Last night, I was watching a TV program which featured a pregnant lady that had this very strong craving for rocks.

As in, she couldn’t help herself – Ever since she got pregnant, rocks were all that appealed to her and so, she actually included them into her diet. Since no-one agreed with her choice of meal, this desperate, pregnant lady had to occasionally hide small pieces of rocks around the house. So when no-one was watching, she would reach for them and eat them. You read me right – This lady was actually consuming rocks.

I know that sounds crazy but there is actually a small percentage of pregnant ladies who have this condition called PICA. They really do crave for non-edibles with little or no nutritional value. A common example of such cravings may be for ‘ice’. As in, some pregnant ladies actually delight in ‘eating’ ice. Then, there are a few who cannot get enough of weirder stuffs like toothpaste, soap, stones, matches, powder, matches, dirt etc.

Asides from these weird cravings, there are the more common and expected food cravings. Here, we’re talking about cravings for stuffs like spicy food, chocolate, ice cream, pizza etc.

Interestingly, some nutritionists link cravings to nutritional deficiencies in the woman. For example, cravings for the weird items have been linked to iron deficiency (even though the weird items have no iron in them), cravings for chocolate have been linked to magnesium deficiency while cravings for red meat have been linked to protein deficiency.

However, despite these supposed links, you must bear in mind that though cravings have been said to be triggered by hormonal changes, there is no proven scientific explanation behind them being linked to nutritional deficiencies. So, my advice will be to always let your maternal instincts win. As in, considering the potential damage to both you and your child, you don’t necessarily have to act on your craving for unhealthy, non-food stuffs. Infact, if you have such weird, dangerous cravings, it may be best you seek professional help.

As for those with the more normal cravings, occasionally treating yourself to maybe chocolate, ice-cream or fries may not be a bad idea. However, don’t overdo it because eventually, cravings will go but whatever worrisome health problem you pick up along the way, will be yours and your baby’s to battle with. Besides, if you are struggling with diabetes, weight issues or some other health condition, it will be wise for you to discipline yourself against sweet-tooth and ‘oil-rich’ cravings or better still, look for healthier alternatives. For example, if you want to cut down on fat, go for low-fat yoghurt instead of ice-cream.

Or you could consider baking your fries, instead of frying them. Learning how to make your own pizza at home may not be a bad idea so that you control what goes into it. And on and on, the list can go…

With that being said, are you presently pregnant? What food or weird stuff are you presently craving? For those who are already moms, what were your cravings during your own time? Did your cravings change with every pregnancy? Or did they change with every trimester? How did you handle these cravings? Were you able to come up with healthy alternatives? Do share!!!

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