We’re going to delve into the wisdom of traditional cultures that advocate for warming foods instead of cold foods, such as smoothies and salads, during the postpartum period. Let’s explore why these warm foods hold a special place in the nurturing traditions of many cultures. (Scroll down to view the video instead).
Understanding Digestive Fire
One of the fundamental principles behind the necessity for warming foods in postpartum diets is the concept of “digestive fire.” Traditional cultures believe that during the postpartum phase, a mother’s digestive fire tends to be low.
Basically, it means the enzymes and gastric juices that are required to break down and assimilate nutrients from food are much lower. This is because of the activation of the sympathetic nervous system from the birth.
The body has had such an enormous change happen during the labour that it goes into shock. So when this happens – fight/flight response causes the stomach to shut down so it can put all energy into healing the body.
When the digestive fire is low, it can affect your overall well-being if you start eating your normal diet or eat too much variety, rich or cold foods.
Traditional cultures emphasize eating warming foods to support postpartum mothers. These foods promote warmth, nourishment, and restoration.
Foods include cooked grains like rice and quinoa, root vegetables, soups and stews, broths, some cooked greens, and warming spices like ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon.
Importance of Warmth
In traditional postpartum practices, warmth is considered essential for the healing and recovery of new mothers.
Consuming warm foods is believed to provide not only comfort but also helps maintain balance within the body.
Cold foods, such as smoothies and salads, are often seen as energetically cooling and can potentially disrupt the delicate postpartum equilibrium.
They are harder to digest, which uses up more energy because of the digestive enzymes that are lacking. Cold foods do not encourage blood to come to the areas that need healing, like the open wound on the uterus where the placenta was.
Nurturing the Body and Mind
Postpartum is a time when a mother’s body undergoes huge changes. The focus needs to be on nourishing both the body and mind.
Warm foods bring blood to the areas that need healing, and can provide the necessary energy, nutrients, and warmth to support healing and replenishment. They are also thought to aid digestion, alleviate bloating, and provide a sense of grounding and comfort.
It’s important to remember that every mother’s postpartum journey is unique.
While warming foods are often recommended, it’s essential to adapt these recommendations to suit individual preferences and dietary needs.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a postpartum nutrition specialist to tailor your nutrition plan accordingly, which is where I can help you.
Traditional cultures have recognised the importance of nourishing mothers with foods that support their healing and well-being. Remember to prioritize self-care, rest, and nourishment as you embrace this beautiful phase of motherhood.
Remember, you’re not alone on this journey, and there are people to support you including me.
Until next time, take care and stay nourished!