One of the first pregnancy symptoms that some women experience is certain food cravings. You may feel very hungry in general, or you will just start to crave different foods. Some specialists say that pregnancy cravings can be a sign that the body needs certain nutrients. However, it is recommended to choose healthy alternatives if your pregnancy cravings are unhealthy foods or junk food. Here are the most common cravings that pregnant women may experience.
Pregnancy craving #1: Sweets
Chocolate or traditional sweets are common cravings. The increased need for sugar is common for most pregnant women. It’s the most simple fuel that the body can utilize. But the sweet cravings can also be a sign of a chromium, Vitamin B or phosphorus nutritional need. A healthy alternative to processed sugar can be fruit desserts or just plain fruits.
Pregnancy craving #2: Pickles and sour foods
You may feel the need to eat fermented vegetables, citrus fruits or other sour ingredients. Fermented drinks and foods contain probiotics, which are very healthy for mother and baby. Citrus fruits are also packed with antioxidants.
Pregnancy craving #3: Meat products
Another of the most common cravings is meat products. Protein is an essential building block for the body’s tissues and organs. It is normal to crave meat due to the iron content as well, the essential element for the formation of haemoglobin. Choose your meat from safe sources, avoiding processed meats and raw meats.
Pregnancy craving #4: Fish and seafood
Omega 3 is mostly found in fish and seafood so you most likely will crave for fish while pregnant. Doctors recommend choosing fish that are less contaminated with mercury and other heavy metals. Salmon, sardines or prawns in moderate amounts and cooked properly are safe for pregnant women.
Pregnancy craving #5: Dairy products
A pregnant women may have a sudden need to consume more dairy products. It could be due the increased need for calcium. Yogurt contain lots of probiotics too. Avoid soft cheese and blue cheese as they have a higher risk of contamination. Organic butter and yoghurt, even natural ice cream, are perfectly healthy choices for pregnant women.
Pregnancy craving #6: Fruits
Some women send their husbands out to buy watermelon in the middle of the night. The intense fruit craving may be due to a vitamin deficiency. Fruits are perfect for getting the necessary amount of vitamins, minerals and enzymes while pregnant. However, don’t eat huge amounts of sweet fruits, especially if you also eat sugary foods often.
Pregnancy craving #7: Carbohydrates
If you feel like eating bread, pasta and French fries all day, you definitely have a carbohydrate craving. These foods promote dopamine secretion, also known as the happiness hormone. They contain a lot of complex sugars that could be potentially dangerous in high amounts due to the gestational diabetes risk. A healthier choice are fresh vegetables or legumes.
Pregnancy craving #8: Junk food
A pregnancy craving that is one of the most unhealthy: junk food. Some women would eat crackers and chips all day instead of cooked food. It may be due to morning sickness and heartburn but also a sodium deficiency. However, choose a healthier alternative by making your own cookies or chips.
Pregnancy craving #9: Garlic and onions
This is one of the healthy pregnancy cravings, although the smells may be a little bit unpleasant. Garlic and onions have a lot of benefits for pregnant women. They are natural antibiotics, but they also contain selenium, an essential and rare element. Try not to eat garlic before bed though as it could lead to bloating.
Pregnancy craving #10: Green leafy vegetables
This is probably the best thing to add to your pregnancy diet. If you already crave this, your body needs antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Eating green leafy vegetables everyday is definitely recommended during pregnancy.
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