Every new mom knows the importance of diet for both her health and that of the latest addition to the family. But knowing is one thing, doing can be a different matter. When you have a new baby, you can sometimes feel like you are swimming against the tide to just get through each day, and all your plans can rapidly disappear out the window.
This is particularly the case is you are among the three out of four new moms who suffer from the baby blues. With a statistic like that, it is obvious that this is a common phenomenon that is almost to be expected, and fortunately there is plenty of help and advice available for coming through this natural stage in motherhood.
One of the best ways to beat the baby blues and prevent them from progressing into the more serious condition of post partum depression is to look at your diet, and this is where juicing can provide genuine benefits. Let’s find out more.
What Are The Baby Blues?
Naturally speaking, pregnancy and giving birth are the most severe experiences that your body can go through. The physical and mental effects, along with the rapidly changing hormonal levels mean that stress, anxiety and that all-encompassing phrase “mood swings” are only to be expected.
The symptoms of the baby blues typically include weeping for no apparent reason, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and poor concentration. In the majority of cases, the symptoms settle down and disappear altogether within two weeks of giving birth.
How To Beat The Baby Blues With Juicing
Juicing is a great way of extracting the most valuable vitamins, minerals and nutrients from fruit and vegetables. And by leaving out most of the fiber, your body absorbs all the goodness more effectively, without putting additional strain on your digestive system.
So exactly what nutrients are we talking about when it comes to staving off the baby blues? Protein and complex carbs are certainly helpful, and you need to keep your blood sugar levels up, as when these drop, they will only serve to exacerbate your feelings of stress, fatigue and anxiety.
You also need to boost your serotonin levels. This chemical is the body’s natural anti-depressant. It acts as a mood stabilizer, so naturally enough, if serotonin levels drop, mood swings will result. Your body produces serotonin by taking on board an amino acid called tryptophan, which occurs naturally in a wide variety of products including pineapples, bananas, asparagus, oats and nuts—all of which make a great addition to a healthy juice blend.
Related reading: Top good mood foods you can include in your diet to beat the baby blues.
So to fight the baby blues you need to focus on creating juices that are rich in protein, complex carbs and tryptophan.
This sounds great, but how plausible is it for a new mom who is struggling to keep her head above water looking after a baby, never mind preparing nutritional food and snacks for herself? The answer is that it’s easier than you might think. Juicing is a fun and straightforward way of adding these ingredients to your diet or trying new fruits and vegetables that you do not usually eat.
Before we look at some ideas, let’s check out the don’ts—just to establish the baseline of what you are probably doing at the moment.
What Not To Do
Have you been avoiding processed food? If so, congratulations! If not, now is definitely the time to start. You are probably well aware that processed foods are not helpful for maintaining physical health, but what you might not have realized is that they can also contribute to stress and depression.
Synthetic food ingredients are more difficult for the body to properly expel, and are released into the bloodstream, leading to a number of potential problems, including anxiety and depression.
Quick-fixes such as a caffeinated drink and a bar of chocolate might seem tempting to give you an “energy boost” on the go. There are two problems here. The first is that they will provide exactly the kind of peaks and troughs in blood sugar that you need to avoid. The second is that the sugar in fizzy drinks has a tendency to react with our old friend tryptophan, meaning a drop in serotonin and an increased risk of depression.
Bring On The Juice
Juicing is the solution that ticks all the boxes. Creating a delicious juice from beetroots and pineapples provides a refreshing drink that is high in tryptophan, rich in protein and takes just a few minutes to prepare.
You could even make a smoothie of banana, avocado, nuts and seeds. Not only are these great sources of the nutrients your body needs to combat the baby blues, they are also rich in the essential fatty acids that help with milk production if you are breastfeeding.
This is one excellent recipe that helps to always put you in the right mood as the nutrients not only help you with natural lactation, it is a great good-mood booster. Recipe makes about one liter/quart:
- 1 pound of carrots
- 2 large beetroots
- ½ medium-sized fennel bulb
- 1 lemon
- 2-inch piece of ginger root
If In Doubt, Get Help
If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression as opposed to the baby blues, make sure you speak to your doctor. Improving your diet is a great way of managing mood swings, but postpartum depression needs professional help.
Watch out for telltale signs, which include severe mood swings, panic attacks, excessive or constant crying and thoughts of doing harm to either yourself or your baby.