Pregnancy Cravings and What they Might Mean


Pregnancy Cravings and What they Might Mean

One of the strangest things about being pregnant has got to be the cravings. We’ve all heard crazy stories about women eating coal or sponges - but thankful these types of cravings aren’t too common. Usually, pregnant women crave much more mundane foods. But there is a theory that craving certain items can indicate a lack of a specific vitamin or mineral. So just for fun, lets
have a look at some pregnancy cravings and what they might mean.

Cravings can kick in right at the beginning of pregnancy - anytime between 2 and 12 weeks and its thought they are caused by hormonal changes or a heightened sense of taste and smell.

Non-Food Pregnancy Cravings

Some nutritionists think that craving things like ice, soil or clay (a condition known as pica) are linked to an iron or zinc deficiency. However, there is not enough research about this to know if this is true or not. If you are craving non-food substance during your pregnancy, you must seek advice from your midwife or doctor.


Some practitioners believe that craving chocolate is a sign of a magnesium deficiency. While chocolate is inherently dangerous, eating too much of it is definitely not a good idea for your health! Try eating foods high in magnesium and see if this helps your cravings. Foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds and spinach are all high in magnesium.


I know a lifelong vegetarian who began to crave steak during her pregnancy! It seems like it could be the body craving protein to ‘build a baby’ but is it really that simple! Surely if our bodies were so good at craving what we needed, we’d all be fit and healthy, living of broccoli and steamed rice!


Pickles are a really common pregnancy craving, and as they are high in sodium, you might think that’s what your body needs. Whilst high-sodium foods aren’t dangerous in moderation, you don’t want to be consuming them in vast quantities. Drink plenty of water if this is your craving and choose low-sodium brands where possible.

Cultural Cravings

It seems that some pregnancy cravings may be cultural. Whilst pickles are a common craving in the west, the most common pregnancy craving in Japan is rice! Culture plays a strong role in our eating habits, as do the anecdotes and stories from friends and family.

There is no scientific evidence to support the theory that your pregnancy cravings mean anything but it's fun to wonder why we have them. I’d love to hear about your weird and wonderful pregnancy cravings - comment below. If you'd like to know more about cravings there's some great information on the nhs website here.


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