Can you eat leek when breastfeeding?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat leeks when breastfeeding, what are leeks? Is it healthy to eat leeks when pregnant, what is the risk of eating leek when pregnant and how can you add leeks to your healthy diet when breastfeeding? 

Can you eat leek when breastfeeding?

Yes, you can eat leek when breastfeeding. Breastfeeding women need to eat leeks that have been washed thoroughly before eating them. Unwashed leeks have the risk of containing bacteria and parasites that can cause food-borne illnesses. 

Vegetable members of the allium or onion family, like onion and leek, have been known for causing discomfort in the baby and may decrease breast milk secretion. None of these statements have been proven so the recommendation is to include all food and to confirm how it works with you and the baby.

What is a leek?

Leek is a member of the family of onions, native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. One of the biggest producers of the leek is Indonesia, Turkey, France, the Republic of Korea, and Belgium. 

They are bulbous vegetables with white flesh and leafy green tops. Leeks are one of the most expensive vegetables from the onion family. They tend to be inexpensive only in countries that are commonly used. 

Leeks have a very similar appearance to scallions also known as green onions but they are larger. They have a mild flavor and are easy to prepare. They are great to add to soups, casseroles, and white meat entrees. They usually spring in autumn. 

Is it healthy to eat leek when breastfeeding?

Leeks are part of the allium family. They are a very healthy vegetable high in vitamin A, one cup can provide up to 30% of your vitamin A requirement. Leeks are also a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin B6 as well as iron and manganese. 

One cup of raw leeks contains 54 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of dietary fiber, and 0 grams of fat. 

Leeks also are high in flavonoids and polyphenols. It has been shown that like other members of the onion family, leeks protect against oxidative stress, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. 

All these nutrients are needed when breastfeeding because the demand for nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is higher. Leek can be part of a healthy diet. If you have doubts about the impact of leeks on breast milk and babies, try to eat them in small amounts. 

What is the risk of eating leek when breastfeeding?

The main concern of eating leek when breastfeeding is that if not washed well, breastfeeding women may get food-borne illnesses. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid eating root vegetables that have not been washed correctly.

They are 20 times more susceptible to have worse symptoms. The main symptoms you can experience with a foodborne illness:

  • Blood or brain infections
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm labor
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever

The three main diseases you can contract if you eat lobster in bad conditions are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

Listeria monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes cause listeriosis. If you let the bacteria go too far, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and other health problems. It can cause respiratory tract symptoms, septicemia, and encephalitis. 

According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 2,5000 people will get infected with listeria every year. It means that it’s very rare to get infected but pregnant and breastfeeding women are in a more delicate condition and need to be a little more careful because it could lead to fatal health conditions. 

Toxoplasma Gondii

Toxoplasma Gondii is the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. For a normal, healthy person, it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms but for pregnant and breastfeeding women, it’s too risky, it can cause serious health problems.  One important thing to add is that once you contract toxoplasmosis you can’t contract it again. 


Salmonella is a bacteria that causes digestive symptoms like the other pathogens listed above. One important thing about salmonella is that it can cause bacteremia, a condition where there are bacteria in the blood if you let it go too far or are immunocompromised. 

How can you add leek to your healthy diet when breastfeeding?

Leeks can be used in a variety of dishes. You can cook it with your vegetables with olive oil and salt, cook it with some meat or add it to your favorite soup.

Leeks go perfectly with recipes that include cheese and cream and they can be found paired with cauliflower can cabbage, basil, parsley, sage, and thyme. 

You can try to eat small quantities of leek and see how your breast milk production and baby react. If you see that there is no negative effect, you can eat all the leek you want. 

Follow this link to try some leek recipes. 

Other FAQs about Leeks that you may be interested in.

Can you eat leek when pregnant?

What part of the leek do you eat?

What can I substitute for leeks?


This article answered can you eat leek when breastfeeding? What are leeks, is it healthy to eat leeks when pregnant, what is the risk of eating leeks when pregnant and how can you add leeks to your healthy diet when breastfeeding.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!