(First published on The Contented Calf website on Tuesday 6th May 2014.)
As well as tasting great, Apricots are friends of breastfeeding mums. They are one of our top ten lactogenic foods and can aid with breast milk production, so let’s find out a bit more about them.
Usually referring to the species Prunus armeniaca, an apricot is a small, golden orange fruit, with velvety skin and flesh, or the tree that bears the fruit. However, Prunus brigantina, Prunus mandshurica, Prunus mume, and Prunus sibirica are closely related and have similar fruit also called apricots[i] & [ii].
They are relatives of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry.
And fresh apricots are in season in North America from May through August and in the UK from May to September.
Why are apricots one of our top ten lactogenic foods?
Because they contain tryptophan.
Tryptophan serves as a precursor for Serotonin (our feel good neurotransmitter).
And Seratonin supports the chemistry of lactation. It counter-acts Dopamine, which suppresses Prolactin (needed for milk production). So anything that keeps Dopamine levels low, in turn keeps Prolactin levels high; thus making them lactogenic and helping to combat low milk supply.
High Tryptophan = high Seratonin = high Prolactin.
As well as being a lactogenic food, 6 reasons why we love Apricots
- They are a good source of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
- They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and Carotenes – 100g of fresh apricots contain around 64% of the RDA for Vitamin A
- Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, repairs free radical damage to cells and tissues. Free radical damage can injure the eyes’ lenses
- The high beta-carotene content of apricots makes them important heart health foods. Beta-carotene helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help prevent heart disease
- They are an also good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and manganese. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure
- Apricots are a good source of fibre, which has a wealth of benefits including preventing constipation and digestive conditions such as diverticulosis.
Lactogenic Recipes with Apricots
The Contented Calf Cookbook includes, amongst others the following lactogenic recipes containing apricots:
- Apricot & Cardamom Crumble
- Apricot & Ginger Flapjacks
- Apricot, Oat & Almond Smoothie
- Apricot, Strawberry & Flaxseed Smoothie
Apricot & Cardamom Crumble - from The Contented Calf Cookbook for Breastfeeding Mums, from page 74 (in the Sweet Things section).
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As ever, with love from our family to yours,