Pregnancy, while obviously exciting, can also spark feelings of stress and anxiety—so you may find yourself snacking more seriously on carbs and sugary stuff to get that feel-good, relaxing serotonin boost. The hormonal flux that comes with expecting also reconfigures your old relationships with taste and smell; hence going off some once-loved dishes, and craving some crazy ones.
What’s more, acute morning sickness can increase the intensity of cravings—especially for fatty, fast-energy foods. In short, the pregnancy craving is no myth; here are what your specific hankerings could mean…
A sweet tooth on overdrive could be linked to a deficiency in magnesium, responsible for developing strong teeth and bones in your baby. Swop out the unhealthy stuff for a couple magnesium and antioxidant -rich squares of dark chocolate—the higher the cocoa percentage the better. And pump up your intake of whole grains and leafy veg.
If you find you want salty over sweet, it might be that your body is trying to replace lowered sodium levels as a result of peaking pregnancy hormones, namely progesterone. Ditch the crisps and try out pickled foods like probiotic-rich sauerkraut and miso soup.
A sudden urge to chow down on red meat could indicate depleted iron stores. Your blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy, and approximately 24.4% of expectant UK mothers suffer from anaemia (an iron deficiency). Avoid fast food and grill a palm-sized piece of sirloin or skirt steak—and pile high with spinach or rocket.
Your core body temperature rises when expecting, so it’s no wonder you dream of an endless supply of soft serve to cool you down. By all means, don’t deny yourself the occasional Ben & Jerry’s, but for a healthier daily delicious refresher, blitz up your favourite fruits for an ice-cold smoothie.