Studies show that the quality of mom’s diet and lifestyle has little influence on breastmilk. It’s sort of nature’s gift to babies. Breastmilk is designed to protect and provide for the baby’s needs even through famine. The diet of a breastfeeding mom will affect her more than it does the baby.
That said, it’s still important for a breastfeeding mom to have a healthy diet. There’s no need to count calories or your fluid intake. You can simply eat when you are hungry, and drink when you are thirsty. However, eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals is beneficial for your health.
There’s one fruit that is said to be excellent for breastfeeding mothers: papaya. It’s proving to have a lot of health benefits for everyone, especially nursing mothers. Check out these 5 reasons why papaya is the BEST fruit for a breastfeeding mom!
Why Papaya Is The Best Fruit for the Breastfeeding Mom
1. It Can Boost Your Immunity
A nursing mother’s nutrient needs are higher than most, because of milk production. Even then, eating papayas can help with these requirements.
Fresh and ripe papaya is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. One cup of sliced ripe papaya, (about 140 grams), provides about 144% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C for adults. That’s more than what an orange gives. Vitamin C is an immune boosting agent. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin A and flavonoids are also abundant in papaya. One cup of sliced ripe papaya provides about 31% of the required daily intake of vitamin A for adults. This vitamin supports healthy mucous membranes, skin, and is vital for healthy vision.
Papaya contains enzymes that help lower inflammation. A mother recovering from a delivery can benefit from these anti-inflammatory effects. It promotes healing and prevents infection. It also has agents that help prevent arthritis, macular degeneration, and some cancers.
2. It Protects You From Heart Disease
The vitamins and antioxidants in papaya help prevent cholesterol oxidation. Therefore, it prevents cholesterol from building up in your blood vessels.
Papaya also contains folic acid, which is needed in some biochemical processes that prevent damage to blood vessels.
Papaya is also a good source of potassium. This mineral helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure by improving muscle and kidney function. It also reduces blood clotting, and aids in the opening of blood vessels. Therefore, it promotes a healthy circulatory system and reduces the risk of heart disease.
In one cup of sliced papaya, there is about 360mg of potassium. That’s 10% of the daily intake requirement for an adult.
3. It Can Help You With Post-Natal Weight Management
Papaya is a low-calorie fruit and contains no cholesterol. Eating food that is low in energy density allows you to fill up without adding up empty calories. Therefore, papayas are a great snack to have. It helps in maintaining, if not losing weight. Papaya has detoxifying effects and burns fat. Also, it helps prevent cellulite development.
4. Papaya Promotes Healthy Bowel Movements, And It’s Good For People with Diabetes.
Papaya contains a good amount of dietary fiber. Fiber is the part of the food that cannot be broken down by the digestive system. As a result, it helps form waste in the digestive tract that we later eliminate. Fiber makes stool easier to get rid, therefore preventing constipation and hemorrhoids. The fiber in papaya also lowers high cholesterol levels.
One cup of papaya contains about 2.5 grams of dietary fiber which is about 10% of the daily need of an adult.
Studies show that fiber also helps regulate blood glucose levels as well as insulin and lipid levels. Despite its sweet taste, papaya has low sugar content which is an excellent food option for diabetics.
5. It Boosts Milk Production.
According to NBCI, a mother’s diet doesn’t affect milk production. On the other hand, papaya proves to have lactogenic effects. It’s popular among Asians, and they say it increases milk production. They say papaya can boost the production of oxytocin, a hormone that helps in milk production.
Green papaya (unripe) and ripe papaya are different in taste and nutritional value. Green papaya is bland but seems to be more lactogenic. It can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s your choice. There are lots of recipes that incorporate papaya.