Written by: Shani Fowler
Being pregnant is a turbulent time for the body: water retention, puffy feet, aches and pains in places you didn’t even knew existed and then craving food you thought you hated! Many women in pregnancy report strong food cravings, people have even been known to crave chalk and coal! These are not the mostly strongly desired things thankfully though, but below are some of the foods you might find you have an exceptional yearning for in the months of carrying your baby!
Ice ice baby!
Though not strictly a food, many women in pregnancy love to chew ice. It is thought women who suffer with anaemia are more likely to be found heading to the freezer and chomping on it. But since ice is without calories at least it won’t take extra work on the treadmill to shift that post -natal baby weight.
This is more like it! Chocolate or most sweet foods are often craved by pregnant women. It is believed the desire to leap into the cupboard unwrap a chocolate bar in record time is simply because chocolate makes us happy! And especially since there is little or no room for alcohol in pregnancy chocolate seems to be the perfect substitute. An old wives tale says when you crave sweet things you are carrying a girl – I craved sweet foods when I was pregnant and guess what ?? – I had a boy!
Nice and spicy
Another common craving is spicy foods. Whether it be curries, spicy Mexican food or hot red peppers – some pregnant women can’t get enough of it. Quite interesting this one though, as spicy foods make us sweat and sweat cools down the body, something many pregnant women, especially ones in the third trimester welcome.
Pickle me fancy!
So many pickles to choose from too! Onions, gherkins, cauliflower, red cabbage and even eggs! Again at least pickles are low in calories and can have a refreshing effect. It’s thought that women who crave pickles could possibly be low in sodium.
It’s not only the junk food the ladies want when with child! Fruit is often craved. Usually it is the more refreshing fruits such as watermelon or grapes that will be hankered after. Also placing refreshing lemon slices in water is common to see. Again this is another craving that won’t pile on the pounds with over indulgence.
With so many varieties on offer and the creamy cooling effects, ice cream provides some welcome relief. A healthier version for those that want to watch they are consuming is low fat frozen yoghurt, it can give similar satisfaction at a fraction of the calorie cost!
Many pregnant women crave coffee, most likely because of the effects of caffeine. Opinion as to whether pregnant women should drink coffee is divided so in pregnancy it is always worth checking with your doctor to be on the safe side.
It is thought women crave red meat as it is full of protein and iron. If you avoid the fat and keep the meat lean it is the healthier option.
With fruit juices being full of vitamins juices are a great craving to satisfy, as long you try to stick to the ones with no added sugar.
Care for Dairy
The urge to reach for the cheese can be extremely strong. To satisfy the dairy cravings but avoid all that fat it is usually prudent to opt for the low fat foods, skimmed milk and Greek yoghurt.
It is often our body’s way of combatting a deficiency when we crave a particular food, and pregnancy is no different. Some pregnant women even crave strange combinations such as pickles and jam, or olives on their ice cream. The body is simply trying to ensure that a full range of nutrients reach the baby and keep the mother healthy. As long as you try to keep to the low fat side of foods, make sure you don’t eat foods that are considered dangerous in pregnancy, and exercise a little discipline when eating for two you should be fine; then once the baby is born you won’t then have to exercise for three!!