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    Food Cravings

    Pregnancy cravings: When Do They Start and What Are The Most Common Ones?

    Written on 14 August 2018

    Are you in desperate need of a pint of ice cream? Although it may sound quite unusual, do you feel a sudden liking for that spicy, tangy pickle that has been resting on the kitchen shelf for months? Then, welcome to your new phase of pregnancy. In this piece of article, Mylo uncovers a few secrets behind your weird pregnancy cravings. Therefore, make sure to continue reading through! And, no, do not blame yourself for wanting to eat all the time. This is normal and food will now become your new best friend.

    When Do Pregnancy Cravings Usually Start?

    Pregnancy cravings start between the third and eighth week of the first trimester. For most women, such craving triggers during the second-trimester decrease as the third trimester progresses.

    During your early stage of pregnancy, you may suddenly notice a complete change in your food pattern. This, your appetite may change wherein you may add unusual food items to your diet plan. Apart from that, you may also experience a taste that is similar to metals. You may also be more sensitive to certain food smells when cooking!

    These intense compulsions may create urges that are irresistible, especially when it comes to certain food items. The cravings you have may range from vegetables to bizarre food combinations! However, there is nothing to worry about since these sudden changes are due to the pregnancy hormones in your body.

    Although many women do have food cravings, some may not experience anything at all. Yet again, not experiencing cravings has nothing to do with abnormality. In fact, if you don’t have any unusual food cravings during pregnancy, it will be easier for you to make healthy diet plans.

    What Causes Pregnancy Cravings?

    The hormonal fluctuations in the body affect the sense of taste, smell, and appetite, causing you to have a strong feeling for strange flavours, combinations, and textures. However, pregnancy hormones keep sending your body a message about its changing needs (such as calcium, vitamins, protein, etc.), whereas pregnancy cravings often tend to incline you towards unhealthy food choices.

    Although it may be common to experience a few cravings, it is essential for you to not give in to all the cravings. Thus, this applies to food items that may be unsafe for pregnant women. Some of the hazardous items include raw seafood or undercooked meat. Apart from that, raw eggs and unpasteurized cheese are other examples. In short, cravings may be harmless, yet again, you will need to be alert to situations where your cravings may become unhealthy!

    Before you venture out into your new phase, it may be vital for you to know the difference between hunger and food cravings during pregnancy. Craving mostly directs to a specific taste or food item. However, hunger isn’t specific to one food. You may be experiencing a craving if you are hungry within two hours of eating a food feast.

    What Are Some Of The Most Common Pregnancy Cravings?

    1. Fast food: Does a cheesy slice of pizza with lots of ketchup sound good to you right now? It is nothing but your body’s way of demanding more sodium and fats. Try to resist these temptations and go for smarter healthy options.

    1. Sweets: If you already have a sweet tooth, then it can become even sweeter during pregnancy. Chocolate is a regular offender on the craving list during pregnancy. If the craving demand is difficult to resist, go for quality dark chocolate with high cocoa content because it contains more flavonoids and less sugar compared to milk chocolate.

    1. Pickles: This is also one of the common culprits. An urge to consume pickles during pregnancy occurs because the body lacks sodium. If you would like to have something salty, then pickles can be a great pick but should be taken moderately.

    1. Spicy food: The most common craving is to have chillies and other spicy foods during pregnancy. It is ok to indulge in spicy foods but be careful not to overdo it as it can cause problems like heartburn and other digestive issues.

    1. Peanut butter: This food is also known as comfort food. Get your peanut craving satisfied by spreading it on a piece of fruit. It will help you delight in your sweet craving and take care of your health too.

    1. Pica: No, this is not food! It is a strange craving that is found in children but sometimes in pregnant women. Craving for non-food substances such as dirt, mud, chalk, burnt matches, Multani mitti, and many more. Eating these things could be too dangerous, so if you experience these cravings, then it is important to tell your doctor.

    How Can One Handle Their Pregnancy Cravings?

    Listed below are a few ways to handle your cravings effortlessly!

    • Consider eating a healthy balanced diet that mostly includes food items such as dairy, protein, fruits, legumes as well as whole grains. Thus, when your diet is healthy as well as balanced, one cheat day will not be harmful to your baby!

    • Make sure to eat regularly, just so that you do not have to experience low blood sugar levels. Dividing small portions of meals in a day can help you keep your cravings under control.

    • Consider consuming foods with high fibre.

    • Try out a few light exercises as recommended by your doctor.

    • If you have a constant urge to feast on chocolates as well as brownies, try diverting your mind by stepping out of the kitchen or watching a movie.

    • If you are craving chips, try going for a small packet of baked chips to reduce your intake of fat.

    • Consider snacking on low-calorie food items. For example, when you crave ice cream, frozen yoghurt may do the trick! Apart from that, frozen fruits such as mangoes may also help you treat yourself when you experience desperate cravings.

    What Foods Should You Avoid During Pregnancy?

    You must avoid a few cravings because they can harm your baby or even cause premature delivery. These foods normally include those that run a risk of contamination if stored for too long. For example, make sure to avoid meats that are undercooked or even raw. Apart from that, it is also best to avoid sushi as well as soft cheeses.

    Sometimes, you may also experience pica, which normally involves an abnormal urge to taste paint chips and other bizarre nonedible items. In these situations, such cravings may usually indicate a vitamin deficiency, most commonly that of iron. The condition is most commonly termed anemia.

    Conclusion

    Pregnancy can indeed be a memorable phase of your life. Although the first few months may bring unusual early pregnancy cravings, you are sure to end up trying new foods, therefore expanding your plate of happiness! With a few exceptions, there isn’t any problem with treating yourself to some yummy goodies. Yet again, it may mean sending your spouse off to the market at midnight to get you a custard apple. Thus, it is completely fine to get yourself pampered!

    References

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