alcohol also ends up in breast milk. Having the occasional drink is fine, but avoid breastfeeding for at least 2 hours after drinking alcohol, which is about how long it takes for one unit of alcohol to leave your system.5 Larger quantities of alcohol take longer to clear your system. High alcohol consumption can decrease milk production and negatively impact your baby’s development if they ingest alcohol from your breast milk.
Processed foods are high in calories, added sugar, and unhealthy fats but low on nutritional value. As a result, they will satisfy your appetite without providing you with the nutrients you need to support yourself and the baby. Additionally, several animal studies have shown that a mother’s diet while nursing strongly influences their child’s dietary preferences as they grow up. Research suggests that a similar bias exists in humans, though more research is needed. If this is the case, eating a healthy diet while breastfeeding could lead to your child having a more nutritious diet later in life, and eating a lot of junk food could have the opposite effect.
Strongly Flavored Foods
Some foods are not harmful to you or your baby, at least in moderation, but they might cause other breastfeeding problems. Strong flavors like onion, garlic, and spices, could cause the baby to refuse food or become irritable after feeding. These foods can affect breast milk taste, which some babies are more sensitive to than others. If you tend to perspire when eating spicy foods, that can also affect the baby’s willingness to nurse.
Mushrooms Are Part of A Healthy Diet When Breastfeeding
While there are a few foods to avoid eating too much when breastfeeding, mushrooms are not one of them. They are full of vitamin D and other nutrients that will support your health and the baby’s health. There is no need to overthink your diet when breastfeeding; however, just try to follow a regular healthy diet and don’t give in to the temptation of junk food too often.
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