Do pickles and ice cream sound good to you? How about red peppers and peanut butter? If these do, you are probably a pregnant woman who has just gone looking for that ice cream carton you know you have buried in your freezer. More than three quarters of all pregnant women experience cravings at some point. The most common cravings are for sweets, dairy products and salty foods although there are some weird cravings out there. Some women have been known to put black olives on cheesecake, while others have been known to dip fruit in salsa. As bizarre as some cravings can be, they are mainly perfectly safe.
There are old wives tales that believe what you crave could be a good indication of the sex of your baby. If you are craving sweets you are having a girl. If you crave meats or cheeses, it is believed you are having a boy. Cravings are something that most women love most about pregnancy. It is when a woman is craving dirt or clay that an alarm should go off. If you should find yourself craving dirt, soil, or chalk call your doctor right away. Not only could these be harmful if you do eat them, but chances are they are a sign of iron-deficiency anemia.
Most doctors believe that cravings can be nutritionally based. That is to say the cravings are a message from your body on what it needs to eat. If you are craving salts foods it could be because your body needs more sodium as your blood volume increases. If you are craving fruit, your body might need more vitamins C. The problem is sometimes the message gets lost on the way to our brain. You may find yourself craving something sweet and instead of getting berries or fruit, you find yourself gulping down snicker bars by the cart full. Cravings can be the downfall of your weight gain especially if the message is getting scrambled. There are some ways though you can help curb your cravings.
For starters, eat a good breakfast. Eating a good breakfast can prevent cravings later in the day. You also want to try and make wise choices by looking for healthier alternatives. If you are dying for potato chips try eating some soy crisps. Instead of ice cream, try frozen yogurt. If you feel like candy is calling your name, snack on some frozen grapes. If you want something salty try pretzels, or even rice cakes to satisfy that urge. A good substation for soda would be some fruit juice mixed with sparkling water.
Next, think small. If you are craving chocolate, you do no need to reach for a king size bar. The snack size bar will satisfy your craving just the same. If you want a brownie, have one; just do not eat the whole pan. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a few of your cravings as long as you know not to over do it.
Giving in to your cravings during pregnancy does not make you a bad person and it is not something you should beat yourself up about and feel guilty about. Cravings are a normal part of pregnancy and denying yourself all the time might make you resent being pregnant. Indulge when you want to, just make sure you make wise choices and do everything in moderation.