Have you found yourself searching the cupboards for a chocolate bar to eat with that cheese? Or perhaps you are thinking a pickle would taste good on top of your ice cream. Chances are if odd food combinations have become more of a routine in your life lately, you are probably a pregnant lady. Most cravings in pregnancy are completely harmless, though they may result in unnecessary weight gain. These food cravings may be clues to what your body would really like more of during pregnancy.
Craving Salty Foods?This may be an indication that your body needs more electrolytes. The average blood volume of a pregnant women increases by about 35%. Adequate dietary sodium is necessary to keep that extra fluid in the blood rather than the tissues in the body, which would result in edema or swelling of the feet. Green leafy vegetables can provide minerals and salting food to taste can give the the sodium it may be craving.
Craving Sweets?Your body may actually be trying to tell you it would like some fruit, rich in bioflavonoids and vitamins.Or it may be an issue with blood sugar regulation, which may point to a need for some key minerals involved with blood sugar balance- chromium, magnesium, manganese, vanadium and zinc. It’s easy for the message “sweet” to get confused in our brain and even easier to find ourselves indulging on candy or soda for that quick fix. It may also be a sign of hunger or a signal that the body and the baby need more fuel. It is important to regulate how much sugar is consumed during pregnancy since it can increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
Craving Chocolate? Research focused on women in the U.S. have proposed that the craving of chocolate may actually be linked more to a stress response and feelings of deprivation than an actual need for nutrients. When you find yourself craving chocolate, step back and think about how you are feeling. Take 5 minutes to do some deep breathing and see how you feel after that. If you still want chocolate, have a bit (not a bar). Sometimes chocolate cravings may just be part of the hormone changes your are experiencing.
Every craving may not be significant and may be a normal part of your pregnancy. Most experts agree that there is no issue to giving into food cravings as long as you are mindful of the portions you are eating. If you are having concerns about what your are craving and how that may be impacting your pregnancy, talk with your doctor. Otherwise, enjoy that chocolate dipped apricot and salsa!