Now that I’m breastfeeding, I check all the ingredients of a product to make sure it’s safe, gentle enough for Kamea, and won’t mess with my milk supply. As a result, I’ve taken a close look at a few different green powders. Because my diet is on the bland side to prevent digestive upset for Kamea (I’m not even sure this is entirely necessary, but I’m playing it safe just in case), I’m not getting as many greens as I’d like, so I wanted to add a green powder to my life. However, the two former favorites of mine, Vitamineral Green and Ormus SuperGreens, might not be good choices. These are great products (my husband still uses both!), but I’ve decided not to use them while breastfeeding. They both contain parsley which can reduce milk supply.
But! I “think” found one that fits the breastfeeding bill:
HealthForce Nutritionals Greener Grasses™ For the most part*, it seems that the handful of ingredients Greener Grasses contains are fine to consume while breastfeeding, and, in fact, some are even considered galactagogues (promotes lactation)! After I researched the ingredients online, I checked with both my (and Kamea’s) naturopath, and then I checked with my midwife. They both agreed that it was fine to take while breastfeeding.
According to HealthForce Nutritionals’ website:
Greener Grasses™ is an incredible combination of green grasses. It provides healthy alkaline elements and a large amount of 100% whole food nutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace minerals including those that are naturally colloidal and better, chlorophyll, fiber, phytonutrients, and more)! Incredible Value, Nutrient Dense, 100% Pesticide free, Nutritional Grass Complex
It contains 5 different forms of 100% pesticide free grown grasses:
Whole leaf : Wheat Grass, Barley Grass (naturally occurring fiber)
How does it taste? It tastes like most green powders… it’s not something that I want for dessert - haha - but it’s nice and mild in flavor. I usually just drink it down with a 1/2 cup of water.
*As with many things… you find some info supporting and some info not supporting a couple of these ingredients as safe for breastfeeding, barley grass and wheat grass specifically. While many websites said barley grass was good while breastfeeding, this site claimed otherwise. A similar situation occurred for wheat grass. Perhaps the milk-supply-increasing ingredients balance out the ones that might reduce it? I’m not sure. I decided to go along with my naturopath and midwife and give it a try for a few days. My results since taking it? My milk supply seems to have increased - I didn’t actually need that – but Kamea isn’t complaining – lol. Still… I wonder. Since it doesn’t seem to be reducing my milk supply, I’ll keep taking it but not every day. I’ll keep a watch on things and go from there. Meanwhile, I will keep researching, too. I wish I could find a definitive answer… any lactation specialists out there know?
UPDATE: According to the book, The Nursing Mother’s Herbal, green drinks and super green foods that include barley and alfalfa greens have traditionally been used to increase milk. I just bought the book for my Kindle last night and I like it a lot! Very informative so far.
Hating it: It’s bitter…damn bitter! I just took a swig of the green juice I made with dandelion (I put the whole bunch in and it was big!), and if you could see my face, you’d laugh your butt off at me. Major face contortions going on here, even though I sweetened it as much as I could with apples (while trying not to go overboard on sugar). I’m a hard core gal, remember. I used to compete in bodybuilding where we chugged down protein shake after protein shake (those rarely taste good when they’re made with powder and water only). So, I’m usually cool with just gettin’ it down the hatch. No pain no gain.
Loving it: Even though it’s bitter as hell, dandelion is worthy of being added to my diet any day. According to The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, the following information shows that dandelion is amazing, truly amazing. Check it out:
“The Latin name for dandelion is Taraxacum officinale, which essentially means ‘official remedy for the disorders.’” I should just stop there, because that’s great enough. I mean, come on, “official remedy for the disorders” – I love that. However, I feel the need to brag after drinking this green juice and making faces, so I’ll keep going…One of its main benefits is its ability to help cleanse and detoxify the liver (this is not to be taken lightly because it’s very important to have a healthy, functioning liver).
Dandelion is helpful for diabetes because it contains inulin and pectin. (If only I could get my dad to drink some…hhhmmm….unfortunately, this is not something I can sneak into a meal.)
Helping with PMS. (Sign me up!) If there are two things I can’t stand during PMS, it’s retaining water and mood swings. Dandelion to the rescue! It’s a natural diuretic, and it has two hormone-balancing constituents to help save the day.
Dandelion is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables available. It contains calcium, potassium, vitamin K, beta-carotene, vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin (great for your eyes), and fiber.
So, blend a bunch of dandelions for your next smoothie or juice, grab a mirror, drink it down and have a laugh at the face you make because of the bitterness. You’re doing your body GOOD! I just took my last big swig and although I held my breath while drinking it, I feel G-R-E-A-T! I do believe I’m beginning to feel like a superhero right about now.