Pregnant women can crave any food. Some women may crave foods that they didn’t even like before their pregnancies. There can be valid reasons behind pregnancy craving foods such as hormonal changes or the body’s need for specific nutrients. So, when do pregnancy cravings start? Women can have cravings for different foods throughout their pregnancies, starting from the first trimester. The food that they crave can also change throughout the 9-month duration.
Here are some common pregnancy craving foods and the possible reasons pregnant women may crave them.
One of the most common pregnancy cravings is for pickles. If you suddenly feel like eating pickles all the time, it could be your body’s way to signal for more sodium. It could also mean that you feel like eating something refreshing or salty due to hormonal changes in your body. Hormones can play with your taste buds and digestion. Eating pickles in moderation is all right during pregnancy. But make sure that you meet your body’s requirements for sodium through foods such as carrots, celery, beets and legumes.
A craving for chocolate can signal your body’s need for magnesium or fats. Eating a moderate amount of chocolate during pregnancy is harmless. But you can also get magnesium through nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Nuts and seeds can also provide your body with healthy fats.
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If you are craving milk during pregnancy or any dairy-based items then your body may be screaming for more calcium or fats. Eating low-fat dairy is perfectly all right during pregnancy unless you are lactose-intolerant. In that case, you can eat other sources of calcium and fats such as leafy green vegetables and various nuts. If you are craving cheese, your body may perhaps want more fat, calcium and sodium.
Lemon and sour foods are common pregnancy craving foods. Hormones can disturb your digestive system and sour lemon juice can provide some relief from rising gastric juices. Lemon juice can also help in refreshing your taste buds. But keep your consumption of lemon and sour foods to a minimum. Consult your doctor about how much sour food you can consume safely on a daily basis.
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During pregnancy, all the additional blood flow and hormones can raise the body temperature. Craving for hot peppers and other spicy foods can be a way for your body to balance the heat and cold in the body. Excessive heat can increase perspiration and help your body to cool off. Spicy foods can also make you want to eat food even when you don’t feel like having meals due to digestive upsets.
Eating spicy food in moderation is all right during pregnancy. But don’t eat them in excess as fiery foods can cause indigestion and heartburn. Pregnant women often experience heartburn during their second and third trimesters due to the growing uterus and hot foods can further aggravate the problem.
When pregnancy craving foods include meat, it could mean you need more proteins. When pregnancy craving foods include fries then perhaps you need more sodium and fats. Pregnant women can also have weird pregnancy cravings such as for clay or detergent.
When the craving is for normal foods, there is not harm in giving into it in moderation. But for weird cravings, consult your doctor and refrain from eating bowlfuls of ice!