Food Cravings During Pregnancy: What Do They Mean?

A lot of expectant mothers usually begin to feel some food cravings from the onset of their pregnancy. Most pregnant women experience a difference in their taste. Some of their favorite foods suddenly become the food that they do not want to eat anymore. Those that they never liked to eat before suddenly become their favorites.

Pregnant women who experience food cravings suddenly feel the need to eat food combinations that they would not normally eat if they are not pregnant. Most women say that they do not understand how they liked certain food products when they were pregnant. There are even some reports that even expectant fathers become affected by the food cravings that expectant mothers begin to experience.

The main theory of people about the sudden food cravings and food aversions is that hormones. Up to a certain extent this may be true. The hormones of mothers do change during pregnancy. Even though this may be a sound theory, there are not a lot of details that state how true this theory is.

One thing that is for sure is that food cravings and food aversions usually go together. This means that if pregnant women have some food products that they are craving for, there are also some that pregnant women do not want to smell at all.

What Do Certain Food Cravings Tell You About Your Body?

It has been said that food cravings may indicate that there are some things that pregnant women may be lacking in their bodies.

There are a lot of pregnant women who usually begin to feel a strong craving for chocolate. Whenever this is felt, pregnant women would like to get their hands on chocolate as much as possible but it has been said that this only means that they lack magnesium. Pregnant women who feel cravings for chocolate may want to eat magnesium rich food products such as nuts, seeds and spinach. This can begin as soon as the first trimester, so be wary of it.

There are also times when there are some pregnant women who have an incessant craving for meat. Red meat in particular is one of the things that pregnant women would love to eat.  It is quite evident that the craving for red meat means that pregnant women would have to eat more protein.  Red meat may be good for the body but too much of it can be bad for pregnant women so if this should be eaten, only a small amount will be good enough.

It has been said that there are some pregnant women who also experience iron deficiency and usually, whenever they feel this, they have weird cravings for food products that they would never crave if they were not pregnant. When pregnant women lack iron, it will be best if they could eat sunflower seeds, beef and even dark chocolate.
food cravings while pregnant

What Else Can You Do To Reduce Cravings?

There are still other things that can be done by pregnant women so that they can try to lessen their cravings such as the following:

  • When indulging in some food cravings, make sure that only small amounts will be eaten. For instance, if pregnant women are craving for chocolate, they might want to eat bite sized chocolate products instead of full sized bars. This will satisfy the craving without packing in too much calories.
  • Pregnant women may want to have some distractions when all they want to do is to eat. For instance, when they are craving for steak fat, they may want to take a short walk somewhere or at least do something else that can avert their cravings. I also recommend the same thing if you deal with extreme hunger.
  • If there are some cravings that are considered to be weird such as starch, laundry detergent and other things that should not be eaten, it will be best to contact the doctor immediately so that the right things will be done. This probably means that pregnant women lack iron.

When Food Cravings Become Dangerous

There is a condition called pica wherein pregnant women crave food that they should not eat. Some pregnant women even say that they have a craving for cigarette butts. They do not crave to smoke them but they want to eat them. This can be bad not only for the mother but also for the baby. This explains why people who are having this problem should immediately seek help so that they will not eat some items that they will regret.

Pregnant women should always remember that the cravings should not overtake good nutrition. Both the pregnant mother and the unborn baby need nutrients and food products that will cause them to stay healthy during the whole process. Some pregnant women develop gestational diabetes which makes it harder for pregnant women to control their weight. Diabetes during pregnancy usually causes high sugar cravings. Remember that food cravings only become bad when pregnant women give in too much to their cravings.

References:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/pregnancy-food-cravings
  2. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a4444/top-pregnancy-cravings
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/craving/201306/what-really-causes-pregnancy-cravings