Breastfeeding utilises an enormous amount of our bodies resources, in particular calories, fats, vitamins and minerals – trust me I know! I personally found breastfeeding far more draining on the body than pregnancy when coupled with sleep deprivation and attending to a newborn 24/7. As mamas it’s crucial we nourish our bodies during this time with a nutrient dense rich diet to provide it with all the right support. To supercharge our immunity fresh, whole fruit and veggies with the addition of some key supplements are one of the easiest ways to help keep the bugs at bay.
Immune Boosting Foods:
- Mushrooms ~ This ancient Chinese super food is bursting with immune fighting properties and is a no brainer addition to my shopping list when I’m after a little extra immune support.
- Turmeric ~ I call this herb “The Golden Goddess” there isn’t enough room in this article to list all the incredible benefits of turmeric, let’s just say it’s the original super food. Before goji berries or acai there was turmeric. Truth be told I think turmeric may just be a cut above the rest when it comes it’s super powers. What makes turmeric amazing? It contains curcumin a potent antioxidant, and a natural antiviral with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Try adding freshly grated turmeric to meals, be sure to add black pepper for absorption. Or try a turmeric tonic by bringing a cup of milk to the boil either almond or coconut add a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, pinch of saffron and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and add a teaspoon of honey for sweetness if you wish. Drink and feel your insides hum!
- Papaya ~ chock full of beta-carotene to help protect against infection
- Garlic ~ a potent antibacterial food with added anti viral properties. Consume fresh crushed whole garlic or if garlicky breathe isn’t your thing I’ve listed a garlic supplement below.
- Ginger ~ this herb possesses immune fighting properties with added antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits
Immune Boosting Herbs + Supplements
If you’re after a little extra support these are my go to supplements for any breastfeeding mama. I should mention that pregnant mamas or anyone for that matter would benefit from these.
- Bioceuticals ArmaForce Pregnancy ~ specifically formulated with Echinacea, Vitamin C & Zinc
- Probiotics ~ all health begins in the gut, if this delicate internal ecosystem is off beat then our whole health can suffer in particular our immune system. 70% of immune cells are made in the gut so be sure to fuel it with the good bugs. I’m a huge fan of either Orthoplex MultiGen or Metagenics SB Flora Dysbiosis
- Zinc ~ I love either BioMedical BicoZn or Zinc Picolinate (available online at Pure Health Direct)
- Vitamin D ~ this super vitamin is needed to make over 200 antimicrobial compounds. Liquid form is better absorbed. I use Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D. 2-3 drops daily depending on blood levels. Better yet safely bask in the glorious sunshine
- Vitamin C ~ another immune boosting vitamin with numerous antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. I recommend adding 3 teaspoons of Biomedica C Max to a litre bottle of water and sip slowly over the day. Why? vitamin C has low uptake meaning our cells can only absorbed a certain amount of vitamin c at anyone time. Sipping it slowly over the day guarantees your body gets more vitamin c where its needed and not down the toilet.
- Garlic ~ Biomedica Allicin
Other Tips + Tricks
- Protein ~ don’t forget to keep up your protein intake, protein is a key ingredient in the make up of our immune cells.
- Skip the Sweets ~ sugar suppresses our immune system and drains our body of vitamins and minerals needed for immunity.