Have you ever wonder why all women urge for certain food during their pregnancy? Pregnancy causes you weird cravings like a pickle with ice cream, onion with mustard, toothpaste, etc. From spicy flavors to sweet tastes, cravings differ from women to women. But the most common craving is for pickles, and there are some reasons why pregnant women crave pickles.
During pregnancy, your body has different needs for the baby’s growth, and it still tries to maintain your body’s regular functions. Also, your body goes through a lot of changes both physically and mentally which can cause cravings for pickles during pregnancy.
Food Craving During Pregnancy
Food craving mostly occurs in pregnant women due to hormonal changes. Women feel like eating certain food with a strange taste which they didn’t even like as a teenager.
Some women crave sweet flavors, wherein some crave salt and spicy flavors. In some rare conditions, few women like eating chalk and paint, which is called pica.
When does Pregnancy Cravings Start?
Cravings during pregnancy start at different trimesters for different women. Some women have cravings from the first five weeks of their pregnancy. Some women experience cravings at the end of their pregnancy, and some women may not have cravings at all.
Why does Pregnancy Cause Cravings?
There are three major reasons for pregnant women to get the craving.
1. Hormonal Changes
Your hormone level changes during pregnancy, and in the early stages of your pregnancy, your body produces a new hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Also, the estrogen and progesterone hormone levels will increase at the time of pregnancy. These hormone changes cause various things like mood swings, cravings, morning sickness, etc. Mainly estrogen is responsible for changes in smell and taste.
2. Nutritional Compensation for Deficiency
Studies have shown that women need extra nutrients during pregnancy. Sometimes lack of iron, mineral, vitamin, or calcium in your body may lead to cravings.
3. Emotional Need
The hormone changes will also affect your mental health during pregnancy. They often lead to mood swings, headaches, etc. Few women undergo psychosomatic disorders at the end of their pregnancy. This kind of mental health issue also causes food cravings in pregnant women.
What is the most likely reason for pregnant women to crave pickles?
Craving for pickles during pregnancy is one of the most common things many women experience. The salty and spicy taste makes pregnant women reach out to the pickle jar. Some pickles like lemon, ginger, and mango have a sour taste that helps in morning sickness and nausea. This is one of the major reasons pregnant women crave pickles.
Pickle has nutrients like vitamin C, sodium, and potassium. The deficiency of sodium levels in your body may cause cravings for pickles. Also, women require more amount of fluids during pregnancy. Pickle juice contains electrolyte in it, and the lack of fluid in your body can cause your body to crave for pickle during pregnancy.
Can You Eat Pickles While Pregnant?
A certain amount of pickles are good for pregnancy as long as your body does not react to it.
The electrolyte present in the pickle juice helps in the development of the baby in the womb. Eating pickles controls your morning sickness and nausea. It also helps in better digestion, boost your immunity, and reduce sugar level.
But pickles are also high in sodium. Too much sodium intake is not good for pregnancy as it increases blood pressure and affects the baby’s kidney growth.
Pickle also contains a high level of salt which will increase the salt content in your body when consumed more. High salt content causes high blood pressure and also affects the baby’s growth.
Excess consumption of pickles can also lead to heartburn and acidity. It also increases your body heat, and the preserved pickle contains an excess amount of oil which can also increase your cholesterol.
What to do about Pregnancy Cravings?
Cravings are one of the common things that happen during pregnancy. But you can manage your craving by following few things.
1. Balanced Diet
It is very important to follow a proper diet during pregnancy, including your eating time and sleeping time. Eating a balanced diet at a proper time can help you reduce unnecessary cravings.
2. Increase Nutrients
As nutrient deficiency could be the reason for your cravings, you can try including more iron, multi-vitamins, proteins, and mineral-rich food in your diet.
3. Physical Activity
Try to indulge yourself in some physical activity once your doctor permits it to avoid unwanted cravings.
4. Flavored Healthy Snack
Try to swap your junk food with a healthy option. If you crave sweets, try eating apples with peanut butter; if you are craving salt and spicy, try eating corn masala.
5. Water Intake
Your body uses fluids to produce amniotic fluid, which is an important element for the baby’s growth. So pregnant women tend to get dehydrated, which causes unwanted cravings. Drinking plenty of water can help with this situation.
How to Manage Unhealthy Cravings?
Craving for a normal substance like ice cream and pickle does not cause any problem to the baby.
But the craving for weird things like chalk and paint needs a proper doctor consultation. Sometimes drugs are prescribed to prevent this condition. Also, you can try exploring different flavors to distract yourself from this condition.
Cravings are part of pregnancy, and craving pickles while pregnant is a normal thing. It is completely safe to eat a certain amount of pickles while you are pregnant but overeating the pickles is not advisable since it affects you and the growth of your baby. Also, if you notice any reaction in your body after consuming pickles, it is advised to consult your doctor. Any abnormal cravings also need your doctor’s attention.