How to Deal with Pregnancy Cravings

The difference between a pregnancy craving and a regular craving is that the pregnancy craving is stronger by million times. You may wake up with a craving for an ice cold root beer or a Chipotle burrito and you will do almost anything to satisfy these cravings. You may ask your husband to cook bacon for you or you may drive several miles to satisfy your craving. Let us discuss some of the most common foods that are craved by the majority of the pregnant females and the reason why this happens.

Why do You Have Pregnancy Cravings?

Approximately fifty percent of the females in the United States report that they had craving for at least one food item during their pregnancy, reports Judith Brown, author of What to Eat Before, During and After Pregnancy. And the amazing fact is that pregnant females don’t crave for only ice creams and pickles. Instead they can crave for almost anything.

Majority of these cravings are overpowering and seem to emerge from nowhere. What are the reasons for these cravings? Is it due to the hormones?

According to Elizabeth Somer, author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy, these cravings may be partly due to hormones. During pregnancy a female’s body goes through extreme hormonal changes, which have a huge impact on the sense of smell and taste. This is the reason why menopausal females also have strong food aversions and cravings. However, according to Somer, there is no sure cause for the pregnancy food cravings.

One thing that is apparent to us is that both food cravings and aversions are two sides of the same coin. According to an Ethiopian study, food cravings are two times more common in females who experienced food aversions in comparison to females who didn’t experience aversions. Moreover, Judith Brown found in the studies done at the University of Minnesota that pregnant females prefer sweet tastes over salty.

What Can You Do About Food Cravings?

1. Do Not Indulge in Junk Food

You should avoid overindulgence in things that do not provide any nutrition, even if you develop a craving for it. For instance, eat a small chocolate bar instead of eating a king-sized bar. Similarly, drink a glass of low-fat chocolate milk instead of eating a plate of brownies.

2. Distract Yourself

When you develop cravings, try to distract your mind by indulging in other activities, such as go for a short walk or head to the gym. You can even read a book or call your friend to distract your mind away from the sugar dripping doughnut that you are craving for.

3. Avoid Alcohol

Once in a while you can indulge in the food you crave. The only exception to this is alcohol, which you should avoid at all costs. Eat nutritious meals for the rest of the day.

4. Be Creative and Have Fun

It is recommended that you should make your cravings fun instead of fighting with them, by choosing healthy options. For example, you can substitute ice cream with low-fat frozen yoghurt. A drop in blood sugar may cause cravings for sweets; hence, you should aim to eat small frequent meals to satisfy your desire to indulge in unhealthy things.

5. Maitain Healthy lifestyle

Some other ways that you can follow to curb cravings for unhealthy foods are: Eat breakfast regularly as not eating breakfast may lead you to crave more for unhealthy foods; do regular exercise and ensure to have someone to support you emotionally.

6. Find Emotional Support

According to Somer, having emotional support is particularly important to manage pregnancy cravings. According to her, the emotional ups and downs that happen during pregnancy can make you look for comfort foods, when instead of food; all you need is a hug.

When to Call a Doctor

Talk with your physician, if you develop cravings for strange things such as chalk, ashes, clay or laundry starch. Craving for such items is known by the name pica and it may suggest that you are having nutritional deficiency, specifically of iron.

Watch a video to learn how to curb your pregnancy cravings:

Common Pregnancy Cravings and What They Mean

Ice

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Ice is one of the most common pregnancy cravings. It may seem strange but for some reason, pregnant females frequently chew on ice. It is fairly common in females who suffer from anemia, as chewing ice can relieve the inflammation of the mouth and tongue often associated with anemia.

Chocolate

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Chocolate and other sweets are also very commonly craved by pregnant females. The reason behind this could be that chocolate is associated with happiness. Moreover, since alcohol is a no-no for pregnant females, they choose the next best thing.

Spicy foods

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One thing that many of the pregnant females commonly crave includes spicy things such as hot red peppers and curry. This happens because sweating is increased by eating hot foods, which in turn cool off the body. Hence, add some spice in your next meal to see for yourself whether it helps you stay cool.

Pickles

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Pickles can be craved by pregnant females who have low sodium; however, this fact is not proved. Pickles are hot favorites of pregnant females because they are crunchy, and have vinegar and a refreshing taste. You should not be too concerned if you have cravings for pickle, because they are available easily, are not costly and low in calories.

Potato chips

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Pregnant females who crave potato chips may have low sodium levels; however, more often you may be craving something salty and crunchy. You should try to replace potato chips with some low calorie snacks such as popcorn, because potato chips are rich in fat and calories.

Certain Fruits

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Pregnancy cravings are not only for junk food, there can be fruit cravings too. During pregnancy, your body needs extra nutrients for you and your baby. Fruits can be both nutritious and refreshing. Fruits such as grapes and watermelon are loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants and have lots of fiber.

Lemon

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During pregnancy, females often crave for sour foods and craving for lemon is very common. The reason for this craving is that your taste buds are altered during pregnancy and you like super spicy or super sour foods and give your taste buds a shock.

Ice cream

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There are great varieties of ice creams available to choose from. It is a cool, sweet treat that is rich and creamy too. Since a normal ice cream is rich in calories, opt for a low fat variety. You can also try low-fat vanilla frozen yoghurt and add fresh fruits to it. This way you can satisfy your two cravings in one go.

 
 
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