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Lactogenic Vegetables

Last week I shared some ways for nursing moms to support their milk supply through a variety of grains. Today I’m going to focus on something that most of us need more of in our lives, breast feeding or not. Veggies. Veggies should make up most of you plate. Half of your plate should consist of vegetables and the other half should be split between grains and protein.

Vegetables provide nursing moms with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, folic acid and beta-carotene. The most traditional food given to new mothers around the world is soup made with bone broth and full of vegetables. Soups are said to help mothers heal and build their milk supply.

Why are they lactogenic?

  • Sedating properties of some vegetables (lettuce, fennel, onion and potato) support the production of prolactin which helps milk supply and let-down.
  • Most lactogenic veggies are very high in minerals and especially in calcium
  • Some veggies contain tryptophan which is the precursor of serotonin. Serotonin is a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. Feeling good relaxes us which in turn can have a positive effect on milk supply.
  • Plant substances known as phytoestrogens and saponins either imitate or supply the building blocks for our own hormones.
  • Omega 3 EFA’s and calcium found in sea vegetables have been found to ward off depression as well as support milk supply.

Sedative: lettuce, fennel, onion and potato

High Calcium: collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, okra, kale, dandelion greens, green beans, asparagus, peas, broccoli, watercress, cabbage, spinach, artichoke, avocado and carrot

Tryptophan: spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, green bean, string bean, potato, basil, pepper, celery, onion, Jerusalem artichoke, pea, garlic, lettuce, carrot, sweet potato.

Hormones and Saponins: carrots, asparagus, potato, dandelion greens, fenugreek sprouts and seeds.

Sea Vegetables: wakame, Irish moss, kelp and agar.

With such a wide variety of lactogenic vegetables to choose from I recommend adding at least different ones from the list every day. Try making a mixed veggie stir fry for dinner. By using a different lactogenic grain and well as a variety of lactogenic vegetables you’ll never get bored with your dinner.

What are some of your favorite supply boosting veggies and how do you prepare them?

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