Breastfeeding is a gift that only you can give your baby. It has its own health benefits for both mother and child. Health organisations all over the globe consider human breast milk as the best source of nourishment to aid early life development. Breast milk is also considered as a “golden standard” for baby’s nutrition. Do you understand why breast milk is regarded as a beneficial dietary source? What qualities does breast milk possess that make it such a highly rated option? Keep reading to understand more about the components of breast milk.
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What are Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs)?
Breast milk is uniquely suitable for the newborn child’s nutritional needs and it also contains immunological and anti-inflammatory compounds that protect the child against various diseases. It is also easily digested so there is no problem of constipation, diarrhoea and also upset stomach in babies. Several biomolecules are found in breast milk. Among them, breast milk has a very significant and unique component known as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). After lipids and lactose, HMOs are the third most prevalent solid component of breast milk. HMOs are a collection of complex, non-digestible sugars that are both structurally and functionally varied. Approximately, 150 HMOs have been discovered in breast milk.
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Types of HMOs
Three primary HMO forms are present in human breast milk:
|Types||Amount present (%)||Example|
|Neutral or Fucosylated HMO||35-50%||2′-fucosyllactose (2′-FL)|
|Neutral Non-fucosylated HMO||45-55%||lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT)|
|Acid or Sialylated HMO||12-14%||2′-sialyllactose|
Every woman produces breast milk with a different level of HMO. The moms’ regional and genetic backgrounds are some of the elements that influence the quantity and type of HMOs.
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Role of HMOs
Benefits the gut microbiota
HMOs are unique prebiotics that are discovered in human breast milk. HMOs have been scientifically proven to have a favourable impact on the microbiota in breastfed infants. It feeds all the good bacteria in the intestine. 70-80% of immune cells are located in the gut. Beneficial gut microbes produce bacteriocins which are antimicrobial compounds capable of eradicating pathogenic bacteria.
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Protect the intestinal cells
The first line of immunity is thought to be the quality and efficiency of the intestinal barrier. HMOs aid in the strengthening of the barrier by preventing harmful bacteria from adhering to the gut barrier. According to studies, HMOs speed up the development of intestinal cells.
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Regulates immune system
As HMOs are specific, they instruct a baby’s immune system when and how to fight an infection. They regulate the immunological responses by suppressing inflammatory responses and also strengthen the baby’s immune system.
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HMOs and their byproducts, such as sialic acid, play a part in brain development, nerve cell formation and transmission of nerve signals. Sialic acid, a crucial component found in HMOs, helps in improving cognition, focus, concentration and memory of an individual.
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Food that can help to improve the quality of breast milk
Fenugreek is one of the most effective meals for increasing milk production and also its quality. It is the finest galactagogue ( foods for increasing breast milk). It helps in activating the mammary glands to boost the production of breast milk.
Moringa is also a powerful galactagogue. It was reported to have a positive impact on breast milk production and also its quality. It’s packed with nutrients essential for nursing moms and also newborn babies. Though it is ideal to ingest fresh moringa leaves, soaking moringa powder in water and consuming it can also ensure the absorption of nutrients much more efficiently.
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This Ayurvedic herb has been used to help women with breastfeeding concerns. It possesses qualities that aid in the production of prolactin and corticoids, which aid in the increase of breast milk, and so enhance lactation and also breast milk quality.
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Ginger is utilised for its health advantages in addition to giving flavour to a variety of dishes and beverages. It is a well-known natural galactagogue among nursing mothers. There is, however, evidence to support ginger’s effectiveness in enhancing breast milk volume and also its quality.
Nuts like peanuts, Almonds, Cashew, and Hazelnut provide energy for a breastfeeding mother to stay active throughout the day. It is the best snack to include in a breastfeeding mother’s diet. These nuts help to boost milk production. Also, consuming nuts new study suggested that the consumption of nuts while breastfeeding can help to protect babies from developing allergies. Nuts are considered one of the best foods for increasing breast milk.
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Seeds like melon, sesame, and pumpkin help in milk production. Sesame is a rich source of calcium which is the most important nutrient for breastfeeding mothers. Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of DHA and alpha-linolenic acid which helps in boosting milk volume.
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Iron and essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus are abundant in jaggery. It helps in the build-up of milk in the breast. Eating it with a piece of Garlic can help boost breast milk production and enhance its quality.
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For hundreds of years, this golden spice has been utilised in Ayurvedic medicine as the best galactagogue (the food that boosts milk production). Hence, turmeric may help nursing mothers by increasing milk production, relieving pain, and also lowering depression.
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9. VITAMIN E:
Vitamin E is only transferred to the foetus through the placenta during pregnancy, therefore breast milk is the only source of this nutrient for exclusively breastfed newborns. This is an important strategy to provide the infant with antioxidant protection while also stimulating immune system development.
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10. SUNFLOWER LECITHIN:
It is a natural fat emulsifier that can aid to lessen the “thickness and stickiness” of milk. It may also help release existing fatty blockages, boosting milk flow, quality and also quantity of milk supply.
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11. COCOA SOLIDS:
It’s chocolate, but it’s healthy!!! It can assist nursing mothers in increasing their milk production. It not only delivers excellent nutrition to enhance a nursing mother’s milk production, but it also gives a slew of additional health advantages to a new mother.
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Cinnamon promotes the flow of mother’s milk. For milk stimulation, combine honey, milk, and cinnamon powder. Also having honey and cinnamon is therefore not only healthful but is also a fantastic choice for increasing milk production.
Also, check Role of Prebiotics and Probiotics in Digestion
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