Food Cravings and Aversions during pregnancy

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Food Cravings and Aversions during pregnancy

Pregnancy often results in a number of bodily changes that a woman undergoes. Among the pregnancy symptoms which are more physical in nature, cravings for certain food items as well as aversions to certain others are one of the most common symptoms and is known to be experienced in greater or lesser degree by as many as 70% women in pregnancy. According to this symptom, one may feel strong attractions towards food which she never liked before or aversion towards others which used to be her erstwhile favourites. However, cravings and aversions need not be so dramatic or pointed all the time and they may grow towards quite normal and everyday food items, too.

As for what is the reason behind such cravings, medical science does not give us any exact answer. One speculation is that the cravings and aversions work in a naturally protected way so that your cravings towards food will be seen as the nature's way of making good of any dietary deficiency you may be suffering from. However, there is little scientific data to support this theory and if you're craving leads you to combine fudge sauce in your morning cereal bowl that should be seen as reason enough to doubt such a theory.

The most credible medical explanation is that such cravings and aversions are a reflection of the body's struggle to adjust to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Since these changes are at their most dramatic during the first trimester, most women will feel such cravings stronger during their early pregnancy.

The most effective solution to these early pregnancy food cravings and aversions is to maintain a balanced diet without fail. A diet rich in lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and reduced-fat dairy items will make sure that the common nutritional requirements for you and your baby are met. In that case, even if you indulge (but always in moderation) at times in somewhat less healthy food items, it would not cause any great harm.

However, doctors also prescribe practising certain other techniques to minimise the effects of one of these most common pregnancy symptoms. For example, when you feel the cravings, you may look to distract your mind from the food. Taking a walk, reading a book, or engaging yourself in some other way will often help to take your mind away from food. Another healthy solution is to use a substitute food item. So, for example, if you are feeling too strongly for an unhealthy snack or a sundae ice-cream, try to take some carrot sticks or an apple instead. This will often kill the craving without doing any harm to your body.
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