We've all heard about crazy cravings (and if you read You’re Going To Eat That?!?! Another post from The Nurturing Daddy, you've heard about my personal cravings!), but I bet you haven't put too much thought into what might be causing those cravings, have you?
Well, guess what, cravings can happen for a reason! And as a student midwife I was put on the spot more than a couple times to decipher what was causing certain cravings. The easiest and most common craving that I came across over and over again was peanut butter. A woman who is craving peanut butter might be needing additional protein in her diet. Not only that, but let's say she has been craving peanut butter and ice chips. Her body is probably battling iron deficiency. Craving ice is the classic sign, but peanut butter also has iron that is pretty easy for the body to absorb - easier even than an iron supplement, if I understand correctly. So, if you are pregnant and craving ice you'll definitely want to get your iron levels checked ASAP. And if you're craving peanut butter, and you're eating peanut butter as well as upping your overall protein intake but it doesn't seem to be helping, you might want to get your iron levels checked too.
Other cravings that might be telling you that you need more protein in your diet are things like meat, fish, and dairy products. You should generally be aiming for 80 grams of protein a day while you are pregnant - especially in your 2nd and 3rd trimesters; 60g is good if you are early in your pregnancy and dealing with morning sickness. (On a side note, if this is you and you are currently battling morning sickness, check out my homepage here to find out how to get free access to my 3 step system to "Kick Your Morning Sickness to the Curb").
Back to the cravings.... So my guess is that if you, or me (with my gefilte fish and chocolate shake), or Lucy (with her sardines and ice cream) just HAD to have some salty fish with something sweet, we might have had a few things going on that our bodies were trying to tell us:
1) Craving something salty? Your blood volume is rapidly expanding as it should be to prepare for giving birth, but your body needs adequate salt to be able to handle all that extra blood without putting too much strain on your kidneys and liver.
2) Craving fish or other protein-rich foods? As I said above, you may need to up your protein to 60 to 80 grams a day, or even more like 100g if you have high blood pressure, have been warned that you are high risk for preeclampsia, or if you are carrying more than one baby in that womb of yours!
3) Craving sweets? Your body might be dealing with an overgrowth of yeast, which is actually pretty common during pregnancy. Want to know more about this one and tips to actually curb those sugar cravings and balance out the yeast in your body? Just scroll on back up the page and sign up for the NM E-zine because this coming week's issue will feature an article about exactly that! And last time I gave the advice I'm going to share with you in my article, the response I got was a text message from my client telling me that my advice was "genius" and it totally worked within just a few days! So don't delay, just scroll on up there and enter your name and email, then click the "Keep me posted!" button - it's just that easy!