Every woman has them at some point during her life, whether during pregnancy or not. Cravings! Sometimes they can be friendly, sometimes not. Here’s how to spot what you really need when you crave certain foods!
Sugary foods, ESPECIALLY chocolate, are very common. Chocolate contains magnesium and iron, which could explain why you crave it! Your body needs extra iron during pregnancy, and if your prenatals don’t have enough in them, chocolate will pop up on your radar more often. Best solution: Reach for some dark chocolate and kiss that craving goodbye.
Dairy products contain a lot of nutrients your body needs during gestation. Most commonly, your body is lacking calcium. Instead of reaching for the ice cream or the cheese, head over to the veggie section for some fresh broccoli or other green veggies. You’ll be happy you did after baby comes and you’re trying to get out of those maternity jeans!
If you’re craving something salty, steer clear of the processed chip aisle of the supermarket. Instead, go for some nuts, pickles, or olives. Don’t forget, though – All that sodium could trigger a gnarly bloating episode, so balance it out with plenty of water! Salty cravings can also mean you have a calcium deficiency. If you crave salt constantly, get yourself on a good calcium supplement and see if it helps.
Spicy foods help bring down your body temp. All that extra difficulty moving around during pregnancy can really make your body heat spike, and when you eat spicy foods you sweat more. More sweat equals less hot. Old wives tales even suggest constant spicy food cravings mean you’re going to have a boy!
There are a couple of reasons you could be craving fruit. The first is specifically if you crave it between meals. This could mean you have low blood sugar at those times and need a boost! Best way to prevent that? Eat breakfast. Proven fact!! The second option is that you’re lacking vitamins commonly found in fruits, such as vitamin c. In this case, it would be best to check how much of those vitamins are in your prenatal supplement and consider switching to one with a higher content. Or just go ahead and eat some fruit!
Other Reasons for Cravings
There are plenty of other reasons your cravings could be triggered, as well, that apply to all the cravings listed above. Drastic changes in hormonal levels can trigger strange cravings with no other explanation, and create those nasty mood swings you will likely experience if you haven’t already! Your emotional needs may also affect your taste buds (and hunger). One example of this is craving foods that remind you of your childhood, like that boxed Mac ‘N Cheese you had for lunch yesterday!
So don’t stress about your cravings. So long as they’re for food-related items only (some pregnant women do crave non-food items, like cigarette butts), consume in moderation and relax. Cravings are normal, healthy, and probably just your body telling you what it needs to nourish you and your little one properly. Happy snacking!