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Crave, And How to Deal with It

Crave, And How to Deal with It

    Crave, And How to Deal with It
    As I hinted earlier, researchers still don’t know why pregnancy brings on all sorts of food cravings and aversions; the science is inconclu- sive. Some think that food cravings are simply learned behaviors: If society tells you you’re going to crave things while you’re pregnant, you will. But other researchers feel strongly that we crave foods that are rich in the nu- trients we need for a healthy pregnancy. Since not all women experience cravings during pregnancy (about 85 percent of us do), it’s tough to come to any conclusions about whether they serve a purpose.

    Now what about all the stuff that’s making your stomach turn? Is there a reason behind it? Food aversions are also common in pregnancy, which is why you might not be able to deal with handling raw chicken or beef anymore, and why the smell of freshly brewed coffee has suddenly switched from your favorite morning scent to a stomach-turning stench. Again, sci- ence can’t support or refute whether these aversions have anything to do with keeping you and your growing baby safe. Common sense might tell you that your body is trying to keep you away from anything that might hurt your baby, such as caffeine. But then again, some women  nd themselves totally turned off by green vegetables during pregnancy. So go figure.

    You might think the foods you’re craving are weird, or at least out of the norm for you. In fact, your likes and dislikes can de nitely change during pregnancy. A friend of mine who is completely lactose intolerant couldn’t get enough dairy while she was pregnant, and it didn’t cause her the usual digestive grief. It was all she could do to not throw a  t when her work caf- eteria didn’t have chocolate pudding.
    Sometimes your taste preferences will change for good. During her pregnancy, she completely lost her taste for cookies, cakes, and the like, and developed a craving for Mediterranean foods instead. She’s still eating lots of hummus and olives, and never regained her love of sweets.
    And it turns out that women with more cravings also have more aver- sions. So even though you’re cutting certain foods out of your diet, you may be making up for them nutritionally with other foods that you now can’t get enough of.
    Studies have shown that pregnant women have increased sensitivity to smells. Your new bloodhound abilities may make you more prone to food aversions, nausea, and vomiting.The Chanel No. 5 that used to be your signature scent may now seem incredibly overwhelm- ing, and stepping into your favorite deli might leave you running for fresh air.While these olfactory offenses may be annoying to you, they might also be a way of making sure you stay away from potentially harmful things. My mother found that the scent of coffee made her queasy, so she really didn’t have much trouble giving it up during pregnancy.
    Even if you haven’t yet experienced food cravings  rsthand, you’ve prob- ably had friends regale you with stories of their 7 a.m. drive-through burgers, or afternoon snacks of an entire box of Entenmann’s cake donuts.Whatever weird cravings or repulsions you do develop, don’t get too hung up on them. As long as you’re making an effort to eat a wide variety of healthy, unpro- cessed foods, you’ll most likely be getting what you need. Plus, those queasies should calm down after the  rst trimester, so just eat as much of the healthy stuff as you can muster and make sure to take your prenatal vitamins.
    What if you’re craving paint chips instead of potato chips?You may have pica. Pica is a condition where pregnant women crave nonfood items, such as dirt, paint chips, soap, clay, laundry starch, corn starch, or ashes. Not only can these things make you sick to your stomach, they can be downright dangerous. If you crave any of the items above—or anything else that isn’t food related—call your doctor immediately. Some experts say pica may be a sign of severe nutritional de ciencies in iron and calcium, so there’s yet another reason to keep eat-ing right.