Many expecting mothers experience craving sweet and salty during pregnancy.
This is actually quite typical among women in this stage of their life. But the question is, why do they go through it?
Is it saying something about their body’s current state? Or are they missing out on some important nutrients?
Discover the honest truth behind this common craving and what you can do about it. Learn how you can continue to meet your nutritional needs despite these craving tendencies.
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Why Do Pregnant Women Have Certain Cravings?
The cravings during pregnancy are real.
For those who have gone through this stage, they can attest to the fact that it can vary from just a mild craving to an intense one.
Some women crave strange food combinations while others merely desire their usual favorites.
But the question is, why do they experience these things? What is the reason behind these cravings?
Many health experts state that some cravings are due to a nutritional deficiency a person is going through. For instance, those who desire to eat chocolate could mean they are running low on magnesium. Thus, the reason behind this craving for sweet food.
However, it is important to note that this nutrient can also be found in other food. These include seeds, nuts, beans, spinach, and whole grains.
It is also important to note that cravings are due to a lack of essential fatty acids in your body. This is why by simply supplementing with fish oil or other sources of this nutrient, this can help curb those food cravings.
Can You Ignore Cravings During Pregnancy?
Yes, but it is difficult for some people.
Moreover, it may not be quite right to ignore it, particularly if you are craving certain foods because your body is missing out on key nutrients.
Like in the case of craving red meat, you may be missing protein in your body. Thus, if you are indeed not receiving adequate protein in your diet, then it means that your health is not at its best because of that.
This is why if this is the case, there is no reason to ignore such craving.
On the other hand, if it is only when the food you crave does not contribute to your wellness should it be ignored. Or at least put it off.
For instance, you should ask yourself – do you really need soda? Or bags of chips? Or tons of sugary cakes and pastries?
You have to consider the ingredients in these food items you are craving and whether or not these are actually necessary for your health.
This is the case with craving sweet and salty during pregnancy. Oftentimes, you may only be missing these food items because of the taste.
If these do not have essential nutrients, or they are nothing but sugar-laden and sodium-rich food, then there is no reason to consume these things at all.
Sweet Cravings During Pregnancy
What does sweet food do to your body?
First of all, even when you are not pregnant, you crave sweets when you are feeling lethargic and tired.
The sugar gives you a quick spike in energy, allowing you to do more things than when you are without it.
This is the case, too, during pregnancy. With morning sickness happening, as well as a not-so-cheery mood, you may find yourself craving sweets far too often.
But at the same time, if you keep giving in to these food items, you have to remember the consequence. After the high comes the low. The quick spike in alertness and energy can lead to an uneventful crash. This is why people hooked on sugar need to keep supplementing their body with it to avoid crashing down.
If you want to balance out your body and eliminate these cravings for sweet food, consuming protein-rich food can help. This is also great for keeping you full for longer hours while fighting off the nasty effects of nausea.
Pregnancy Cravings for Salty Food
You may have heard of some pregnant women who crave salty food – saltine crackers, chips, you name it!
Well, when this happens, the answer is obvious – your body needs more sodium.
You may not be feeding your body a sufficient amount of this substance. Thus, you are constantly finding yourself desiring anything with salt.
In addition, it can also be signaling stress. When you are fatigued and stressed, your body produces a higher level of adrenaline. Then, your adrenals require minerals to function much better.
This is the reason why you want to keep munching that bad of chips. Plus, cravings for salt also mean having low blood pressure levels. This is a typical situation when you are early on in your pregnancy.
But at the same time, you should go easy on the sodium. It is not healthy, too, for you to load up on sodium as it can elevate your blood pressure. You should also steer clear from very high sodium levels in the food that could take a toll on your kidney, heart, and stomach health.
If you crave salty food, there are better choices you can make.
For instance, you should stick to whole foods such as rice or oats and just add a natural salty seasoning (tamari, soy sauce, etc.). This will help you meet your desired flavor while at the same time keeping yourself fuller and avoid loading up on nasty chemicals or ingredients in your body.
There is nothing unusual about craving sweet and salty during pregnancy.
However, you need to maintain the right levels to achieve optimum health. Keep in mind that what you eat is what your unborn child eats, too.
So, by being mindful of your diet and making better food choices, you can stay healthy and ensure the proper development of your child.