Things you need to know
-Food cravings can be a result of physical or mental factors.
-Long before you realise you're pregnant, your dietary preferences begin to shift substantially.
-Many pregnant women develop an intolerance to or dislike some strong foods which they feel are whiffy.
Uncontrollable food cravings
There isn’t any scientific reason why pregnant women have food cravings because no one really knows why pregnant women develop such uncontrollable cravings. Food cravings are developed out of no where; they may be related to something they saw, heard or read about a particular food. For example:- watching some random cooking video online might trigger a craving for it.
How to reduce food cravings
There is nothing wrong with having food cravings while you are pregnant. It is fine to give in to want for food every now and then. What matters is that you consume the correct foods and try to stay away from unhealthy foods because good food equals a good mood. If you eat healthy food, you will be happier and less irritable.
How to deal with unhealthy urges:
- To help reduce unexpected feelings of hunger, eat healthy stomach-filling meals
- Availability of healthy snacks to satisfy that sudden urge to eat something
- Choose foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) to keep you satisfied for longer
- Eat foods like unsweetened rolled oats (porridge), wholegrain bread, baked beans, and fresh fruits
- Make sure you are well-rested, as people who do not take enough rest are the ones who prefer junk foods more than nutritious foods
- Reduce stress levels as emotional and stress eating can give birth to unwanted health issues
- Keep yourself hydrated as drinking plenty of water may offer many health benefits
- Eat foods that are high in protein as it may help reduce cravings
Food cravings in early pregnancy
- For some food, cravings start in the first trimester, and for others, it usually begins in the second trimester. Usually, in the first trimester, it is all about sickness, nausea and vomiting, and the diet around this time is more about food items that are edible rather than focusing on one’s cravings
- Common food cravings are fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, healthy snacks, and chocolates in less quantity
- It is critical to maintaining a healthy relationship with food when pregnant, so eat foods that are good for both the mother and the baby’s development
- Pregnancy is not the time to focus on dieting, and it is more about making the right healthy choices
Nutrients essential for the mother and the baby
Folic acid is considered one of the most important vitamins during pregnancy. It helps to increase the blood supply and protects the baby from any neural tube defects. Pregnant women can consume vitamins through green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, lentils, beans, and nuts.
During pregnancy, your iron requirements increase, and so it is important to eat foods rich in iron content like green vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, meat and doctor-recommended supplements.
Protein consumption is essential for a baby’s growth throughout pregnancy. Protein-rich foods are meats, fish, eggs, almonds, peas, beans, and soy products.