Almost all pregnant women will have a food craving during their pregnancy, and just as many will have a food aversion.
One of the most unusual food cravings that I've heard of was watermelon smeared with peanut butter and the saddest food aversion that I heard of was coffee.
The first is pretty funny and right up there with Elvis's eccentric diet plan. The coffee aversion is pretty difficult to maneuver around as coffee drinkers are all around you, and when you enter a restaurant, coffee is one of the first smells you'll encounter.
Pregnancy cravings are caused by the increase of pregnancy hormones. In the early stages, your body is flooded with hormones and your body is trying to bring itself into balance and adjust itself. For most pregnant women, the cravings and aversions lessen by the fourth month.
One of the theories is that your body craves what it needs, for example, if you are craving oranges that may be your body's way of telling you that you need vitamin C.
WhattoExpect.com describes a theory "that humans have moved so far from the original food chain that the body can no longer reliably interpret its own internal signals. Yes, your body knows it needs vitamin C and calcium, but these days that may translate into a craving for a dish of Chunky Monkey with crushed Oreos, instead of a slice of cantaloupe and a glass of milk."
Here are some tips regarding food cravings:
• Contact your health care practitioner if you are craving weird substances like clay, laundry starch or ashes. This craving is called pica and you may be suffering from a nutritional deficiency of iron.
• Do not give into cravings of alcohol.
• Once in a while it is okay to give into food cravings. However, if you do give into your craving remember to eat healthy the rest of the day.
• Try to hold off on your craving with some exercise. Take a walk or go to the gym. If you hear a big beef and bean burrito calling your name, try to distract yourself by reading a book, checking emails, calling a friend, or even taking a walk at the mall.
• If you can't beat your craving, don't go crazy at the drive-thru. Nutrition is the name of the game when you are pregnant. If you crave crunch, try cucumbers versus a bag of chips. If you crave chocolate try a glass of low-fat chocolate milk instead of chocolate cake. If you need a chocolate bar, try a mini-size versus the king-size candy bar.
"Food Cravings and What They Mean." BabyCenter. Web. 17 May 2014.
"Food Cravings During Pregnancy, Pregnancy Food Aversions." Whattoexpect /. Web. 19 May 2014.
Reviewed May 19, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith