A woman’s taste and smell alters greatly during the early months of pregnancy due to hormone changes. You may be surprised at what you’ll want to eat. We look at what causes pregnancy cravings and offer up some healthy alternatives for expecting moms.
What causes cravings?
“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 craving is the body’s way of asking for what it needs,” according to an article on WebMD. The article further states that 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. Studies have shown that the high hormone levels during pregnancy can alter a woman’s sense of taste and smell, which explains why certain foods and odours can not only be more enticing but in some cases more offensive.
How to curb those cravings
- Practice portion control. Use a smaller plate than usual
- Include lean animal protein in your diet
- Choose healthy alternatives over unhealthy cravings
- Never skip breakfast
- Have a healthy high protein breakfast: egg, tomato and wilted spinach
- Eat healthy snacks between meals
- Drink enough filtered water
When you feel a craving coming on, try these healthier options instead:
|Ice cream||Frozen low-fat yoghurt or smoothies in ice trays|
|Soft drinks||Sparkling/still water with a squeeze of lemon and ginger|
|Pizza||Make your own homemade pizza using veggies|
|Cake||Find a recipe using healthy ingredients such as apple|
|Potato chips||Dip veggie sticks into hummus or popcorn or pretzels|
|Fried fish||Grilled fish with lemon and herbs|
|Chocolate||Choose dark chocolate instead|
|Too much dried fruit||Frozen berries|
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