Another theory suggests that cravings for some foods developed during human evolution as a way to reduce morning sickness. Hormones, Emotions and Evolution Several theories attempt to explain why food cravings occur in pregnancy. While these cravings might be for a specific type of cuisine or an unusual food, they typically include the desire for sweet, salty, spicy or fatty foods. Hormonal changes are known to alter taste and smell, which might explain the desire for specific, sometimes unusual foods. Simple blood tests can determine whether you have any nutritional deficiencies. If you crave nonfood products, don't give in to your urges, as they can be harmful to both you and your baby.
Some people think that food cravings can reveal the sex of your baby. Hormones, Emotions and Evolution Several theories attempt to explain why food cravings occur in pregnancy. Deficiencies occur more commonly in pregnancy because of the increased nutritional needs of the baby. Food intake is also connected to emotions. A shortage of specific nutrients might lead to the urge to consume foods rich in those nutrients. Simple blood tests can determine whether you have any nutritional deficiencies. For example, if you crave salty food, try popcorn sprinkled with herbs as a healthy snack. Pica may also indicate the presence of nutritional deficiencies. Erica Wickham covers health, exercise and lifestyle topics for various websites. June 14, Erica Wickham, M. Cravings for red meat, for example, may indicate the need for more protein, and cravings for peaches might indicate a carotene deficiency. Some women even crave nonfood products. If a woman craves sour, salty, spicy or protein-rich foods, some people claim that she must be having a boy. Your doctor can also help you find ways to deal with your food cravings while maintaining a healthy diet. For example, if a pregnant woman primarily craves sweets or dairy products, it is said that she will have a girl. However, there's no scientific evidence to back up any of these beliefs. Cravings for chocolate may indicate a magnesium or vitamin B deficiency. So, even if you're craving chocolate cake your entire pregnancy, you could still be having a boy, and even if you are obsessed with lemon juice, you may still be having a girl. If you crave nonfood products, don't give in to your urges, as they can be harmful to both you and your baby. What to Do Discuss your food cravings with your doctor. Cravings for ice or laundry starch suggest an iron deficiency, and cravings for chalk or dirt may indicate the need for more essential fatty acids. Baby's Sex Some people believe that abnormal cravings during pregnancy are caused by the sex of the baby. While these cravings might be for a specific type of cuisine or an unusual food, they typically include the desire for sweet, salty, spicy or fatty foods. Some pregnant women experience pica — a craving for non-nutritional substances such as chalk, dirt, laundry starch, clay or ice. During pregnancy, women might crave specific foods, consciously or unconsciously, as a response to emotional needs. Reviewed by Mary D. Wickham now serves as a registered dietitian.
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