If there’s one thing all pregnant mothers agree on it’s the fact that there are some crazy cravings during pregnancy. These can be some of the weirdest things from pickles to spicy foods, but what’s rarely discussed is why you crave them. In this post, I’m going to highlight a few of those crazy cravings as well as shed some light on why they show up specifically during pregnancy.
Is it normal to experience cravings during pregnancy?
The short answer is yes; however, not every expecting mother experiences cravings while they are pregnant. For a longer explanation, cravings typically arise as a reaction to your body’s hormones, having a heightened sense of smell or taste, and/or due to a nutritional deficiency.
Some mothers experience cravings as early as the first trimester while others moms have said theirs didn’t peak until the second or even third trimester. Regardless, don’t feel guilty for reaching for those crazy cravings as most of them are more common than you may think.
10 Crazy Cravings During Pregnancy & Why You Have Them
Pickles are undoubtedly one of the most common cravings pregnant moms experience during their expecting journey. The good news is these are actually a healthy snack thanks to them being low in calories. Pair these with a few other healthy finger foods like cheese and crackers for a well-balanced quick meal. If you’re craving lots of pickles, you may have low sodium levels (hence the craving for something salt-packed).
Chocolate may be considered a guilty pleasure, but there is much more to this tasty treat. It’s known to help with depression because of the tryptophan properties. Tryptophan produces serotonin on the brain which when released, creates those happy feelings. Although chocolate isn’t seen as super healthy, you can easily make it a healthy snack by pairing it with strawberries, yogurt, or a fruit of your choice.
This sour fruit is often craved by pregnant moms and can be enjoyed in a glass of water, topped on food like baked chicken, or added on top of your favorite dessert. There isn’t much reason behind why expecting mothers crave lemons (or any citrus foods) besides the possibility of the body needing a boost in vitamin C. Enjoy lemons but be sure to limit your intake of the juice as it can erode the enamel on your teeth.
Out of most cravings, this is one the most unhealthy because of the sugar content. The reason why women may crave soda is to help with morning sickness, but instead of grabbing a soda, go for carbonated water or mineral water mixed with fruit juice or lime.
5. Red Meat
Red meat makes the top of the list for cravings and this is typically a show of a deficiency in iron or proteins. Having meat during pregnancy is okay, but in moderation. And when you are going for that juicy steak, be sure to pick a leaner option like sirloin cuts instead of fatty ribeyes.
6. Spicy Foods
If you are craving spicy foods, you have your hormones to thank. Cater to your inner volcano by enjoying baked chicken wings with a curry sauce or red peppers. The idea is to enjoy these cravings with as few calories as possible, which is why I suggest baked foods over fried. Also be mindful that spicy food may cause your body to sweat, so drink plenty of water.
Being a natural sugar food, fruit is often craved for that very purpose. Just be sure to skip the canned fruits because they’ll be packed in heavy, sugary syrup. The best option for this craving is fresh fruit. Be sure to consult your primary care physician to get an idea of the best fruits for your body.
If you are experiencing a calcium deficiency, you may crave dairy products like yogurt or ice cream. While these foods aren’t bad in moderation, a healthier option is non-fat frozen yogurt with fresh fruit.
Ice cravings have long been associated with low iron, although this may not be the case for you. Perhaps you just enjoy the cold and crunchiness of it. Either way, chewing ice overtime can do damage to your teeth, so if you must, enjoy it in a beverage and/or choose soft, chewable ice.
10. Nonfood Substances
There are times when expecting mothers crave nonfood substances such as dirt, crayons, or laundry starch. These types of cravings are also typically associated with some type of mineral deficiency and the best way to fix it is to get what’s needed by eating real foods rich in the minerals your body is lacking.
Crazy cravings during pregnancy are absolutely normal. The biggest thing to focus on is the type of craving you are having and whether or not it is healthy. Always try to find the healthiest option and consult your doctor if you ever have any questions or concerns. If you’ve experienced cravings during your pregnancy, let me know what you craved in the comments below!