Do You Have Pregnancy Cravings?
Ice cream and pickles. Pizza at midnight. Nachos with EXTRA cheese. A slurpee at 8:30 am. Sound like a child’s dream menu? Nope. These are actual cravings I had during pregnancy- especially during the first part of my pregnancy prior to morning sickness hitting.
So, are pregnancy cravings a real thing? And why do pregnant women get them?
According to WebMD.com, no one really knows why pregnancy cravings happen. But, those cravings could be a sign that your body is in need of some nutrient that it is currently lacking. Craving pickles? Sodium. Craving ice cream? Calcium. Big Mac? Potassium. “It’s not that the body actually needs the specific food you are craving, but it may need something in that food. And your taste buds just interpret it as a craving for something specific,” says Rebarber (from WebMD.com)
Although some cravings may seem a bit odd, maybe even unhealthy, in most cases, they are not a threat to the mom or the baby. (I promised myself NO MORE PICKLES during my pregnancy after I almost consumed an entire bottle!) However, if you feel a strong urge to consume crayons, dirt, laundry detergent, or ice scraped from the freezer, talk to your doctor! Although strange, this is a real craving for some pregnant women who are very deficient in iron.
To help curb over-the-top cravings, it is recommended that women start their day off with a healthy, filling meal. Think eggs, oatmeal, or, if you cannot stomach anything else, a protein drink. Then add any fruits and vegetables you can to your meals throughout the day (the only thing I could eat when I had morning sickness, was bananas and carrots).
And, if your cravings just won’t ebb, here is a list of suggested healthier substitutions for common cravings:
Pickles/French Fries/Salt: Try some freshly popped popcorn sprinkled with just a hint of salt.
Chocolate: Try a Double Chocolate Smoothie:
1 Cup Silk Dark Chocolate almond milk
1 Frozen Banana
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
½ Tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and thick.
Nachos: Try an omelet with red peppers, tomatoes, olives, salsa, and avocado.
Ice Cream: Try frozen yogurt and top it off with fresh fruit like strawberries. Add a little crunch with some granola.
I know it is hard, but if you make healthy eating a priority during your pregnancy, you won’t feel so bad to give into those MUST-HAVE-CHOCOLATE! cravings when they hit.
Tell us: what is the craziest craving you’ve had when pregnant?
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