Why Do Pregnant Women Experience Cravings?

May 4, 2015

Pickles and ice cream may not sound like a great combination, but when you’re pregnant, it’s the perfect midnight snack. We all hear about those bizarre foods women crave when they’re expecting, but what do their bodies actually need? Is there any reason to suddenly desire cheese whiz on your pasta? Find out exactly what causes a woman’s appetite to change during pregnancy, and what’s the best way to handle strange cravings, here:

What Causes Cravings?

To put it simply, we don’t know exactly what causes cravings! The leading theories suggest that it has something to do with nutrients that you may be lacking. The cravings are your body’s way of telling you it needs more nourishment.

But what about those strange food combinations? The reason for this may have to do with hormones. When a woman is pregnant, she starts to interpret smells and taste differently. While the idea of coco puffs and instant noodles may disgust a woman normally, it can suddenly taste amazing when she becomes pregnant.

Listen to Your Body

When it comes to cravings, it’s important for women to listen to their bodies. After all, you want to gain weight in a healthy way, so you also want to eat healthy. Just because you’re craving something, that doesn’t mean it’s what your body needs. When you crave unhealthy foods, it’s often because there is some nutrient in it that your body needs but eating junk food won’t give you the nutrients your body need. It’s important that you are able to interpret what your cravings mean, so you can eat what’s best for you and your baby:

If you’re craving chocolate…. then you need magnesium. Eat plenty of leafy greens, nuts, grains, bananas and veggies.

If you’re cravings sugar…. then there are a number of nutrients you may need. You could need chromium, carbon, phosphorus, sulphur or tryptophan. Either way, the best things to eat will be chicken, broccoli, cheese, cauliflower or fresh fruits.

If you’re craving salt…. then you need chloride or silicon. Try foods like tomatoes, celery, cashews and seeds.

If you’re craving carbs… then you need nitrogen. Eat foods high in protein like beans, chia seeds, meat, tofu or lentils.

If you’re craving oily, greasy foods… then you need calcium. Get plenty of green leafy vegetables, milk and cheese.

Have a Healthy, Happy Pregnancy

Remember, these are just guidelines. While you want to eat as healthy as possible, you’re creating a human! You’re allowed to have some junk food every now and then. Try your best, but don’t be hard on yourself for eating a cupcake for breakfast every now and then.

Whether you’re already expecting, or just thinking about it, visit OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch today! Our caring physicians provide comprehensive care for women through every step of pregnancy. Call today, or schedule your appointment online today for all of your obstetric needs.