What to eat during confinement?

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Confinement diet is an essential part of your body’s path to recovery. Eating the right foods and maintaining the right diet can ensure that your body is properly replenished.

During confinement, mothers are encouraged to consume more “heaty” or warm foods so as to allow the womb to recover faster and to expel wind from the body. Confinement meals are all about replenishing the nutrients that your body has lost. It is believed that a woman loses a lot of blood and “Qi” during childbirth, therefore she should replenish her body with ample herbs and supplements during confinement.

1. Oats

Oats are high in protein, fibre, and vitamins, where It is essential for your body to have adequate fibre during confinement to avoid constipation. Oats are also a great energy booster for breastfeeding mothers when you need the extra boost of energy. This is due to the fact that it contains a rich amount of protein, fibre and a strong fibre called beta-glucan. 

Beta-glucans may reduce high cholesterol and treat skin conditions such as eczema, radiation therapy burns, wounds and bedsores. Known as a superfood, oats are great for your health as it is a gluten-free whole grain which helps in encouraging weight loss, reduces blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of heart disease. 

Their flexible nature is also super useful due to its flexibility to be applied in any meals or dishes. Plus, oats are easily accessible and available for your purchase. What a great source of nutrient, your body will thank you for this!

2. Leafy vegetables

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Green leafy vegetables are a great source of iron, fibre, Vitamin A and C. Therefore you must not forget your vegetables. Spinach is known as a superfood when it comes to replenishing blood. The quicker your blood is replenished, the faster you recover. 

Moreover, leafy greens such as kale are loaded with natural goodness in minerals, antioxidants and vitamins especially Vitamins A, C and K. For best result, Kale is best eaten raw because cooking would reduce its nutritional value. Collard greens, on the other hand, are a great source for Vitamin K as it helps reduce blood clots and promote healthy bones. 

Cabbages are good for your health as the plant compound contained in this vegetable might have anti-cancer properties especially against lung and esophageal cancer. Furthermore, cabbages can also be fermented and turned into sauerkraut. This is beneficial for you because sauerkraut could help in improving your digestion, promote weight loss and aid your support system.

3. Pork Livers

Pork liver is well known as the source of iron and Vitamin A. It is commonly consumed by most confinement mothers to replenish their blood after childbirth. However, pork innards like the intestines, kidneys and liver must be consumed in moderation as these may cause uric acid and high cholesterol. 

The taste of the pork liver might be too overwhelming for you at first, but there are many different ways to make the dish much more appealing. Moreover, pork livers are a great source of folate, copper, VItamin A and Vitamin B too. Folate is great for your child’s health as it promotes a healthy brain and immune system development. 

A single serving of pork liver is sufficient for your daily recommended amount for all these nutrients. Safe to say that you won’t be lacking in nutrients with this wholesome meal fit for a king!

4. Dairy Products

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Make sure that you consume enough dairy products for your calcium needs (e.g. for promoting healthy bones). Products like milk, cheese and yoghurt make for confinement food ingredients if you are breastfeeding. It is recommended that you consume at least 2 servings of dairy products a day in order to replenish your body’s calcium. 

The key is to get 1000 mg serving of calcium in your daily meals. The choices for calcium varies according to your condition and health during pregnancy too. If you are underweight, a healthy serving of fortified soy milk, whole milk and plain yoghurt would help you gain the required nutrient. If you are overweight, non-fat or low-fat dairy products will be good options for you. 

Find it difficult to integrate calcium into your daily meals? You can start with a bowl of cereals and milk for an easy dosage of calcium! Gelato based snacks and desserts make for an easy and viable option of calcium too!

5. Red Meats

Despite that some people advise against consuming red meats during confinement. Red meats are actually high in protein and iron where it can help confinement mothers to replenish blood loss. However, do consume in moderation, as we will only need 19mg of iron in our daily intake to recover quicker. 

Poultry or fishes are great sources of red meat that you can opt for during your confinement. Red meat contains vitamin B12 which is beneficial for your recovery as it keeps your nerve and red blood cells healthy. It is also a nutrient that supports your immune system and keeps it working properly.

Besides that, red meat also contains protein to help provide you with building blocks to help repair and encourage wound healing. Moreover, the added benefit of red meat is that it helps with developing antibodies that are part of a good immune system for your body.

6. Chinese Rice Wine

It was made from fermented glutinous rice and was widely consumed by Chinese mothers during confinement as a warming supplement to expel wind from the body and to maintain the body’s heat. Chinese rice wine is food for confinement mothers indeed! It has a lower alcohol content compared to other types of wine and is usually used to promote blood circulation. 

Due to having the lowest alcohol content, it is also safe to be consumed by breastfeeding mothers.. Moreover, a study shows that the use of dealcoholized rice wine could cause the elimination or death of gastric cancer cells in mice. This shows that the Chinese rice wine contains plant extract which has the potential for an anti-cancer effect. Moreover, another study from China shows that Chinese rice wine might possess an antioxidants effect and aid with the destruction of free radicals in the body.

7. Almond

Do you know that almond is a type of fruit? And it’s one of the best fruits to eat during confinement too! We figured we could add at least one type of snack to this list! Almonds make an excellent snack for any health-enthusiast who is in search of ‘healthy snacks’. Almonds contain high levels of healthy fats, magnesium, and vitamin E. 

As you may already know, vitamin E is great for improving the appearance and condition of your skin. It helps to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and make it easier for your skin to bounce back. 

But that is not all, almond is also great for the formation of healthy hair and skin for your baby too. The calcium contained in almond is beneficial for the development of strong teeth and bones for both you and your newborn. Of course, you are free to include almonds in your other meals too. 

The best part of eating almonds? They can reduce your hunger and also promote weight loss! Who wouldn’t like snacks with these properties? 

As we all know, pregnancy and childbirth cause a huge drain on all the nutrients in our body. Therefore it is vital to replenish the lost blood and nutrients during confinement in order to nurse our bodies back to health. Always ensure that you maintain a balanced diet completed with the right nutrients needed by your body. As it has been said over the years, what you eat during your confinement period will determine your health in future.