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Truth Behind Pregnancy Cravings

>> Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Many expectant women experience food cravings! I remember with every pregnancy having my husband run out at 1am [or later] to grab something I had to have RIGHT then. This pregnancy has given some mixed signals: I had my hubby go get a pecan pie because I really wanted it. Then I wanted it warmed up...halfway through warming it, I could smell it in the bedroom and it made me sick. He walked in so excited to give it to me and I had the pitiful, I am SO SORRY face. He just smiled and said, "Well. I tried." 
  In one of my magazines I saw a survey of expectant mother cravings: 40% craved something sweet [like ice cream], 33% craved something salty, 17% were craving something spicy and 10% were those craving something sour, tart, or citrus. 
But what's the driving force behind those cravings? It's an open debate. Many believe that it's your body telling you that you are in need of something in your diet. For example, Dr. Phil talked about myths & facts of pregnancy. He claims that, "Women who crave pickles are really craving salt and may be mineral deficient, and specifically sodium deficient. Additional minerals are particularly important in pregnancy when women's bodies increase blood volume by up to 20 percent, so the existing minerals are diluted. 
Many women crave junk foods such as ice cream during pregnancy because junk food is associated with comfort. Sugars found in sweet foods, as well as in breads, pasta and rice cause the body to produce serotonin, which makes women feel good." That seems to make sense. But I have also heard many spout that pregnancy cravings are just pregnancy cravings. That there is no reason for it, but as more research is done, those experts are moving towards the other side! So there must be some truth in it.

Check these out: 
*A craving for Cheese: could mean your diet needs more calcium. Try adding broccoli or other green veggies to your diet to help.
*A craving for Peanut Butter: this could be a vitamin B deficiency. Taking a supplement can help.
*A craving for Eggs: could be a possible protein deficiency. Also eggs contain important amino acids so adding beans to your diet is a good idea.
*A craving for Fried Bacon: indicates the need for more fat and protein in your diet. Often it's accompanied by a craving for eggs and cheese. I was shocked to find that out since it's been what I've been craving lately. Taking a look at my diet and I realized I wasn't eating enough protein or fat!
*When craving chocolate, try to reach for the dark chocolate! It's better for you and baby and will help to satisfy the craving. Milk chocolate is not as likely to quench that craving. 

One thing that seems to be universally inaccurate is the salty craving = boy and sweet craving = girl. Just a wives tale! For the most part, it's ok to give in to those cravings. Make sure you listen to your body: when you're full, actually hungry and what it is that you're craving that might signal something else. But indulging during pregnancy a little is not harmful and the comfort can be one of the few "fun" parts! 

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