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Why do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles? Do Pregnancy Cravings Exist?

Why do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles? Do Pregnancy Cravings Exist?

Is it hard enough to give up on eating those cheese and crackers during your pregnancy period? Pregnant women are thrust upon with endless notion that circles around for a long time: She must be craving those crispy, salty pickles and tacos. People also link those food cravings–including, but not limited to oatmeal, peanut butter, pickles, and ice cream–to the the weird yearning of their babies in the fetus. Different nations and their cultures experience a diverse range of foods that a women craves during pregnancy. The subject of food craving, whether it’s good to have or not, or what it heralds about the unborn baby, has become controversial among the people.

Pregnancy carving do exist and it’s not anything novice. It’s been around here for hundreds of years but there is not a one-fit-all food that is craved during pregnancy. Women crave pickles during pregnancy but that is not the only food at all. Expectant moms may desire for a lot of other foods, too. Pregnant women in the United States[1] have been reported to crave for fruit juices, pickles, Ice cream, and pizza. Other common craved foods among pregnant women include meat, mangoes, yogurt, oranges, plantain, and soft drinks.

Many researchers, and medical doctors have explained why there is a strong inclination toward some foods while an aversion to few others.

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Craving sweet foods during pregnancy is considered as a sign of having a baby girl and those savory snacks give sign of a boy. Dr Merriam Stoppard, an MD, Health care expert and Television presenter, debunked this myth of pregnancy craving that lingered around us for a long time. She says, “Cravings are thought to be the body’s response to deficiency in certain minerals and trace elements. Indulge them where reasonable but keep away from the ones that are obviously harmful such as coal.”

Pregnancy Craving May be Psychological:

Another research has been carried out to make the crazy pregnancy craving logical. They suggest that craving could be something on mind with no reasonable relation with the body demand for nutrients. A study conducted by the UAlbany[2] , while reviewing the existing data of women collected from blog posts, internet websites and other social media platform, suggested that surprisingly there was no relationship between pregnancy craving and nutritional needs of the body.

Julia Hormes, University at Albany Psychology Department researcher[3] , believes that a psychological factor of social norm that is prevalent in the U.S about the pregnant women could be the cause for food craving.

Some other studies suggested that food craving–during pregnancy–may lead to a weight gain.However, it’s not true for other nations. Such as a study carried in Tanzania[4] where foods of more than 200 pregnant women were meat, fresh fruit, vegetables, and grains; those that cause no weight gain.

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Body Hormones May be Causing Food Craving:

Pregnant women are prone to resist leptin, a hormone in the body that impedes appetite. When these hormones are cut out of the way, other hunger stimulating hormone, Neuropeptides, plunge into the blood stream. Research has shown that more Neuropeptides are produced during pregnancy. This imbalance of hormones tends women to be voracious and hence the craving for certain food increases.

Other research has pointed that the production of abnormal taste in the mouth of expectant moms maybe indulged in stimulating food craving. The research showed that roughly 75 percent of the pregnant women reported to have a weird kind of smell or taste. Due to the interaction of uterine and gustatory neurons with each others, the buds make an unexpected taste. The craving enhances due to this sensitivity.

Cultural Aspect of Food Craving:

Some cultures across the world has a different explanation for the pregnancy craving. Hindus in India interpret food craving as a result of Dohada–means “two-heartedness.” The presence of a second soul in the mother body is the reason behind the pregnant women unusual errands to the pizza shop or beverages bars. They think that for the better health and nourishment of the unborn baby, those cravings must be fulfilled.

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What Should You Believe?

You don’t need to pay heed to the conventional beliefs of the people who, out of morbid curiosity, will leave you baffled with their contrived advises, dos, and donts. Instead, focus on the bigger picture: What’s good for you and your baby and what your physician recommends?

Craving is not something to worry about and it won’t make anything wrong with you. But you should discuss the diet and food with your physician . He better understands your position and what you should eat and avoid.

If the doctor refrains you from gnawing on raw vegetables–because they’re not healthy to eat during pregnancy–you should avoid it. Your fastidious belly won’t wrest your neck for that particular food. On the other hand, some food items are much better to eat more than once a day. And if that triggers craving, let it be. Because it’s good for your health.

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How to Deal with Food Craving?

 Avoid Unhealthy Food:

Check to see if that particular food you’re craving is really healthy? If that’s, congrats! You have a good point to hanker for it. And you have the logic to rave about it, everywhere. But this may not be a case with all other foods you eat that you’re obsessed with. Try to prevent sneaking into the kitchen to munch on the potato chips all the time–if they are not good for you. You can hold yourself accountable for not eating the food that’s not recommended by the doctor. This way you can control your food craving.

Don’t Skip on any of your meals:

Following a health lifestyle is the key to make it through that tough craving stage during pregnancy. If you skip on your lunch or breakfast or just dine too early, it may increase your craving. This would not only make you unhealthy but it’s also not good for that little baby curled inside the fetus. So it’s much better to be on time for that matter.

Talk to Your Doctor:

It’s most important to let know the doctor about your progress. when you’re not feeling well and are indulged in excessive craving, it maybe the time to see your doctor and update him on your unusual cravings. Some women crave for eating dirt, soap, coal, or ashes. This particular craving–called pica–maybe due to the lack of nutrients in your body. It is better to consult your doctor immediately.

Conclusion:

There is still a long way down the road to explore more about the causes of food craving of pregnant women. If those pickles are demanded repeatedly, there should be the deficiency of some specific nutrients in the body. There is, however, little support to justify traditional beliefs of pregnancy cravings. But nutritional deficiency in the body of the pregnant woman may make sense for the scientists to carry their research with.

Reference

More by this author

Taseer Ahmad

Freelance B2C writer

10 Foods That Guarantee Your Kids a High Fiber Intake! Why do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles? Do Pregnancy Cravings Exist? 8 Indicators To Help Identify The Narcissists Around You

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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