All About Food Cravings & Aversions During Pregnancy
Are you pregnant and feel like your taste buds have gone haywire all of the sudden? Welcome to the strange world of food cravings and aversions during pregnancy. Whether you have a undying need for Chinese food at 2am, or you used to love garlic and now can’t even look at it, you’re not alone – plenty of women experience some sort of food cravings or aversions during pregnancy.
Keep reading to learn more about why your body may be reacting this way, and what you can do to manage your cravings or aversions!
Why do pregnant women have food cravings?
Hot sauce and ice cream. Spicy food. Bowls full of fruit. Whatever it may be, plenty of women experience food cravings during pregnancy. Unfortunately, no one really knows why food cravings occur. Some argue that it could be linked to a nutrient deficiency. For example, if you’re craving fruit, you may be low in Vitamin C. Others attribute cravings to changes in hormones, which could affect taste and smell. However, neither of these theories have been proven.
What are the top pregnancy food cravings?
Cravings during pregnancy can include foods you already like, foods you’ve never liked before being pregnant, or strange combinations of food. Whilst the obscure cravings (like pickles with ice cream) are what often come to mind when we think about cravings, most commonly, the food women typically crave most is pretty simple. These are some of the most common pregnancy cravings women report:
- Dairy foods (including cheese, milk, ice cream, etc.)
- Hot chips
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Ice cubes
Why do pregnant women have food aversions?
On the flipside of food cravings come food aversions. Food aversions are strong dislikes towards certain foods, and they can come on suddenly throughout your pregnancy. About 50% of pregnant women will experience some sort of food aversion. Just like pregnancy cravings, the cause of pregnancy aversions isn’t clear. Some potential causes could be because of morning sickness or hormonal changes – but neither have been proven.
What are the top pregnancy food aversions?
Food aversions during pregnancy can range from foods with strong smells to spicy foods to foods you maybe even once loved. These are some of the top food aversions women experience when pregnant:
How do I manage food cravings and aversions during pregnancy?
In most cases, pregnancy cravings aren’t a cause of concern! As long as you eat a well-balanced diet throughout the day, that chocolate you must have at night or the occasional fast food run isn’t going to crowd out the nutrition your baby needs.
Eating regularly can also keep your blood sugar from dropping, which can help curb strong cravings. If you’re looking for a way to calm your cravings, try breaking up your meals into smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
Food aversions during pregnancy are typically more concerning than food cravings. If you’re experiencing strong food aversions that’s making it hard to eat throughout the day, you should speak with your GP.
If you’re aversions are mild, you should try to find substitutions for the foods you can no longer stand whilst pregnant. For example, if your main source of protein is meat, but you can’t stand meat right now, try to find some other high-protein vegetarian options to add into your diet for the time being!
Food cravings and aversions often come with the territory of being pregnant. Whilst they can be frustrating to deal with, you can rest assured that once your baby is here, your cravings and aversions will most likely completely disappear. Until then, just make sure to keep up with a balanced diet and speak with your GP if you have any concerns!