From a tub of chocolate chip ice-cream in the freezer to a jar of super-salty lemon pickle on your kitchen counter, do you find yourself craving too often? Well, most pregnant women tend to experience food cravings during pregnancy, and if you’re going through it, relax- you’re not alone.
Why do Cravings Occur?
Studies have found how around 84 percent of pregnant women around the world experience food cravings when pregnant, some of them pretty strange too! So what is it exactly that gets you all weak in the knees to grab that bag of chips all of a sudden?
Well, experts believe that generally food cravings are symbolic of a dietary deficiency. This means that when your body lacks a particular nutritional element it shows out like a craving. Food cravings are basically your body’s way of telling you that it is lacking for something.
And that’s just one side of the story- some other experts believe that pregnancy food cravings arise as a result of hormonal changes. The horm
It is also believed that the hormonal fluctuations tend to increase the sense of smell and taste in pregnant women, which could be another contributing factor when it comes to craving for food during pregnancy.
Decoding the Food Cravings:
Now that you know that food cravings will be an inseparable part of you (at least for the first trimester), below are the ways to decode the science behind your exact food craving:
- Craving for red meat (or any other animal protein for that matter) could be easily linked to a protein deficiency.
- Craving for peaches? Your body may be lacking out on beta carotene.
- Is it a bar of chocolate? You may be suffering from a shortage of magnesium.
- Craving ice? Surprisingly, studies have found how this one could be linked to the deficiency of iron.
[ Read: Meat During Pregnancy ]
How to Deal with Food Cravings during Pregnancy?
While most food cravings may be a result of either hormonal changes or nutritional deficiencies, there may be yet another possible biological cause involved. If you’re already a victim of certain addictive habits such as nicotine or alcohol, or love your cuppa too much to part with- the craving is but natural.
Well, whatever may be the reason, we’ve put down some super-cool ways to help you manage your food cravings in pregnancy:
- Distract yourself- it’s often the best way to tackle a food craving that you sense could be harmful to both you and your baby (example, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.).
- While most mums crave nutritious foods like strawberries, cheese, fish, milk and oranges, there may be a few who may be inclined towards chips, meats and sugary drinks. The trick here is to swap the unhealthy food with a healthier alternative.
- Another great idea is to try and distinguish between the reasons for your cravings and note the pattern – do you tend to crave chocolate when you’ve had a fight with your hubby? Remember- gobbling down a bar of chocolate isn’t going to sort things out there.
- Physical activity is a must during pregnancy, and one of the best ways to tackle an unhealthy craving is to go for a walk and breathe in some fresh air.
- Get your essential fatty acid requirement- research has proven that taking flax oil or fish oil supplements during pregnancy has significantly helps reduces food craving occurrences.
- Lastly, give in to your craving, but only in permissible quantities. Choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate and homemade watermelon juice instead of the can of soda. Be responsible with the choices.
[ Read: Walking During Pregnancy ]
What you eat during pregnancy has a huge impact on your baby’s health. Hence make sure you eat the best during this stage.
Enjoy your days being a pregnant!
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