Food cravings are among the most typical early symptoms of pregnancy and often continue thoughout pregnancy. A food craving is defined as the sudden urge for a particular (and particularly unusual) dish, or a new sense of repulsion at the very thought of a food you previously enjoyed. Almost all expectant mothers (and some fathers) experience cravings during pregnancy, and most experience at least one aversion as well.
Reason For Food Cravings
It is clear that hormones most likely play a significant role in food cravings. This is especially true early in pregnancy when a pregnant woman's body shows significant hormonal changes.
On the other hand, there is a theory that your body craves what it needs and are repulsed by what's not good for you. This theory works with items such as coffee and alcohol, which can suddenly turn off regular drinkers of both. But it doesn't explain why you might suddenly turn your nose up at healthy foods you used to love, such as salad or oatmeal.
Another theory is that humans have moved so far from the original food chain that the body can no longer reliably interpret its own internal signals. Yes, your body knows it needs vitamin C and calcium, but these days that may translate into a craving for a dish of Chunky Monkey with crushed Oreos, instead of a slice of cantaloupe and a glass of milk.
What you can do about food cravings during pregnancy:
You cannot and shouldn't always fight food cravings, especially when the food you are craving is not unhealthy.
- Call your doctor if you crave weird substances such as clay, ashes, or laundry starch. This craving, known as pica, may be a sign of a more serious issue and needs to be addressed immediately.
- Do not go crazy with cravings thyat are against common nutriotional sense. For example, go for a mini chocolate bar instead of a king-sized, or a glass of low-fat chocolate milk rather than a tray of brownies.
- When cravings strike, distract yourself. Exercise. Drink some water. Take a walk. Even reading a book or calling a friend for a chat may take your mind off that glazed doughnut that's calling your name.
- Give in to your cravings once in a while (but only those that are nutritionally adequate) — then eat well for the rest of the day.
- If aversions are limiting your food intake, look for substitutes for the healthy foods you can't stomach right now.