Are you experiencing weird, out-of-control
pregnancy cravings that are over-ruling your
Today in Nourish, we discuss why you may be
having weird pregnancy cravings and what to
do about it.
See you soon!
I’ve been craving potatoes the whole time through out my pregnancy.
Is that a bad thing?
If you’re having weird pregnancy cravings,
you’re not alone.
Today, I’m going to explain the top three
reasons that you’re experiencing cravings.
Number 1: You’re dehydrated.
Are you craving a food that is high in salt?
Maybe vegemite, potato chips or tomato soup?
If so, there’s a good chance that you’re craving
it because you are dehydrated.
Our fluid volume increases by approximately
150% during pregnancy – which is part of the
reason that later in your pregnancy you may
notice your feet and fingers swelling.
The main reason for this is that we need so
much extra blood, to feed and nourish our
baby, and of course, blood and your amniotic
sac that your baby is resting in, are essentially
In fact, most women put on at least 2 kilograms
of fluid in the first trimester alone!
Salt helps our body to retain more fluid.
That’s why athletes drink salty sports drinks
when they’re competing in marathons, and we
give salty electrolyte drinks or chicken soup
to our children when they’re sick.
If you’re not drinking enough water, there’s
a good chance that your body will crave salty
foods to help you drink more water and retain
So, what should you do if you’re craving salty
Well, it might sound counter-intuitive, but
the best idea is to drink more water.
If you are going to have salty foods, try
to get your salt intake from healthier foods
such as sardines, salted nuts or soy sauce
over some vegies instead of potato chips or pizza
OK, the second reason that you may be having
weird food cravings is that you’re low in iron.
Our iron requirements sky-rocket during pregnancy!
Particularly, during the second and third
To give you some perspective, men only require
8 milograms per day, where as we require 27
milograms per day during pregnancy – that’s
nearly four times as much!
When we’re low in iron, we can become extremely
In some cases you can even develop a condition
called Pica whereby you crave really weird
things like dirt (yes, you heard me correctly!)
If we need iron, we need iron, and our body
will make you crave whatever you need to make sure it gets it.
So, what should you do if you think you may
be craving foods for iron?
Well, I’d recommend starting by asking your
doctors if they’ve checked your iron levels.
If not, it can easily be checked at your next
Secondly, take a look at the nutritional supplements
that you’re taking.
If you’re not taking a supplement, or yours
is too low in iron, you may struggle to achieve
your requirements with diet alone.
However, some supplements can be too high
in iron and cause nausea or constipation – so
just like baby bear in the story of the three
bears, you need one that is just right for
you, and your needs.
Finally, take a look at your diet.
We don’t just get iron from red meat, but
from a range of healthy foods such as brown
rice, fish and spinach.
Unfortunately there’s not much iron in chocolate
biscuits or potato chips.
And, you won’t be able to meet all of your
iron requirements from supplements alone without
So, if you’re filling up on junk, make some
tweaks to your diet to help boost your iron
I know it can become a vicious circle – we
eat a poor, low-iron diet, then we become
too tired to cook, and we crave weird foods,
so we eat more junk!
But, you can break the cycle, you just need
to be really strong for a few weeks!
The third reason that you may be experiencing
food cravings is that you’re not eating regularly
Your appetite increases during pregnancy,
and pregnancy hormones block the action of
insulin which can also impact your appetite..so
this means that you need to eat smaller
more regularly meals.
If you try to eat the way you used to eat,
skipping snacks, and having late meals because
you’re caught up with other priorities, there’s
a good chance that you’ll crave sugary foods.
The problem is that sugary foods can cause
a lot of excess weight gain, and they’re often
low in nutrition.
So, if you’re craving biscuits, ice cream,
juices or other sugary foods, what should
It’s really important to take the time to
have a nutritious meal or snack every 3 to
five hours during pregnancy.
Opt for low GI foods such as wholegrain crackers
or a tub of yoghurt.
You might like to check out my video on healthy
snacks for more pregnancy snack ideas.
So, these are the most common three reasons
why women have cravings during pregnancy.
I’d love to hear about your food cravings,
so make sure you comment in the chat box below!
I look forward to catching up with you next
week on Nourish!