Should I drink Garri while breastfeeding? Garri is made from cassava which is a cheap food eaten by both the rich and poor, especially in West African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana etc.
It can be made into a popular local swallow known as Eba eating with soup or soaked in water for drinking. And many pregnant women opt for it because it’s affordable and cheap.
However, before continuing in this very article, we need to consider the nutritional value of Garri, whether or not it can support a breastfeeding mother.
Therefore, there are two greatest advantages of eating Garri. It provides your body with loads of starch (energy) and fiber.
Other than those two elements, Garri has a marginal dose of iron which is needed as a breastfeeding mother, protein which is made up of cells building blocks- amino acids and other vitamins.
However, below are detailed breakdown of calories and other the nutritional elements that are contained in one cup of Garri:
- Kilocalories – 330;
- Carbs – 80 g;
- Fibers – 48 g;
- Protein – 1.1 g;
- Fat – 1 g;
- Calcium – 40 mg;
- Iron – 1.5 mg;
- Cholesterol – 0 mg;
- Na – 0 mg;
- Ka – 0 mg;
Now that you know the nutritional composition of Garri, let’s talk about whether a breastfeeding mother should drink Garri.
Actually from the chart above, drinking too much Garri while breastfeeding will not supply the woman with the essential nutrients needed to keep both herself and the baby.
In addition to that, most Garri we consume is not properly prepared. That’s, it’s not allowed to ferment properly which may lead to high level of cyanide, a poisonous chemical, in it.
As a breastfeeding mother you need to be careful of what goes into your mouth reason because you are actually eating for two, you and the unborn child.
It is important that mothers maintain regular meals when breastfeeding to acquire important nutrients and also boost the production of breast milk.
Honestly, drinking too much Garri while breastfeeding will not supply adequate nutrients to the breastfeeding mother and to the baby as well. Rather, it will lead to low birth weight, anaemia (loss of blood) or malnourishment.
Hence, the breastfeeding mother and the baby will not appear or look healthy.
Furthermore, studies have shown that cyanide, a poisonous chemical found in poorly fermented Garri can pose a lot of health challenges such as cancer, blindness, respiratory failure, miscarriage or pregnancy loss, hypothyroidism in pregnancy, eye defects, birth abnormalities, cataracts, etc.
Cyanide can also cross the placenta membrane and cause harm (may even lead to death) to the unborn baby.
Although concentration of cyanide derived from Garri is low if you don’t drink it frequently, but it’s important to add milk to it if you MUST take Garri while breastfeeding or avoid it.
It’s also advised to take yellow Garri which contains less cyanide because it has been mixed with red oil (fresh palm oil). It has been noted that red oil help reduce the level of cyanide in Garri.
Finally, breastfeeding mother needs foods rich in nutrients such as mineral, vitamins, proteins and carbs which will support breast milk production and their baby too.
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