Pregnancy comes with a pretty change in everything, including diet. Pregnant women are well-aware of pregnancy cravings that are often experienced. Pregnant ladies tend to crave certain foods which can range from desiring fried chicken to ice cream at all hours of the day. Although it’s normal to consume more calories as the mother eats for two, it can be unhealthy to give in to all of her cravings without any self-control.
Sometimes expectant moms have cravings for some really strange things than normal. There are lots of things that can lead to having strong cravings for certain foods. Sometimes expecting moms have these cravings if their nutritional needs are not being met.
What causes pregnancy cravings?
Some research has shown that pregnancy food cravings are normally a result of those pesky pregnancy hormones. These several hormones change the sense of smell, and taste, causing a desire for aromas, textures, and combinations that may seem strange sometimes. This ultimately makes some foods seem far more appealing than others. Pregnancy hormones can signal what the body needs to thrive. Although cravings tend to favour unhealthy food choices.
The body requires more energy requirements because a new life is sustained inside. Often nutritional needs result in food craving what the body needs most. A larger intake of calories will aid in fetal development and increase blood flow. According to some experts, pregnancy cravings indicate a normal desire for comfort as the body adjusts to unique physical stress.
Food cravings can be tricky to deal with but it’s better to have healthy alternatives every time these cravings strike. Here are some best and healthy alternatives for times when unhealthy cravings strike pregnant ladies. To continue indulging without going overboard, there are a few healthy alternatives to be added to the pregnancy diet.
Many pregnant women tend to crave carbonated beverages and soft drinks. Soda can be an unhealthy choice during pregnancy. Soda contains high sugar which can mean consuming a higher amount of calories throughout the day. Diet sodas contain aspartame, which is linked to cancer and is proven to cause weight gain by triggering cravings for sugar. Sodas contain caffeine which should be limited or controlled during pregnancy.
Pregnant ladies who crave need to opt for healthier substitutes such as ice-cold sparkling carbonated water or mix up a fresh fruit smoothie for an instant energy boost. Drinking mineral water and adding lime juice for added flavour can be enjoyed as a healthy substitute.
Baked potato chips
Ready salted potato chips are packed full of unhealthy saturated fat. This can increase sodium levels in the body and can affect the development of the baby’s nervous system. Pregnant women craving potato chips can enjoy healthier versions of them by making baked potato chips.
Pregnant women can also opt for healthier options that still come with the familiar crunch, which includes salted air-popped popcorn that is either plain or lightly seasoned. They can try to cure their craving for potato chips by chowing down on kale chips or can have banana chips instead. These chips are fat-free but should be consumed in moderation.
Ice cream is an appealing snack and a common craving during pregnancy, It is cooling and soothing against heartburn and indigestion. But it is high in calories and packed full of sugar. This can increase the risk of gestational diabetes if consumed frequently. A healthier substitute is Greek yoghurt, which has the same creamy, dessert-like level of indulgence but with low fat. It has tons of protein and keeps the body healthy.
Adding fruit, granola, or a handful of nuts on top for some extra fibre, crunch and texture can be a healthy alternative, without the risk of energy crashes or bloating. Blending frozen fruit with yoghurt can also be a quick fix to curb sugar cravings at any time of the day.
Angel food cake
A healthy substitute for pregnant women to satisfy their cravings for cake by having a slice of angel food cake. Healthy toppings such as strawberries can also be added. This dessert is not very heavy on the stomach and contains low fat. Ladies who do not prefer strawberries can try pairing them with banana nice cream since banana is a good source of folic acid and pairs up nicely.
Chocolate can pack on the pounds and make pregnant women crave more. Consuming dark chocolate that has 70 per cent cocoa, is a healthier alternative and won’t cause excessive weight gain. A square or two of pure dark chocolate will give the added benefits of antioxidants.