Saturday 19 February 2022

Foods that aid Breast milk Production

Breastfeeding is a critical part of motherhood that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Breastmilk is composed from the foods consumed by the breast-feeding mum hence, the need to consume a healthy diet. 

As a new mom or intending mom, you are wondering if there are foods you can consume to support lactation. Consuming specific foods can increase your breastmilk production thereby making it easier for you and your baby. Since breast milk is the sole source of the newborn’s nourishment, it is important to ensure you produce an adequate quantity of it.

If you are worried your baby is not getting enough breastmilk to meet his demands, we got you covered with these list of foods.

Water/fluid: breastmilk contains more than 80% of water. Therefore, staying hydrated is essential to adequate milk production. Drinking up to 3.0l or 9 glasses of water daily will help boost milk supply.

Kunu: kunu is a local beverage made from fermented millet and sorghum, rice, and dried potato. This nutritious beverage contains carbohydrates, protein and fat which are essential for normal body functions

Pap: pap is made from fermented maize, millet or sorghum popularly called akamu, or ogi. It is packed with lots of nutrients and helps in boosting breastmilk production. For better nourishment, add any milk of choice.

Oatmeal: oat is a whole grain rich in dietary fibre with a wide nutritional profile. it is known to increase oxytocin levels in the body. It can be taken as pudding, mixed into a smoothie or consumed together with any soup of choice; it can also be used in making different confectioneries. 

Carrots: Carrot is a root vegetable rich in fibre, it adds colour and vital nutrients to the diet. Its phytoestrogen content is responsible for its lactogenic effects.

Green leafy vegetables: green leafy veggies are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble nutrients, dietary fibre and other bioactive compounds that are vital for maternal nutrition and postpartum recovery. It is also an excellent source of phytoestrogen that may enhance milk let-down.

Sesame seeds are rich in protein, fibre and calcium and other vital nutrients needed for maternal nutrition. It is loaded with phytochemicals that promote prolactin secretion and improve milk supply. It can be consumed by adding to your homemade snacks, salads, pasta or processed into milk.

Nuts: nuts like cashew, almonds etc promote breastmilk production as they are rich in phytoestrogen. A handful a day offer vital nutrients such as healthy fats protein and calcium.


Wednesday 16 February 2022



Do you pair your foods because of aesthetic characteristics, colour or because it is a traditional way of food combination? Have you ever wondered why foods are paired? As foods are paired, it can either enhance or inhibit the absorption of nutrients. By pairing certain foods, you can majorly impact the benefit you get from them: increasing the absorption of important nutrients and boosting the effectiveness of antioxidants.


 For the non-heme iron (iron from plant sources) to be best absorbed, non-heme iron, you'd need to give it a little boost by pairing it with a source of vitamin C. The vitamin C helps break the iron down into a form that the body can more easily absorb. To get optimal absorption of iron, the two food sources should be paired in a meal. Add a squeeze of orange or any citrus fruits of choice to a green leafy vegetable or consume a citrus fruit immediately after taking a vegetable soup or sauce.


 Turmeric is an age-long flavoring agent that has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The spice can help relieve symptoms of arthritis and may also benefit kidney health according to some studies. Pairing this age-long spice with black pepper makes the beneficial compounds in turmeric more bioavailable.


This combo of vitamin and mineral will helps keep bones healthy. “Vitamin D helps bring in more calcium from the foods consumed. The duo works together because the active vitamin D form causes a cascade of effects that increases the absorption of dietary calcium in the intestines. To get this pairing right, eat foods offering vitamin D, such as catfish, mackerel, salmon, tuna, egg yolks or fortified foods like milk and non-dairy beverages such as soymilk and orange juice with a variety of calcium-providing foods, like leafy greens such as ugu leaves (fluted pumpkin), amaranth leaves etc. and dairy foods.


In each red gem of a plant-based food, you’ll find lycopene, an incredible disease-fighting antioxidant. Lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer, at early stage. Taking an avocado and gulping it down with a slice of watermelon, cooking your tomatoes as well as serving it with a bit of plant-based oils enhance the body’s absorption of the photochemical.


