Pregnancy food cravings are very real, and sometimes very funny. From chocolate and broccoli, tuna and ice cream, to weird non-food cravings like sponges and toothpaste, as the body changes during pregnancy, it can cause some unusual cravings.
But what are food cravings and why do we have them during pregnancy? Read on to find out more.
What Are Food Cravings?
Food cravings refer to the desire to eat a certain type of food (or in some cases non-food) during pregnancy. Every woman is different, but this could be the urge to eat foods like fruit or cake, for example, or in more extreme cases they might crave strange food combinations, like peanut butter and pickles or chocolate spread and crisps.
In some rare cases, women develop a condition called pica, which means they want to eat substances that aren’t food, like chalk or soap. This is usually associated with a mineral deficiency.
When Do Pregnancy Food Cravings Start?
This can completely depend on the pregnancy, but most cravings start towards the end of the first trimester. The peak of pregnancy food cravings is during the second trimester and diminishes by the end of the final trimester, but this can vary.
What Causes Pregnancy Food Cravings?
There is actually no real scientific reason behind pregnancy food cravings, but it’s often associated with diets, for example, if your body is lacking in vitamins or minerals. Here are some logical reasons why your body might crave foods during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the body changes greatly because of the change in hormones. Throughout pregnancy, the hormones can affect several things, like your mood and sense of smell, and food cravings are one of those experiences.
Sometimes during pregnancy, women crave foods that bring them comfort, which are often sweet food or full of carbs. These cravings can be a nostalgic association with comfort foods from childhood or eating food when we feel unwell, like with pregnancy nausea.
As the body changes throughout pregnancy, there can be a need for more nutrients like iron and calcium. Your body might be drawn to foods that are higher in these nutrients, and it’s good to indulge in these in a balanced way. So yes, you can eat the ice cream, but make sure you’re having enough leafy greens too.