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How Cruciferous Vegetables Can Affect Your Breast Milk

Breastfeeding mothers often scrutinize their diets, considering how their food choices may impact the quality and composition of their breast milk. I know that I certainly did! I remember frantically Googling. “How to make my breast milk fattier?” & “How to make my breast milk more nutritious?” In the wee hours during the fourth trimester. Among the various foods under discussion, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and collard greens attract lots of attention. While these vegetables boast a wealth of nutrients and health-promoting compounds, questions persist regarding their potential effects on breast milk.


Cruciferous Vegetables: Should You Avoid Them While Breastfeeding?


Cruciferous vegetables are renowned for their health benefits, including their rich content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Nonetheless, concerns have been raised regarding their potential to induce gas, bloating, and discomfort in breastfeeding infants due to their sulfur-containing compounds, particularly when consumed excessively. For these reasons, it is recommended to listen to your body and your baby when you consume them (Cameron & Goldsmith, 2017).


Effects of Cruciferous Vegetable Consumption on Breast Milk Composition


A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology investigated the influence of maternal diet on breast milk composition. Although the study examined various dietary factors, including cruciferous vegetables, it found no significant alteration in the composition of breast milk upon their consumption. However, further research is warranted to explore potential long-term effects (Cameron & Goldsmith, 2017).


Broccoli Sprouts: A Powerful Combination for Breastfeeding


In contrast to concerns about cruciferous vegetables, a report from Texas A&M University's Vital Record suggests that certain components found in broccoli sprouts may offer beneficial effects on breast milk. Sulforaphane, a compound abundant in broccoli sprouts, possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, potentially enhancing the protective qualities of breast milk for the infant. Incorporating broccoli sprouts into the maternal diet may yield additional health benefits for both mother and baby (Vital Record Staff, n.d.).


While concerns persist regarding the potential gas-inducing effects of cruciferous vegetables on breastfeeding infants, current evidence suggests that moderate consumption of these vegetables is generally safe. Research indicates that cruciferous vegetables do not significantly alter the composition of breast milk, but further studies are warranted to explore potential long-term effects. Moreover, incorporating broccoli sprouts into the maternal diet may offer additional health benefits for both mother and baby. Ultimately, breastfeeding mothers should aim for a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including cruciferous vegetables, while remaining mindful of any effects on their nurslings.


Click here to read more about hot to eat well whilst breastfeeding.


With love,

Danielle

❤️


References:


Cameron, M., & Goldsmith, L. (2017). Cruciferous Vegetables: Should You Avoid Them While Breastfeeding? The Lactation Nutritionist. Retrieved from https://www.thelactationnutritionist.com/post/2017/10/10/cruciferous-vegetables-should-you-avoid-them-while-breastfeeding


Cameron, M., & Goldsmith, L. (2017). Cruciferous Vegetables: Should You Avoid Them While Breastfeeding? American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 176(1), 103-108. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(96)00132-2


Vital Record Staff. (n.d.). Breastfeeding, Broccoli Sprouts: A Powerful Combination for Babies. Vital Record. Retrieved from https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/breastfeeding-broccoli-sprouts-a-powerful-combination-for-babies/



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