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Most pregnant women will experience food cravings one time or the other during pregnancy. In fact, about half of all pregnant women crave for a particular food or cuisine during their pregnancy. Most pregnant women food cravings include the desire to eat spicy food, sweet and salty, sour food or fatty food. Healthy pregnancy diet is a must for expectant women.
Causes of Food Cravings :
Among the many reasons why pregnant women food cravings occur, the simplest is that the pregnant woman’s body is working 247 to provide sustenance and growth to a healthy baby. The pregnant women food cravings are the result of the body’s need for additional calories.
Other food cravings may be a signal that there are nutritional deficiency issues. There may be pregnant women, even strict vegetarians, who may get cravings for red meat which may signal the need for more iron in their diet to support the baby’s development. Most women describe their food cravings are very overpowering.
Dealing With Food Cravings During Pregnancy – Should They be Indulged? :
A vast majority of pregnant women find it easier to give in to their food cravings. This does not mean that a pregnant woman can over-indulge. However, the best way to deal with the cravings is to indulge them a little. Even the more bizarre cravings like eating ice cream with pickles can be indulged in safely.
The type of food that most pregnant women tend to crave for are actually very good choices. Cravings for dairy products, for example, offer good sources of calcium, protein and other nutrients. Even cravings for simple items like cranberry juice can be good. Cranberry juice is a good source of Vitamin C and calcium.
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Typically, food cravings differ from one pregnancy to another. These cravings can also change from one day to the next. There are many instances where a food item a woman may want today is something she will be repulsed to the very next day. There are times when pregnancy causes permanent changes in food preferences.
Controlling Food Cravings :
There are some pregnant women who find that they crave for non-food items like paper, clay, ice or even chips of paint. This is a condition known as pica which can be a signal for iron deficiency. There are also pregnant women who get an uncontrollable urge to eat cornstarch or flour. Although these two are food items, they do cause problems if consumed in large amounts. Too much of flour and cornstarch can cause blocked bowels. If a pregnant woman has urges to eat such items, she may need to resist them and report the issue with her doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnant women also need to understand that no matter how great their craving is, there is a number of food to avoid during pregnancy including:
Raw and/or undercooked meat, seafood, and eggs
Unpasteurized milk and any foods made from unpasteurized such as brie, camembert, feta, roquefort, and other Mexican-style cheeses
Raw vegetable like sprouts, alfalfa, radish and clover
It is very much possible to have cravings for particular food and still be able to provide the necessary nutrients for the baby. But, giving in to high-calorie food may result in weight gain. Too much gain in weight can lead to issue like unhealthy blood pressure levels and even gestational diabetes. This means that although giving in to food cravings may be a good idea, there is a need to remember the list of food to avoid during pregnancy.