Your nutrient and energy requirements during breastfeeding are similar to when you were pregnant. Picture: Supplied

When you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you have undoubtedly heard about the home remedy ‘Jungle Juice’. 

Proponents of this concoction advise that it could increase your breastmilk supply. Registered dietitian in private practice Abby Courtenay, sheds some light on home remedies such as ‘Jungle Juice’ and whether such remedies meet the unique nutritional requirements for a breastfeeding mom.

'Jungle Juice’ is a mixture of blackthorn berry elixir, rehydration solution, apple juice and homeopathic rescue remedy (some recipes also include water and/ or rooibos tea).  

Jungle Juice approximately provides you with 130Cal/543 kJ in energy, zero protein and 42.22g in Carbohydrates. The sugar content in this home remedy is a major concern as the recipe contains a large amount of sugar in the form of glucose, fructose, and sucrose.

Sugar is considered void of nutrients and is energy dense and contributes to unwanted weight gain. There is approximately 42g or 10.5 tsp of sugar per cup of Jungle Juice. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that no more than 10 percent (approximately 50g or 12 tsp) of your daily intake should come from sugar. In addition to unwanted weight gain, due to the high sugar content mothers who have diabetes should not be drinking Jungle Juice.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup, meaning that it is very important for you to take care of yourself during this vulnerable period and be mindful of what you consume and whether it is beneficial for your baby, “says Abby Courtenay.

Your nutrient and energy requirements during breastfeeding are similar to when you were pregnant. It is vital that you consume foods and drinks that meet your increased needs and contain sufficient essential vitamins and minerals. 

As many moms will know, easy to grab and easy to consume foods are usually better options as you will always feel like you are on the run. And lastly, you want to have a variety of food and drink choices that appeal to you from a taste perspective. 

According to the South African Food Dietary Guideline, you need to eat a variety of foods that contain plenty of vegetables, dry beans, split peas, lentils, and soya regularly. You should also eat fish, chicken, lean meat and eggs daily and drink plenty of water.

THINGS TO DO:

  • Use fats sparingly. Choose vegetable oils rather than hard fats
  • Consume sugar, foods, and drinks high in sugar sparingly
  • Use salt and food high in salt sparingly
If you are looking to supplement your diet, consider a complete maternal nutritional supplement such as Similac® Mom over unproven remedies. 

If you are struggling with your energy levels or breastmilk supply, it is not advisable to rely on home remedies. Seek relevant medical advice to assess your individual situation as soon as possible.