This is a great shopping list for stocking up your pantry before your baby arrives. All of these foods make wonderful nourishing staples for new mums, and here is why.
It is light, soft, smooth and nourishing. It is easy to digest and low GI. Ayurveda considers basmati saatvic or pure. 12 years aged basmati is the best quality, but hard to find.
It contains the germ and the endosperm of wheat, but not the bran. Bran fibre is insoluble, so atta flour is much lighter more easily digested. Any plain flour that you usually use will do if you can't find atta flour.
Coconut or palm sugar
It is excellent for blood building, high in iron and very strengthening. It is heavy, moist and warm, whilst white sugar is light, dry and cold. The best brand is Gula Kelepa, but failing that look in Asian or Indian stores for the darkest, softest palm or coconut sugar you can find.
Black sesame seeds
These are used for anemia, pain relief and reproductive health. Black sesame are particularly beneficial for people who don't eat meat products. In western terms, they contain high levels of good fats, calcium, B vitamins and iron. They are a very strengthening food.
Ghee nourishes and rehydrates your body and boosts your breast milk supply. Ghee grounds and cools the brain so it prevents that strung out, wired feeling. It is strengthening, satisfying and soothing. It aids digestion, and is cleansing and healing. I really believe it's one of the best foods a new mum can eat. Organic is best, unsalted butter will do.
Olive oil is well known and loved as a healthy food, so I won't go on about it. I'll only say it makes a lovely baby massage oil too!
These are naturally high in energy, contain iron and are very strengthening. They are so easy to eat! Grab five dates and a cup a hot milk with cardomom to keep you going.
It is cool, oily and sweet, it is very high in water (and more nutritious than water itself!) Coconut is a very nourishing and life supporting food, and in Cambodia they talk of a man who lived for a year on coconut water alone.Check the ingredients, it should only contain coconut, water and antioxidant
Split mung dhal
It is not too dry, not too cold and not too light. They are just right. They are one of the most revered foods by the vaidya's.In western terms mung beans are high in Vitamin B and C, potassium, magnesium, iron, phospherous, copper, fibre and protein. And they cook buttery soft in 15-20 minutes. They are hard to buy, and lots of places have very old stale mung dhal. At it's freshest dry mung dhal smells like freshly cut hay.
It is high in protein and contains Vitamin E and magnesium and contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Almonds are excellent for the skin, circulation and reproductive organs. Why meal? Cause it's really easy to mix through porridge, biscuit dough, cous cous, rice...anything. Also almonds are Ayurvedically more balanced without the brown skin, so if you want to eat the whole nuts try and blanch them first.
Want to more about nourishing foods for new mums? Check out my book Nourishing Newborn Mother - Ayurvedic recipes to heal your mind, body and soul after childbirth. Buy it now or click here for more info.