Dealing with food cravings during pregnancy

There are both healthy and satisfying ways to handle the many food cravings that pregnancy may bring to expectant mothers. 

Food cravings during pregnancy are believed to be caused by hormonal changes that occur in the body. Generally, the first trimester is when the majority of cravings occur, but it is not uncommon for those cravings to last for the duration of the pregnancy.

 Finding ways to cope with overwhelming food cravings can be challenging for the mum-to-be, however, with some effort a healthy nutritional balance can be achieved.

The following are some useful suggestions:

1.Try to Make Healthy Food Choices. When attempting to satisfy your cravings, always try to do so while choosing the healthiest food possible.

2. Have healthy snacks available at all times. If you are having a craving for something sweet, before you reach for a slice of cake or a piece of candy, try munching on a bowl full of berries instead. Berries are rich in natural sugars and are much healthier than sugary processed foods.

3. Remember the consequences of overeating. An occasional indulgence will not harm you or the baby. On the other hand, over-indulgence can lead to unnecessary weight gain which can increase health risks. Remember that moderation is the key.

4. Before giving into your craving, try to recognize what nutrient your body may be lacking. Learn the important nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, iron, etc. so that you can isolate the healthy nutrients in the cravings you are experiencing. Cravings for cheesy foods and milk products could be the body’s way of indicating there is a need for more calcium. A sudden desire for a meal of chicken or beef may be an indication that the body is in need of more protein.

5. Be Creative When Looking for Healthy Food Choices. Try to find creative ways to incorporate different foods into your diet. Replace unhealthy food cravings with healthier versions of similar foods.

6. Understand that hormones can alter the way things taste. Foods that may have never been on your favorite list may now be replacing your long time favorites. It is perfectly acceptable to indulge your new cravings, as long as you do so in a healthy manner. If you are craving something salty, try reaching for a few salted nuts rather than reaching for that bag of potato chips.

7. Work on Eating a Well-Balanced Diet.The more balanced your diet, the less likely you’ll be to have food cravings because your body will be getting more of the diverse nutrients it needs. The more nutrients you give your body, the less it will scream for those middle-of-the-night craving and other cravings.

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