What Do Common Pregnancy Cravings Mean?

The one thing that is commonly joked about pregnancy is the weird food cravings that many pregnant women have. Let’s take the classic pickles with ice cream combination pregnancy craving as an example. However, not many pregnant women get cravings like that, as more often than not, their cravings involve normal foods. And these cravings start in the latter part of the first trimester, hit its peak in the second trimester, and drop in the third trimester. But it is just funny to see how much pregnant women want so much of the same type of food even if it has nothing to do with an unusual combination. For instance, some pregnant women will crave a certain fruit in the middle of the night all the time. And there is a reason for that. The science behind pregnancy cravings regardless of whether it involves strange food combinations or food on its own is that there is a certain nutrient that the pregnant woman needs due to being deficient on some level. Or perhaps something in her system needs to be better regulated.  And, it has nothing to do with the sex of the unborn baby. Let’s look at the type of food cravings that pregnant women frequently experience:


Sweet Foods


If the pregnant woman has a strong craving for anything sweet such as chocolate or candy, you may have heard that it is because she is having a girl. However, that is false, and the true meaning behind any sweet craving is due to it being a sign that her blood sugar levels are low. And, the sweet craving is there because the glucose levels need to be elevated. However, it is a known fact that consuming too much sugar is not recommended because it can cause excessive weight gain and increase the chances of gestational diabetes. If the sweet cravings persist, then it is best to stick to fruits such as berries, apples, and watermelon.


Salty And Spicy Foods


this craving has nothing to do with having a boy. The fact of the matter is that the blood volume goes up during pregnancy and sodium levels can easily drop. And when that happens, it is no wonder that pregnant women crave salty and/or spicy foods to bring the sodium levels up. The common foods that are craved during pregnancy are fries, popcorn, pretzels, and Buffalo wings. However, it is essential to be mindful of blood pressure levels. Too much salt will elevate the blood pressure and serious complications such as preeclampsia may happen which is what every pregnant woman will want to avoid at all costs. Just eat the salty or spicy food in moderation and that will be enough to bring the sodium levels up to the right place.


Citrus Foods


There are many reasons behind citrus cravings and it most definitely can be linked to low levels of Vitamins C and D, as well as low stomach acid. That means there will be cravings for oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and even vinegar to add to salads. It may also be a sign that a virus could be lurking and it is the body’s way of saying that the immune system needs to go up which requires more Vitamin C. And, this part is also true for anyone who isn’t pregnant which includes children, men, and postmenopausal women. Whenever a cold is coming on, you just have to get our hands on that orange.


Strange Food Combinations


Just like the pickles and ice cream analogy, weird food combinations don’t happen as often as you would think. However, whenever it does, it is due to having multiple irregularities in the system on top of the need for requiring other nutrients. With that said, a pregnant woman who is craving pickles and ice cream is craving for something salty and sweet at the same time. That means her blood sugar and sodium levels are low. And, it is also quite common for pregnant women not to have strange cravings at all. They are the fortunate ones to not be experiencing any type of deficiencies at all. But for those who do get cravings may be taking their prenatal vitamins as instructed, and may not be getting sick at all. They just may not be processing what they are taking in all that well. It happens, and it is best to never ignore those cravings. However, just eat whatever the food that is being craved in moderation to avoid possible pregnancy-related complications due to consuming an excess of sugar or salt.

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