Have you ever heard of mothers-to-be dunking sausages into strawberry jam or putting olives into ice cream? Pregnancy cravings can strike at any time and are foods and even non-food items that you have never previously desired.
But what causes pregnancy cravings? The exact answer is not scientifically known but it is thought to be associated with changing levels of hormones during pregnancy. Pregnant women go through extreme hormonal changes which can intensify their sense of taste and smell and subsequently their desire for certain foods.
Cravings are completely normal and nothing to get worried about! However, if you are craving unhealthy, fatty, sugary or salty foods it is important to try to curb these cravings. On the occasions you decide to indulge, try to choose the lower fat or lower sugar option. Here are some simple swaps you could make:
- Swap ice cream for low fat frozen yogurt or sorbet
- Swap crisps for a homemade vegetable variety recipe
- If it’s chocolate you crave, choose a fun size bar rather than a large bar. Try to choose dark chocolate as it is richer, a smaller amount might satisfy your craving
- Swap fizzy drinks for sparkling water, there are so many flavours out there to try – lemon & lime, summer fruits, peach. Jazz up still or sparkling water with chopped fresh fruit.
- If it’s pastries and cakes you fancy, there are a number of healthier alternatives such as homemade scones, banana bread, fruity muffins.
Unusual cravings such as coal, sand and gravel are known as ‘pica. Again the reasons for these cravings are unknown but it is believed to be caused by a deficiency in minerals such as iron. If you experience these cravings it is important to speak to your healthcare professional.
If you have any questions in relation to cravings give our Careline a call.