Nutrition

Probiotics have benefits for baby, too

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The live active cultures found in yogurt and probiotics have been shown to promote healthy gut bacteria in adults, with positive effects on digestion and bowel regularity.

A new study suggests that consumption of probiotics by mothers may also be beneficial for their breastfeeding babies.

In a study of 57 moms, those that took a daily probiotic supplement had higher levels of iron, calcium and other nutrients in their breast milk than those that did not. Their babies also gained slightly more weight. The experimental group was supplemented with two synbiotic capsules containing different probiotic strains 30 minutes after dinner for 30 days.

UCLA physician Stephanie Canale recommends breastfeeding mothers take a probiotic, such as PRO-Women from Hyberbiotics.

For mothers who want to see how their diet affects their breastfeeding babies, Dr. Canale has developed a simple breast milk test that measures levels of iron and calcium and other nutrients.

“I developed these tests as I was concerned about my own breastfed baby gaining weight fast enough. Now we are delighted to offer these tests to any breastfeeding mother, from the comfort of their own home.”

Source: R. Mahdavi et al. / Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 30 (2015) 25–29



 

Avocados linked to more nutritious breast milk

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Avocados offer a range of beneficial nutrients that can make a substantial contribution to a nutrient-rich diet when offered as a staple food for the breastfeeding mom.

That’s the conclusion of recent research published by the Journal of Nutrients.

The researchers note that avocados are unique among fruits and vegetables in that, by weight, they contain much higher amounts of the key nutrients folate and potassium, which are normally under-consumed in maternal diets.

Avocados also contain higher amounts of several non-essential compounds, such as fiber, monounsaturated fats, and lipid-soluble antioxidants, which have all been linked to improvements in maternal health, birth outcomes and  breast milk quality.

Did you know that avocados contain high amounts of folate, potassium, fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin A and Oleic acid - an essential omega 3 fatty acid?

Maternal diet affects every major aspect of reproduction from the early peri-conceptional period to the postnatal stages. It influences the entire range of maternal functions, including the production of adequate and nutritious breast milk.

The researchers recommend that avocados be considered for inclusion in future dietary recommendations for expecting and new mothers.

Source: The Role of Avocados in Maternal Diets during the Periconceptional Period, Pregnancy, and Lactation by Kevin B. Comerford (University of California), Keith T. Ayoob (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Robert D. Murray (Ohio State University) and Stephanie A. Atkinson (McMaster University).

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What should I eat while breastfeeding?

The best diet for a breastfeeding woman is well balanced and has plenty of calcium, This means eating fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals and bread, meats, beans and milk and dairy foods such as cheese.

         A breastfeeding mom needs to get enough calories -- about 500 more per day than           usual -- and needs to drink more fluids.

A balanced diet that includes 5 servings of milk or dairy products each day will provide enough calcium. If you don't eat meat or dairy products, you can get the calcium you need from broccoli, sesame seeds, tofu, and kale.

Talk to your doctor about taking extra calcium if you don't think you're getting enough from your diet. If you are concerned about the nutritional value of your breast milk, you can order one of our test kits.

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