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why do pregnant women crave certain foods

There are cravings and then there are pregnancy cravings. Yes, it sometimes seems like pregnancy cravings are dramatized and blown out of proportion in movies and commercials for entertainment value, but the reality is that these cravings are no joke and they really hit 50 to. That deep, insatiable hunger is very real, and there are actually biological reasons that it hits. So the next time you wake up with a burning desire for a Big Mac or a chocolate Frosty, give in. Because. science. Here are some explanations behind those insane hankerings for random things like raw meat and lemons. 1. Ice
Pregnant women love to chew on ice. Seems strange, since it's not really a food and doesn't seem in any way satisfying to those of us not with child, but for some reason pregnant women just can't get enough. Those with anemia are more likely to be seen chewing on ice, since it can relieve inflammation of the mouth and tongue (a common symptom of anemia). 2. Chocolate Chocolate or any sweet, for that matter is something pregnant women can't get enough of. This could be because makes you happy, and since there's no drinking for pregnant women, chocolate is literally the next best thing. An old wives' tale states that if you crave sweets, it means you're carrying a girl. Tip: If you're worried about indulging too much, satisfy your chocolate craving by drizzling low-fat chocolate syrup onto fresh fruit. 3. Spicy foods, such as curry or hot red peppers, are yet another common craving among pregnant women. Interestingly enough, it's because hot foods make the body sweat, which cools off the body.

If you're currently expecting, then you know it's almost impossible to stay cool. Try adding some spice to your next meal to see if it helps cool you down. More: 4. Pickles Women who crave could be low in sodium, but there's no real proof of this. Some like the crunch, some like the vinegar, and some like the refreshing taste. Whatever it is, pickle cravings are nothing to be too concerned about. They're low in calories, easy to get and inexpensive. 5. Potato chips Potato chips, like pickles, are loaded with salt. Again, you could be low in sodium, but more than likely you're just desiring something salty and crunchy, and potato chips are what comes to mind. Since they're high in fat and calories, try reaching for instead. 6. Fruit Pregnant women don't crave just junk food (surprisingly! ) they crave fruit as well. You (and your body) want a healthy baby, so sometimes it needs extra-healthy foods to make sure that happens. Fruits, such as watermelons and grapes, are cool and refreshing, all while providing your body and baby with a boost of vitamin C. 7. Lemon It's not unheard of to see a pregnant woman eating a straight lemon or adding a ton of it to their water. Pregnant women crave sour foods. The reason? Your taste buds change, and typically you like to "shock" them with super-sour or super-spicy foods. 8. Ice cream is sweet, it cools you off, and it's rich and creamy. With so many flavors to choose from, a pregnant woman could literally spend hours in the ice cream aisle.

For a healthier version, buy low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt, and top with fresh fruit. You might kill two cravings in one sitting. 9. Soda If you've experienced or are experiencing morning sickness, then a fizzy, carbonated soda might be just what you need. Carbonation settles the stomach and may take away that queasy feeling you've had all day. Try ginger ale or Sprite, as caffeinated beverages should be avoided during pregnancy. 10. Coffee Even though some doctors say it's a no-no, coffee is commonly craved by pregnant women, especially those who drank it before conceiving. Coffee makes you more alert and decreases headaches and depression. Check with your doctor before deciding to partake in a cup o' joe, though. Next up: Originally published July 2016. Updated June 2017. Pickles and ice cream. Cheese Whiz on steak. Brownie mix -- straight from the bowl. While these may not exactly seem like gourmet fare, if you're pregnant they can seem like heaven on a plate. The reason: cravings - those seemingly unquenchable longings for oftentimes eclectic combinations of foods that you might never otherwise even of eating! But what's behind these mysterious food fantasies, and can they ever be harmful? Doctors say the answers depend a lot on what you are craving. "No one really knows why pregnancy cravings occur, though there are theories that it represents some nutrient that the mother may be lacking -- and the crave is the body's way of asking for what it needs," says Andrei Rebarber, MD, associate director of the division of maternal-fetal medicine at NYU Medical Center in New York.

When that overwhelming desire for pickles or processed cheese hits, Rebarber says it could be the body asking for more sodium. That aching for a Big Mac and a plate of fries may be your need for more protein, sodium, or. The burning in your belly for a double helping of double latte ice cream may be signaling a need for more or fat. "It's not that the body actually needs the specific food you are craving, but it may need something in that food. And your taste buds just interpret it as a craving for something specific," says Rebarber. What's more, many experts say our taste buds do actually play a role in how we interpret our body's needs. Studies show that the high hormone levels present during pregnancy can alter both a woman's sense of taste and smell. So certain foods and odors can not only be more enticing but in some cases more offensive; a problem that often plays out as a aversion. "Food aversions are most often associated with early pregnancy -- when they are likely to touch off a bout of -- with," says Rebarber. While some pregnancy cravings can certainly seem a bit odd, in most instances, they don't represent any real threat to mother or the baby. This, however, can change dramatically, when the craving is for a nonfood item. The condition, known as, can lead to an overwhelming desire to consume any number of substances, some of which can be extremely harmful to both mother and baby.

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