One of the most common subjects during pregnancy is the issue of cravings especially during the second trimester. This is an issue that often surfaces during the first three to six months and is a common problem among many pregnant women.
Cravings during pregnancy are normal and are the body’s natural way of helping you eat but should be properly monitored and controlled. Some of the most common cravings include sweets, pickles, ice cream, chocolates, chips, jalapeno peppers, salsa, citrus fruits and some salty, spicy or sour foods.
Common causes of cravings
There may be contradicting reports as to why pregnant women have cravings but hormonal changes that occur in women during this period are the most common and are known to have a profound effect on the senses of taste and smell. This may cause desire for specific types of foods. Some nutritional experts say that certain cravings may be indications of nutritional deficiencies. However, if these cravings become overwhelming, it is important to consult a nutritionist.
How to handle cravings during pregnancy
There are different ways that you can use to control cravings during pregnancy. Water is perhaps one of the best ways to ease the craving feeling for certain foods. Sometimes you may experience the urge to drink soda, juice or any other sugary drink when your body only needs a glass of water.
It is very important to take at least eight glasses of water a day which helps get rid of toxins in your body and boosts body functions.
Sweet snacks are the most common cravings that pregnant women experience. One of the best ways to reduce the craving is by eating fruits which are full of essential nutrients like minerals, fiber and vitamins.
Meal frequency is another great way to control food cravings during pregnancy. Eating small healthy meals every two to three hours helps ward off those nasty cravings.
These meals should be well balanced as the key here is to keep your body metabolic rate and sugar levels consistent by eating regularly in small proportions. Staying hungry for long or spacing your meal times a little bit too longer just because you don’t feel like eating only increases the cravings.
Make it a habit to get yourself something healthy and nutritious every few hours for endless health benefits.
Avoid temptation at all costs when pregnant. Eating before going shopping is a sure way to avoid those tempting candy bars next to the cashier. If you’re still working, bring along some fruits and water or fruit juice to keep you going throughout the day. Exercise is also very important during pregnancy. This doesn’t necessarily mean working yourself out to the limits but having a stroll outside the house, visiting friends or swimming can do you a lot of good. It helps alter your appetite and prevent cravings during pregnancy. Ensure that you have a good simple meal about an hour before exercising and also afterwards to replenish your energy levels.
Getting emotional support when you are pregnant is also very crucial. Stress has been known to contribute to cravings for sweets and high fat foods. Seek out emotional support to help you reduce stress levels.