Cravings during pregnancy
Created by Nandini Muralidharan Updated on Oct 31, 2017
It's 10 PM, and suddenly all you ever want is to eat a large tub full of caramel popcorn. With chocolate sauce. And some grated cheese. Sounds nauseating? Or delicious? Food cravings are known to hit at least 50% of pregnant women. Popular media has taken to exaggerating these for the purpose of entertainment and comic relief. But ask any pregnant woman, and these cravings are no joke! They're very real, and they can be just as bothersome as amusing, depending on the craving.
What Are Some Common Food Cravings That Pregnant Women Have?
Pregnancy cravings are linked to either hormonal fluctuations, or nutritional needs, and some hit without a reason. Emotional factors can also contribute to pregnancy cravings. Here are some common cravings, and possible reasons why they hit.
- Spicy food: This is one of the most common cravings during pregnancy, even if you aren't a big fan of spicy food otherwise. This could be because spicy food makes you sweat, and as a result cools you down. Tip to indulge: Go easy on the chilies and salsa, else you could give yourself heartburn
- Ice cream: Doing an emergency midnight drive to buy a tub of Chocolate Almond Delight? Again, your craving for ice cream can be linked to your body's need for calcium. Tip to indulge: Try substituting ice cream with a low-fat yogurt, or a homemade milkshake with berries and cream
- Oranges, and other fruits: Wow! This sounds like a good craving to have, doesn't it? Your body might be telling you that it needs more Vitamin C. Or it could just be a need for variety in your diet. Tip to indulge: Indulge freely, but just keep in mind that too much can cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up
- Lemon: It isn't unusual if you suddenly want to just suck the juice from that lemon you see lying in your fridge. This could be simply to give your taste buds a change from your regular diet. Tip to indulge: Add a dash of lemon in your poha, or even dal, for extra flavor!
- Comfort food: If you suddenly find that you want to have mom's dal makhani with naan, or the same ice cream flavor that you had when you were in college, it's most likely nothing but a need for comfort food, and not any particular nutritional requirement. Tip to indulge: As long as it's in moderation, go ahead and indulge your favorite food. Meet mom for lunch, and have some fun gossiping, too!
- Non-food items: Many pregnant women say that they crave to eat lots of ice, chalk, or clay. This craving for non-food items is called pica. Doctors usually link it to a deficiency in iron or zinc, although it hasn't been proved. Note: Please take this up with your doctor if such a craving hits, as it could adversely affect your health
While nothing has been proved about why cravings hit when they do, they are often attributed to hormonal changes, nutritional and emotional needs. Eat a balanced diet taking care of your body's nutritional requirements, and stay stress-free. Give in to your cravings in moderation! Have a happy pregnancy!
What are the most bizarre cravings that you have had during pregnancy? Share your anecdotes with us in the comments section!
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