We have all heard about pregnancy cravings, even had a few ourselves. We have heard everything from chocolate to pickles and ice-cream. But what do they really mean?
Chocolate. Chocolate cravings could mean your body needs more magnesium. If you are good at moderating your sweet tooth you can have a square or two of dark chocolate to satisfy this craving. If not, spinach, beans, lentils and nuts are all foods high in magnesium.
Ice-cream. If you are craving ice-cream, just like Scarlett Johansson did when she was pregnant, your body could be low in calcium. Instead try some Greek yoghurt, topped with some honey and nuts to satisfy this particular need.
Crisps. If you are craving crisps it could be to do with the fact that your blood volume increases during pregnancy, which increases the need for sodium in the body. If you must give into this salty craving, try some lightly salted sweet potato wedges. Always remember to intake sodium in moderation and consult your doctor before increasing your sodium allowance.
Pickles. It is particularly common for pregnant women to crave the tart flavour of pickles during pregnancy, especially during the later stages. However you do not want to increase your sodium intake too much. Craving pickles could mean that you just need more variety in your diet – which is great for pregnant women.
Red meat. Craving for red meat could mean a need for more protein in your diet, but remember everything in moderation. Try eggs, cottage cheese or pumpkin seeds as a source of protein.
But that’s not all…
Craving a non-food substance like ice, dirt, pain chips or crayons (I even knew a woman who craved the rubber from the soles of runners), can be very harmful for you and for baby, if you give in to these cravings.
Craving non-food items is linked to a condition called ‘pica’ where the desire to eat non-foods is almost overwhelming. However these could be harmful, as most of them contain chemicals not suitable for ingestion, so you must vary your diet to try and find something to calm these cravings.