It’s a given that breastmilk is still the best for babies. At this stage of motherhood, they need to observe healthy eating habits to meet their nutritional needs and support their body in making breast milk for their little ones. These healthy eating habits developed during their nursing years will also serve as a great foundation for their health later in life.
This Breastfeeding Month, Filipino plant-based brand Sekaya shares some healthy eating tips that can help moms stay healthy during and after the breastfeeding years.
Follow the pyramid. Moms can check the food pyramid to help them keep a well-balanced diet and ensure that they eat a variety of foods across all food groups in proper amounts. It is a dietary guide that serves as a reference on the optimal amount of nutrients one needs at any stage of their life. The country’s own Food and Nutrition Research Institute has a daily nutritional guide pyramid not only for pregnant women and lactating moms but also for toddlers to teens and adults to the elderly, further helping moms plan their food for the entire household.
Go for the right fuel. Breastfeeding requires mothers to consume additional calories on top of their usual daily recommended calorie intake a day. This is because mothers need to replenish the nutrients that their bodies use in making milk. Choose the right calories by going for highly nutritious food, specifically those that are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and D. Avoid eating empty calories such as processed and sugary foods and drinks. Eating too much of these foods increases one’s risk for various health problems, including common causes of premature death such as diabetes and heart disease.
Some greens aren’t always in. Green leafy vegetables are a mainstay in a healthy diet, but mothers should be wary that not all greens are good for breastfeeding. Parsley, peppermint, and sage may have health benefits but lactating moms are advised to avoid these three leaves because they affect milk supply. Tea, which is derived from Camellia sinensis leaves, should also be avoided since it has caffeine and tannins that might cause insomnia to the mom and her baby who gets her breast milk.
Greens that are galactagogues are the mother’s best friends during lactation, such as moringa or malunggay which is known for their superb powers in enhancing milk production. Other green leafy galactagogues include spinach and kale.
Choose healthy snacking. Having little healthy snacks throughout the day can help nursing moms refuel their bodies and curb hunger. While it might be enticing to get some fast food and processed food to cut down meal prep, they will only do more harm than good. Instead, stock up on food that is dense in nutrients and is plant-based such as fruit or nut bars, smoothies made from fruits and vegetables, veggie snacks like singkamas and boiled kamote and saba, and fresh fruits.
Be discerning when it comes to supplements. It’s possible that eating healthy food may still be inadequate in supporting a mom’s health needs. Mothers can rely on natural, plant-based supplements like moringa to help them achieve their daily recommended nutrition intake. After all, it’s a superfood that’s packed with over 90 nutrients, 46 antioxidants, and amino acids potent enough to help address 300 diseases—making it a great supplement for any stage of motherhood too.
But not all moringa supplements are safe for mom and baby. Moringa plants are nature’s filters since they absorb and store environmental pollutants, particularly heavy metals and toxins. The quality of a moringa supplement depends on the quality of its raw ingredients and how they are processed. Non-organic, low-quality moringa supplements may put moms and babies at risk of getting exposed to these pollutants.
Sekaya Organic Moringa is the only 500mg EU-certified organic moringa supplement in the country that is 100% sourced and manufactured in the Philippines, meaning it has met international standards on how it’s produced and processed. Made with moms and their babies in mind, this product is tested against microbial contamination, pesticide residues, heavy metals, and molds—ensuring them that what they consume is safe and of high quality.
To help moms get quality moringa supplements in as many ways as possible, Sekaya Organic Moringa is now available in select Mercury Drug stores and in Synnovate’s official stores in Lazada and Shopee.