Extra Virgin Olive Oil and breastfeeding

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and breastfeeding

Recent studies suggest that lactating women should include extra virgin olive oil in their diets.

Check below some of the most important reasons…

Breastfeeding mothers The Mediterranean diet influences the fatty acid content of human breast milk, according to a study published in Frontiers of Nutrition in June 2022. Participants were measured for their adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and their breast milk was analyzed. High adherence of breastfeeding mothers to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a higher content of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in their milk and higher DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) content. Clinical studies have demonstrated that DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, helps support certain learning outcomes, visual acuity, and overall brain development in babies. It is also proven that mums who consume extra virgin olive oil during pregnancy reduce the risk of postpartum depressive symptoms.

Polyphenols for breastfed babies: A study published in July 2022 in Food Chemistry has found evidence that the phenols in extra virgin olive oil–which are believed to be responsible for many of the potential health benefits associated with extra virgin olive oil can be transmitted into breastmilk. The study, performed on animals, compared the consumption of extra virgin olive oil with olive oil and water. It was found that some of the polyphenols in olive oil consumed were also found in breast milk. Furthermore, the phenols were detected in the offspring which indicates that the nutrients were bioavailable and absorbed.

Olive oil for breast health: The benefits of olive oil extend to breastfeeding mothers. Unfortunately, many women who breastfeed suffer from painful nipple cracking. However, a 2015 study found that olive oil was highly effective in treating and preventing this issue with no adverse effects. The researchers suggest applying three drops of on each nipple after each feeding for best results. Moreover, mothers may want to look further into the latest research regarding how extra virgin olive oil can protect against breast cancer. A study conducted in February of 2022 found that women who consistently used at least two tablespoons of virgin olive oil for seasoning, cooking, and frying had a 28% lower risk of breast cancer than those who did not follow this practice.

Olive oil during weaning: Doctors in Italy recommend introducing babies to olive oil at weaning by adding it to solid foods shortly after weaning. This can be done by mixing it into purees or mashed foods, or by cooking the foods with extra virgin olive oil. The NHS in Britain also considers giving babies olive oil from around six months to be safe. It can be mixed into purees or mashed foods, or used for cooking.

According to studies, it has been found that mothers who consume extra virgin olive oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding may have babies with a lower risk of wheezing in the first year of life.

On behalf of the MONOGRAM Team