Babies undergo rapid growth and development during the first year of their lives and thus require optimal nutrition. Breast milk is the nutritional holy grail for infants that provides all the essential nutrients for their overall growth while simultaneously boosting their immunity.
Importance of Proteins
Protein is one of the most vital nutrients your baby requires. It is known to help with building cells, tissues, muscles and organs as well as boosting immunity by making enzymes, antibodies and hormones. Proteins are also critical for brain development and growth of your baby’s supporting structures (cartilage, collagen, hair, nails, skin etc).
Protein Composition in Breast Milk
- The proteins in breastmilk can be divided into casein and whey, present in a ratio of 40:60.
- Casein protein forms clumps and curd in your baby’s stomach that are hard to digest by her developing gut and kidneys.
- Whey protein remains in a liquid form and gets easily digested. The main whey proteins present in breast milk are a-lactalbumin, lactoferrin, secretory IgA and serum albumin.
- Other proteins include lysozyme, folate-binding protein, bifidus factor, casein, lipase and amylase etc.
Benefits of Proteins in Breast Milk
Experts agree that the proteins your baby receives in early life affect their growth, including their height and weight gain. The quality of protein your baby receives in early life is also key for optimal health, growth and development. The protein in your baby’s diet also supports the different systems of the body, including the immune system.
The protein intake of your baby during early life can affect their future health, including their chances of becoming obese in later life.
Breast milk is thus a source of protein, that not only helps in healthy growth, but also plays a role in keeping your baby healthy, safe from illness and infection, and ensuring overall growth and development.
Disclaimer: All the information provided in the blog is for reference purposes only. Please do not consider this as a medical advice. Start Healthy Stay Healthy programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions related to your own health or the health of your child.