There has been much attention on specific foods and their benefits for the body. Though this has always been the case, some foods have been elevated to the status of “superfood.”
What is a Superfood? A quick search results that a superfood is a nutrient-rich food that is especially beneficial for health and well-being. There has been a bit of resistance in the nutrition world around this idea of a Superfood, mainly because there’s no true qualifications. There are many nutrient-rich foods that exist, what is so great and beneficial about kale and/or quinoa in relation to a carrot or legumes? If any food deserves the title of Superfood, it should 100% be applied to breast milk.
WHY IS BREAST MILK SO SUPER?
To understand this, one must consider the properties of breastmilk. Medically, it is hard for doctors to define if breastmilk is a food source, a vaccine, hormone transfer, the purest expression of love, or something more as mother’s milk plays many roles for the infant’s developing body and gut.
Nutritionally, you cannot get much more super than breastmilk. Not only does breast milk have the perfect ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats for babes, these macronutrients are specialized for human babies so it’s absorbed and utilized better than any other food a person will ever drink or eat. This is called “bioavailability,” and it is something too unique and SUPER about breast milk.
For example, though the iron that is found in breast milk is used by the infant’s body at a rate of 35%. Though that may not seem very high, when this is compared to a steak dinner that someone may eat, at best only 22% of iron found in that red meat will be in one’s body.
Breast Milk Composition
ANOTHER SUPER THING ABOUT BREASTMILK
Breastmilk composition changes! Not only does the ratios of proteins, carbs, and fats change hour by hour for a breastfed baby, but the hormones and antibodies found in breast milk will change throughout the day as well. This is why you may notice that your baby starts to sleep longer around weeks six through eight at nighttime, as the mother’s breast milk composition starts producing higher hormones of tryptophan, a hormone that can be used to create melatonin which helps aid in sleep.
Also, mother’s may have seen Facebook posts or Instagram stories regarding how breastmilk can change drastically in color when someone (child or mother) is sick. This is because the breast milk is being charged with antibodies, macrophages, micronutrients, and other immunity protectors that will help protect your baby.
ONE LAST SUPER THING ABOUT BREAST MILK
It is the purest expression of a mother’s love. It is hard work to breastfeed, pump, etc. It takes time, tears, effort, and love. There is nothing more super than the hard work of a mother to provide the best nutrition for their growing and developing baby.
Because of these reasons, and MANY more, therefore breastmilk is the ultimate superfood. No where else will one find this combination of super properties. So, move over Kale! Breast Milk has got you beat in the Superfood factor.