The yearning for a particular food type is an undeniable part of pregnancy - with an average of 85% of women having at least one food craving. When you’re pregnant your hormones can act very differently, which can affect your sense of taste and smell – resulting in women having some very strange cravings during their pregnancy.
Feed your cravings:
In recent surveys, results have shown that almost 40% of pregnant women said they craved sweet foods, 33% of mums-to-be favoured salty foods, 17% spicy foods and just 10% craved sour foods.
23% of pregnant women think that ice cream is one of the most common cravings during pregnancy. Many experts believe this is because junk food is associated with comfort, and we all comfort eat when feeling down or uncomfortable. Or could the craving for ice cream simply be because it tastes great and during pregnancy you put on weight anyway so you can’t feel bad about it!
17% of women during pregnancy have said that chocolate is an obvious craving, pregnant or not. Not only does it smell and taste great, which is amplified during pregnancy, but it also releases endorphins delivering a warm "feel-good" state, making you feel relaxed and calm. However a surprising 4% of women said they were unable to smell or taste chocolate while pregnant.
15% of pregnant women agreed that crisps were a common craving, which corresponds to a stranger craving of potatoes - and in some cases potatoes with the dirt still on them (this is known as pica). Crisps are also high in salt, during pregnancy your body is crying out for some sodium, which is why women turn to crisps to full fill their salt addiction.
11% is the numbers of mums-to-be who crave cheese - and lots of it, which explains the need for an extra 300 calories a day that pregnant women need. Usually we have cheese grated on top of something or in a sandwich; however pregnancy surveys have shown that women are wrapping cheese around pickles and gherkins and eating them as snacks.
5% of women surprisingly craved pickles during pregnancy. Although you might usually be repelled by such foods, your body during pregnancy changes in a number of ways making you now crave something that before turned your tummy. A good thing about a craving is that it goes away after pregnancy so you won’t be asking your partner to go out in the middle of the night to buy you a jar of pickles ever again.
What do food cravings mean?
Some nutritionists and healthcare practitioners believe that certain cravings may be meaningful. For example, cravings for ice and bizarre substances such as laundry starch and cigarette butts, a condition known as pica, have been linked to an iron deficiency, even though none of these items contain significant amounts of iron.
Women think their cravings are significant, but studies show no link between cravings and nutritional requirements. If people really craved what the body needs, we would all eat more broccoli and less chocolate.
Most experts seem to agree that you should pay attention to your pregnancy cravings, indulging the healthy ones and coming up with alternatives to the less healthy cravings.
- K.J.N -