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Turmeric While Breastfeeding – Safety and Health Benefits

The postpartum period is all about new experiences, but breastfeeding, in particular, is crucial as it conjoins the mother and the baby with love, tenderness, and a unique bond. Mother’s milk contains antibodies that help fight infection and is suitable for the healthy growth and development of the baby. Whatever the mothers eat, the nutritional benefits get transferred to the baby while nursing them. To ensure that you are away from infections, it’s imperative to consume a well-balanced diet of energy-giving complex carbs, protein for muscle recovery, healthy fats, and antioxidants from herbs and spices like Turmeric. It helps in lactation and prevents other problems of this phase while protecting you and your baby from infections.

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Turmeric Nutritional Value

Turmeric, also referred to as “Indian Saffron” or “Golden Spice,” has a pungent smell and a sharp taste. It is enriched with minerals, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients. The main active component is the antioxidant Curcumin which has medicinal and therapeutic properties. It is essential for the maintenance of overall health as it has vital micronutrients and bioactive compounds.

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Check out the table below for the nutritional value of Turmeric. Following is the approximate composition of one tablespoon, i.e., one serving of turmeric powder:

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Name Amount
Fiber, total dietary 2.13g
Calcium 15.8mg
Iron 5.17mg
Magnesium 19.6mg
Phosphorus 28.1mg
Potassium 196mg
Sodium 2.54mg
Manganese 1.86mg

Is It Safe for Nursing Mothers to Consume Turmeric?

The nursing mothers often have questions – can women take Turmeric while breastfeeding? Is Turmeric safe during breastfeeding? The answer is yes! Consumption of Turmeric is entirely safe during the lactation period. However, moderation is the key. Excess consumption of even healthy foods can be detrimental. It is good to add Turmeric in controlled amounts to your daily diet. With a host of medicinal properties, Turmeric is an essential herb for developing the brain and the body. If you are a breastfeeding mom, you can include it in your diet to reap maximum benefits. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting to consume Turmeric.

Health Benefits of Turmeric During Breastfeeding

Turmeric is a well-known spice for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is renowned for its immunity-boosting properties and other medicinal benefits. So read through the article for some scientifically-backed health benefits-

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1. Acts as a natural painkiller

It’s natural to feel aches and pains as your body is recovering from giving birth in the postpartum period. Also, nursing your baby for long hours can make your back stiff. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that provide symptomatic relief from joint and back pains

2. Increased milk supply

In many cultures, taking Turmeric while breastfeeding has historically been proved as a way to stimulate lactation. To increase milk flow, many new moms swear by supplementing their diets with Turmeric in various ways.

3. Works as an anti-depressant

Postpartum depression is a real thing, and almost all new mothers face this as they are overwhelmed. This can be attributed to a combination of various mental and physical factors, especially after childbirth. Turmeric acts as a natural anti-depressant that can help to boost brain function, dopamine, and hormone levels.

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4. Promotes digestion

Often, new mothers complain of indigestion, gastric reflux, constipation, and bloating. Turmeric, with its potential anti-inflammatory properties, can help to get your digestion back to normal.

5. Strong immune system

For a new mom, quality sleep is almost impossible, and stress is also higher than usual. This can potentially hamper the immune system. Turmeric contains various antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that help to boost immunity.

6. Cholesterol management

Many new mothers complain of increased levels of cholesterol. It gets challenging to regulate and improve cholesterol levels. Curcumin found in turmeric acts as a natural remedy to improve the lining of the blood vessels.

7. Manages weight

Lactating mothers find it difficult to reduce all the pregnancy weight. Consuming a teaspoon of Turmeric after meals is good since it helps regulate weight and prevents obesity.

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8. Minimizes inflammation

During breastfeeding, many women complain of clogged mammary glands and swollen breasts. Turmeric helps to prevent swollen breast tissue and reduce inflammation of the breasts. This helps to relieve this pain and makes breastfeeding easy.

9. Prevent Liver Diseases

This magic spice is essential for nursing mothers for quick recovery. Regular consumption of Turmeric helps the liver to produce more enzymes for detoxification and regulation of blood flow. The enzymes released in the body break down the toxins and assist in eliminating the waste from the body.

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10. Prevent Osteoarthritis

Free radicals damage the cells in the joints during postpartum. Due to the antioxidant properties, Turmeric nullifies the free radicals. Consuming Turmeric can reduce inflammation in joints as well as the pain of osteoarthritis.

How to Select and Store Turmeric

Turmeric is available basically in two forms – dried rhizome and turmeric powder. Other products like essential oil and curry powder are derived from either of the two forms. It is extremely crucial to buy good-quality organic products from a reputable place.

