Culture Food

Top 10 African Foods That Increase Breast Milk

Written by See Africa Today

African foods that increase breast milk are as revered as they are available.  They are nutritious and have proven to boost breast milk production in nursing mothers. Good nutrition is a crucial aspect of a breastfeeding mother’s health.

For mothers to have enough breast milk for their babies, they need to eat regular nutritious African foods rich in iron, vitamin A and folic acid.

Grains, green vegetables and fruits, nuts, legumes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms are some of the African foods that increase breast milk as discussed below.



Porridge served in an African gourd. Photo/Matador Network

Whether you make the porridge from corn flour, sorghum or millet, it contains carbohydrates that help in restoring the lost calories during breast milk production. Breastfeeding mothers are prone to fatigue because of limited sleep, and fatigue reduces the supply of breast milk.

Nursing requires a lot of calories intake daily to prevent mothers from having fatigue, hence creating room for the best milk production.

You could also try Pap, known as Akamu, Ogi, a fermented pudding cereal made from millet, maize, or sorghum. It contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, folic acid, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B and C, among others.

Drinking enough hot fluids keeps a lactating mother hydrated and is one way of increasing the quantity of breast milk.



Nuts. Photo/Medical News Today

Another powerhouse of nutrition, nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and are high in essential minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin K and B vitamins. Nuts are source of essential fatty acids and protein.

Beyond their nutritional makeup, nuts are lactogenic, which means they might be foods that help produce breast milk.

In between your main meals, snack on cashew nuts, macadamia, almonds and other nuts available to you.

Bitter Leaf Soup

The bitter leaf contains high protein, calcium, iron, and folate, which are necessary for the baby’s development and the healthy state of the mother.

The body uses the protein found in this African food to increase breast milk. Besides this, the nutrients in this soup help babies in growing tissues and new cells.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes.Photo/ Krishijagran

This African food has a high beta carotene, which is vital for fetal development. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin A and C, which help to increase breast milk until the flow is steady, and your baby has enough milk to feed on.

Mushroom Soup

This soup contains Vitamins B and D, proteins, fibers, iron, and antioxidants. Just like sweet potatoes, when cooked right, mushroom soup also helps increase breast milk.


Green leafy vegetables such as spinach are rich in iron, calcium and folate, which are not only good during pregnancy but also after delivery. Also, they contain lots of vitamins that boost the production of breast milk and are crucial nutrients to your child.



Beans. Photo/Taste of home

Legumes such as beans and soya beans are excellent for the mother and the baby because they contain protein with nutrients; folic acid, potassium, iron, magnesium, and fatty acid.

It has the vital nutrients a pregnant and nursing woman needs. And the protein in legumes helps improve breast milk production.

Adding legumes to your diet will not only help increase the plant-based proteins, but also help keep your bowel movements regular. The iron helps your body deliver oxygen to your cells to keep your energy high and reduce your risk of anaemia.



Avocado. Photo/British Council

Avocado is naturally good African food to eat when breastfeeding. Avocado is a nutritional powerhouse for breastfeeding mothers. This is because avocado contains fibre, folate, and protein that help increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, K, and E.

Nursing moms feel hungry often because of the increased caloric demands and have very little time to prepare and eat meals. Besides providing your body with healthy fats, avocados will help maintain a feeling of fullness for the mother.



Oat. Photo/Healthline

Oats is another African food that contains minerals that help to stimulate the oxytocin hormone that produces milk. They also help in reducing cholesterol.

Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Brown Rice. Photo/Bodywise

The presence of high fiber in brown rice increases breast milk production. This African food contains a variety of nutrients such as minerals, vitamin B, and E. Brown rice also contains hormonal stimulants that help to improve lactation and increase breast milk production.

While breastfeeding, mothers should avoid stress, cold food, and restrain from very sweet foods and beverages.

If breast milk supply is proven to be low, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, such as African foods rich in protein, and carbohydrates, which are essential for milk production will help you. For meat lovers, I recommend bone broths and offal (lungs of a cow). Drink the miracle soup when hot.

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About the author

See Africa Today

Pharis Kinyua is the editor of See Africa Today. With over seven years of experience in digital media, he has a soft spot for African tours and travel. His drive is to tell the rest of the world what Africa offers, the best accommodation facilities, national parks, culture, shopping malls and best airline deals to travel to Africa

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