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Pregnancy cravings, as the name indicates, refer to the insatiable cravings for a variety of food by a pregnant woman. She is not likely to eat these foods or such combinations otherwise; be it ice cream and pickles or brownie mix or dairy products. Almost all women experience food cravings during some phase of their pregnancy. Food cravings are a common symptom in pregnant women, though the reasons are not yet clearly established.
Many women express pregnancy food craving as uncontrollable. A recent study points out that almost 40% of pregnant women prefer sweets in their pregnancy food craving list. 33% prefer salty food, 17% like spicy food while 10% people prefer to eat sour or tart food. Almost 85% of pregnant women have food cravings for any of the above mentioned food. Pregnancy food cravings vary from woman to woman as hormonal changes vary from individual to individual.
A few pregnancy cravings might sound odd but cause no threat to the mother and the baby if they are food items. Pregnancy food craving can become harmful and a threat to the mother and baby if it is for a nonfood item. This condition is popular as pica. Women suffering from this condition crave to eat laundry starch, dirt, crayons, ice scraped from freezer, cigarette butt, coffee grounds etc.
Pregnancy food craving
A woman's body needs additional calories while she is pregnant
Nutritional deficiency in a woman might translate as food craving
Hormonal changes during pregnancy have a strong influence on the taste and smell of a pregnant woman thus tempting her towards a particular food item
How to deal with pregnancy food cravings?
Eat a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, reduced-fat dairy foods and legumes. A balanced diet will take care of the nutritional requirements of the fetus. While consuming plenty of nutritional food, a small portion of unhealthy food is acceptable.
Exercise regularly after discussion with your physician.
Eat regularly; divide your daily intake into six small meals. This will give you a sense of satisfaction while preventing low blood sugar (low blood sugar is the main culprit that induces food cravings).
Take your mind off food by engaging in other activities
Try to eat a healthy alternative in place of the high calorie food that you are craving for
If you have to eat then try consuming a smaller portion instead of a king sized portion
Pregnancy craving foods
Pregnant bodies might crave for more sodium, in such cases pregnant women crave for pickles and other salty food. Ensure that your food cravings during pregnancy do not include foods that can harm you or your baby. Avoid raw and undercooked seafood, meat and eggs.
Do not take milk that is not pasteurized. Deli meat or undercooked foods such as sushi, cookie dough, Caesar salad or beef tartar must be avoided. Do not use artificial sweeteners if you can. Avoid alcohol. A pregnant woman is also likely to have aversions to some food. Listed below are popular food cravings among pregnant women.
Sodium, potassium and proteins: Some might need more of these salts and such women crave for food rich in these like fries, etc. Often if a woman is dehydrated, she is likely to need more salt.
Calcium and fat: Bodies that require more fat might induce a craving for chocolate and ice creams. While indulging in ice creams, try to add some fruits and nuts for a healthy meal. Women seeking junk food or sweets might be looking for comfort food to
Iron: Pregnant women whose bodies need more calcium might start developing a craving for red meat.
A pregnant woman must monitor her weight gain so as to not pile on additional calories. It can lead to health conditions such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Care must be taken to consume a balanced diet, as far as possible. Avoid consuming empty calories in the form of fizzy drinks, junk foods and high fat foods.
Tackling pregnancy food cravings
You can't always fight the food craving symptom, at some point you will be forced to give in. Be prepared and plan what you want to eat instead of over indulging.
Its okay to pamper yourself once in a while, eat what you want, but remember to compensate later.
If your taste buds are bugging you often and your cravings are reaching a new high, try to walk away from food and its source as much as possible.
Pregnancy food cravings settle down on its own in the second trimester. If it doesn't, talk to your physician about it.
Ask yourself whether the craving for food due to hunger or psychological.