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  • There are various forms of Turmeric available out there in the market; you can choose as per your preference and requirement.
  • Out of all the forms available worldwide, Indian Turmeric is considered the best quality due to its medicinal properties and dense constitution of important bioactive compounds.
  • It is crucial to store Turmeric safely in an airtight container and away from direct sunlight as it contains curcuminoids, the color constituents of Turmeric that deteriorate with light.
  • Apart from color, the aroma is also an indicator of quality which can vary from yellow to orange. It is best to store Turmeric in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator.

Ways To Use Turmeric In The Diet when Breastfeeding

The good thing about Turmeric is that you can use it multiple ways and add it to any dish. If you are not very fond of the pungent taste of Turmeric, you can add pinch turmeric to various recipes. In this way, you can mask its flavor while still reaping its unique antioxidant benefits. If you are a lactating mother and confused about how you can incorporate Turmeric into your diet, here are ample options you choose from.

  • It is a delicious spice to cook curries, soups, and seasonings.
  • Add it to smoothies, dips like hummus, or quick loaves of bread.
  • You can use it to tenderize meats and marinate proteins.
  • It can be used for seasoning roasted and stir-fry vegetables.
  • Enjoy it in the form of a golden milk latte. Turmeric milk for lactating mothers with exceptional benefits is the best thing to be included in the diet.
  • Turmeric tea for breastfeeding women has to be one of the most effective ways to consume this spice. It can also relieve your sore throat and body aches.
  • It can also be added to pickles and canned broths as a preservative.
  • You can incorporate it into homemade salad dressings.

Breastfeeding is a crucial moment for any new mom as it helps to develop a beautiful bond. Adding Turmeric to your diet is completely safe, however, have it in moderation as a food additive in various recipes. Its medicinal properties will help you recover after childbirth. Apart from oral consumption, it also has skincare properties. Pregnancy and postpartum stress can cause skin issues like acne and hyperpigmentation. You can even add it to your skincare routine to help clear out your skin since Turmeric has properties that can clear and lighten the complexion. The antioxidants present in Turmeric penetrate deep within the skin and improve the function of the skin membrane cells to help reduce and treat stretch marks. A glass full of turmeric milk has the potential to soothe your body which is the best thing you can do for your body after childbirth.

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FAQs

1. Can I Have Turmeric Supplements While Breastfeeding?

Turmeric is a powerful ingredient and safe only when consumed in moderation, either through food or orally. Avoid taking turmeric supplements as their exact effects are not yet known fully, and thus, they may cause other problems for you. Generally, FDA doesn’t even regulate these supplements. Excess of Turmeric in the body can cause you to shorten your lactation time and cause other effects on your body like irritation in the stomach, diarrhea, gastric troubles, dehydration, etc. Also, they might contain multiple ingredients that sometimes are not listed on the packaging, even though these supplement manufacturers should ensure safety. But since they are not required to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements, it is better to avoid them in this sensitive phase of your life, especially if you are allergic. It can lead to the stimulation of the uterus as well. Hence, It is strongly proposed to take a doctor’s advice if Turmeric is a new ingredient or if you want to know more about the pros and cons of consuming it during breastfeeding. Various studies on Turmeric and breastfeeding were also conducted, where researchers found out that using this spice moderately is the key for a healthy mother and baby.

2. Can Turmeric Reduce Milk Supply?

For ages, Turmeric has been used as a potential galactagogue (an ingredient that increases breast milk) in many cultures worldwide. But, there is no clinical evidence to support the belief that this spice affects a mother’s volume of breast milk. Similarly, there is no scientific data that suggests turmeric consumption decreases milk supply. However, lactating mothers often supplement their diet with turmeric milk and almond milk to boost breast milk due to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It is thought of as a promising supplement to stimulate breast milk production, especially in the first few days of postpartum. It is always better to include natural Turmeric into your daily diet in moderation rather than relying on dietary supplements to boost breast milk production. However, avoid ingesting large amounts of Turmeric as it has affected milk supply in some moms. Just be aware of your milk supply; if you notice any change, consider reducing the amount you are consuming.

3. Are There Any Side Effects of Turmeric on Breastfeeding Mothers?

Turmeric usually does not cause significant side effects. However, some people can experience common side effects like constipation, dry skin, diarrhea, hypertension, gastric reflux, nausea, vomiting, yellow stool, and stomach ache. Consuming Turmeric is proven to slow down blood clotting. People with bruising and bleeding disorders should avoid them as this might further aggravate the situation. Curcumin, a chemical found in Turmeric, is known to decrease blood sugar levels. Hence, if a woman has diabetes, it is essential to use it cautiously since it might further reduce the blood sugar level. It is advisable to consult a lactation specialist if you have no idea whatsoever and want to include Turmeric in increased quantities. Moreover, new lactating mothers are advised to track their diet and keep their doctors updated. The herb should be ingested in moderation, and always make sure to inform your doctor if you observe any side effects or reactions.

Also Read:

Fasting during Breastfeeding
Eating Honey during Breastfeeding
Consuming Lemon Water during Breastfeeding

This post was last modified on October 21, 2021 7:26 pm

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