Image: Zuo Yue Food Braised Abalone with Boiled Spinach, Carrot & Wolfberry
You can’t leave out vegetables in our diet, whether during confinement or not. Vegetables are extremely rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and they play a vital role in replenishing the nutrients after childbirth, as well as improving breast milk supply. But with so many types of vegetables, some warm, some cooling, some leafy, and some non-leafy, which of them should we look out for mothers in confinement?
Warm vs Cooling Vegetables
Image: Zuo Yue Food Boiled Broccoli with Mushroom, Carrot & Wolfberry
During the postpartum period, it is ideal for mothers to consume ‘warm’ food, which is traditionally known to nourish the yang in their bodies. Eating ‘warm’ vegetables will help to improve the energy (qi) of the organs and the overall body after childbirth. Additionally, it promotes the circulation of blood and prevents cold. Look out for ‘warm’ vegetables such as pumpkin, spring onion, chives, leeks, and squash.
It is also suitable to incorporate neutral vegetables in your confinement diet. These vegetables are neither warm nor cold and are appropriate for mothers in confinement. Neutral vegetables include carrots, kale (kai lan), naibai, shanghai green, black fungus, corn, potato, sweet potato, broccoli, mushrooms and turnip.
On the other hand, it is recommended to avoid ‘cold’ vegetables during the post-natal period. As mothers experience a significant loss of energy and blood during childbirth, what their bodies need is ‘warm’ food that can replenish and boost their energy. ‘Cold’ food may further weaken the body and does not enhance the nutritional value mothers need during the transitional phase. Hence, it is good to stay away from common ‘cold’ vegetables such as celery, cucumber, bitter gourd, Chinese cabbage, radish and winter melon. Raw vegetables are not advisable as well.
Leafy and Non-Leafy Vegetables
Image: Zuo Yue Food Stir-Fried Hong Kong Kai Lan with Mushroom
Leafy vegetables are known to be a rich source of nutrients such as iron, calcium, antioxidants and vitamins A, K and C. They contain natural goodness in minerals and are high in dietary fibre, ideal for a balanced diet during confinement. These leafy greens do a great job of replenishing the blood and energy, strengthening the bones, and reducing blood clots. Having a balanced diet with leafy greens will definitely speed up the recovery after childbirth and protect mothers from various heart and inflammatory diseases. Hence, it is important to load up on leafy greens such as spinach, kale (Kai Lan), broccoli, and Nai Bai.
Green leafy vegetables may be known to contain more nutrients than normal green vegetables. However, there are non-leafy vegetables that are good for mothers in confinement as well. Such examples include pumpkin, french beans, winged beans, carrots and peas. Carrots are high in vitamin A and keep the immune system strong, while pumpkins are rich in fibre and prevent constipation. Thus, it is beneficial to keep these non-leafy vegetables in your confinement diet as they are very nutritious for mothers as well.
Top Favourite Vegetables in Zuo Yue Food
Image: Zuo Yue Food Boiled Spinach with Egg, Silverfish, Ginger & Wolfberry in Superior Broth
Zuo Yue Food provides a wide range of vegetables throughout the postpartum period. Ranging from Boiled Spinach in Superior Broth to Stir-fried Kai Lan, these vegetable dishes in the menu are thoughtfully curated to cater to the needs of recovering mothers. Additionally, our vegetables are often topped with additional healthy ingredients that not only deepen the flavours of the dish but enhance its nutritional value. This includes pairing the greens with wolfberries, ginger, spring onion, abalone, carrots and various types of mushrooms.
Image: Zuo Yue Food Stir-Fried Winged Bean with Minced Meat
During the postpartum period, women are said to be weaker and more vulnerable to ‘wind’ in the environment. Fatigue, indigestion and poor breast milk production are common symptoms that may kick in following the depletion of nutrients from childbirth. It is crucial to practise a balanced diet, and consume foods that are of good nutrition to their bodies. It is also good to consume more ‘warm’ food to fight against the cold and promote recovery after childbirth. Mothers are recommended to consume around 3 cups of vegetables a day, and this is especially more important for mothers who are breastfeeding. Stock up your pantry with greens for a healthy and balanced confinement journey!