The intestine absorbs the fats-soluble vitamins — vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin when they’re paired with a fat source. Getting enough of these vitamins and maximally absorbing them is important because deficiencies relate to heightened risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes.  Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil or olives help to absorb fat-soluble vitamins from fats-soluble vitamins rich foods such as carrot, sweet potatoes, mango, eggs, liver etc.


Proteins contain both essential and non-essential fatty acids. Of all the essential ones needed by the body, only some foods contain all of them. These protein sources, or complete proteins, are often obtained from animal products like meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and non-animal product such as soy foods. Other protein sources like nuts, legumes, grains, and vegetables are incomplete, meaning they lack one or more of the essential amino acids needed for growth and development. But by pairing incomplete proteins together, one creates a complete protein source.” Examples of these combos include rice and black beans, maize and nuts, whole wheat bread and nuts etc. Pairing these variety of proteins, you’ll get ample amounts of each amino acid.


Contact a Dietitian for more interesting food pairing for optimal nutrient absorption.


Millicent Onyinyechi (RDN)

Saturday 5 February 2022



More than 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Both nutrient intake and incidence of disease usually influence the nutritional status. Hence, good nutrition is crucial for health particularly in times when the immune system might need to  fight back.

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is the leading challenge across the globe. Nutritional status is very important to maintain a strong immune system against the virus. Limited access to fresh foods may compromise opportunities to continue eating a healthy and varied diet which could increase the susceptibility to infectious diseases. It can also potentially lead to an increased consumption of highly processed foods, which tend to be high in fats, sugars and salt. Nonetheless, even with few and limited ingredients, one can continue eating a diet that supports good health.

A balanced diet will guarantee a strong immune system that can help withstand any assault by the infectious diseases. In the current situation, it is necessary to be aware of the specific types of food that can improve our immune system in order to combat COVID-19.

Here are some professional and authentic dietary guidelines to withstand infectious diseases.

  •    Eat fruits daily (guava, apple, banana, strawberry, watermelon, grapefruit, pineapple, papaya, orange etc.) with a serving size of two cups (4 servings).
  • Eat fresh vegetables (green bell peppers, garlic, ginger, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, green chili pepper etc.) 2.5 cups of vegetable.
  • Eat legumes, whole grains and nuts, (beans, unprocessed maize, oats, wheat, millet, brown rice or roots such as yam, potato, cassava)
  • Use nuts like almonds, coconut, walnuts etc.
  • Consume gut health friendly foods such as probiotics rich foods (yoghurt), high-fiber foods (peas, oats, legumes etc.), as well as collagen-boosting foods (salmon and bone broth) are also good for gut health, as are mushrooms, garlic and onion.
  • Red meat can be eaten once or twice per week, and poultry 2−3 times per week. Use foods from animal sources (e.g. fish, fish products, eggs, and milk).
  • For snacks, choose fresh fruits and raw vegetables rather than foods that are high in sugar, salt or fat. Avoid irregular snacking.
  • Do not overcook vegetables as it leads to the loss of water soluble nutrients.
  • When using dried or canned fruits and vegetables, choose varieties without added sugar or salt.
  • Limit the salt/sodium intake
  • Consume unsaturated fats (found in avocado, fish, nuts, soy, olive oil, canola, corn oil, and sunflower) rather than saturated fats (found in butter, fatty meat, coconut, palm oils and cream).
  • Maintain food safety measures to avoid cross-contamination
  • Drink 8–10 glasses of water every day. It helps to transport nutrients in the blood, gets rid of waste, and regulates the body temperature.
  • Avoid all fizzy, carbonated, concentrated juices, and all drinks which contain sugar.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle of exercise, meditation, and regular sleep. Adequate sleep will help to support immune functioning.
  • Eat at home to avoid contact with other people and try to reduce the chance of being exposed to COVID-19.


PS: A proper diet can help to ensure that the body is in the strongest possible state to battle the virus.