You may have heard that a tall glass of Guinness is the key to healthy breastmilk supply, but Simpson notes that research has shown alcohol can actually inhibit milk production. It’s actually barley, a component of beer, that may be lactogenic. “Barley is the richest dietary source of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that has been shown to increase prolactin [known as the breastfeeding hormone] levels in both humans and animals,” Simpson writes.
How to use it: Add whole barley to soups, stews, salads and even risottp. Use barley flakes to make milk, or add it to your homemade bread recipe.
2. Barley malt
When grains are germinated, they release malting enzymes, which converts barley into a sweet, syrupy malt, which also contains lactogenic beta-glucan. Barley malt syrup can be found at health and speciality stores, but make sure it’s 100-percent pure—high-fructose or regular corn syrup is often added to dilute and sweeten it, Simpson writes.
How to use it: Add barley malt to sweeten chocolate milk made with unsweetened cocoa, or substitute for maple syrup in baked goods.