July 19, 2023 3 min read
Pregnancy is a rollercoaster of emotions, bodily changes, and let's not forget those sudden and sometimes bizarre cravings! One minute it's bubble tea, the next moment you want hot tom yum soup!
Most mummies go through pregnancy cravings. And these cravings can range from sweet to salty to spicy and they can sneak in on you any time of the day or night! But how do you manage these cravings and ensure you are getting the required nutrients?
Read on to find out.
The science behind pregnancy cravings
Science suggests several reasons why you might crave certain foods during pregnancy.
The first reason is of course the hormonal changes in your body. They heighten your sense of smell, making certain foods irresistible! This is why you might find yourself craving some foods and even bizarre combinations.
The other reason is that your body is growing a whole new human. This requires extra nutrients causing you to crave specific food items.
Dealing with cravings
When it comes to managing your cravings, the key is balance.
Your body is communicating with you and telling you what it wants. It's important to listen to your body but also be mindful of your health. Here's how:
1. Feasting on healthy options
When you get a specific craving, see if you can go for healthy alternatives. For example, if you are craving sweets, reach out for fruit or yogurt instead of processed candy. Fruits provide the sweet punch without overwhelming you with sugar.
If you are craving something salty, instead of opening up a bag of chips, try lightly salted popcorn or a veggie sandwich with your favourite dressing.
2. Don't deprive yourself entirely
It’s important to eat healthy during pregnancy. However, it's completely okay to give in to your cravings now and then, as long as it is in moderation.
In most cases, having sweets or processed foods in moderation is not harmful to you.
However, do check with your doctor if you have gestational diabetes or gestational hypertension. Your doctor might advice you to stay away from certain foods if you have these conditions. In that case, prioritize your health.
3. Stay hydrated
Food cravings are often a result of the body being dehydrated. If you don’t drink enough fluids, your body might get false triggers of hunger and cravings. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to stay well-hydrated.
4. Keep moving
Adding light movements and exercise to your routine can help regulate your appetite. Manage your indulgences by coupling them with regular pregnancy-friendly exercises. Of course, do get a green signal from your doctor before you begin.
5. Plan balanced meals
Try to plan balanced meals for yourself. This will ensure that you still get all the essential nutrients even if you give in to bizarre cravings. Also, enhancing variety in your diet can sometimes manage cravings better.
6. Seek help when you need
Finally, don't hesitate to reach out for professional help if your cravings seem uncontrollable or lead to extensive weight gain. Your doctor can help you plan better meals that are tailored to your nutritional requirements.
The world within you is rapidly changing and every day is a new adventure. Cravings and food aversions are part of this journey.
Be gentle with yourself. Pregnancy is not just about the arrival of your baby, but also about your blossoming into a mother. This journey is yours, and every craving and every mood swing is a milestone you cross.
So, take a deep breath, adore your changing body, and savour these changes! Read more about pregnancy nutrition here.
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