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6 Wild Pregnancy Cravings & What They Could Really Mean

Pregnancy Adriana Velez May 6, 2013

picklesWe've all heard about crazy pregnancy cravings: Pickles with ice cream, dirt, flavored potato chip crumbs -- just the crumbs. Sometimes a craving is just a craving. You're feeling emotional and a certain food just feels right. But a crazy food craving could also mean there's some nutrient you could use a little more of in your diet. So here's some cravings we've had heard about -- some bizarre, some totally predictable -- and what your body might actually be asking for.

 

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1Ice, Laundry Detergent, Dirt

Cravings for odd non-foods like ice, laundry detergent, dirt, and chalk have been tied to a condition called pica. This could mean you're a little anemic. Ask your doctor for a blood test, and if you are, you can boost your iron the natural way by adding more iron-rich foods to your diet.

2Eat This Instead: Beef & Pumpkin Seeds

Of course we all know beef is high in iron (especially the liver). Red meat, along with certain kinds of fish, have what's called heme iron. Non-heme iron can be found in plant foods, like pumpkin and sesame seeds, cooked beans, and tofu. Your body doesn't absorb non-heme iron as well as heme iron, but it's still helpful.

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3Chocolate

Chocolate cravings could mean your body wants magnesium. If you're good at moderating around sweets, you could limit yourself to a square or two of dark chocolate. But if you can't just have one ...

4Eat This Instead: Almonds

Other great sources of magnesium are whole grains (like brown rice), leafy greens, beans, and nuts. Of course you could always do both -- one of my favorite pregnancy snacks was dark chocolate-covered almonds.

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5Soft-Serve Ice Cream Cones

You could be craving calcium. Or you could be craving a cool, creamy sweet dessert, duh. But give these other calcium foods a try.

6Eat This Instead: Greek Yogurt

Maybe you're craving the calcium. But you're also craving that cream mouth feel. And I don't know about you, but I just don't get that from low-fat substitutes. They can leave your craving feeling unanswered, which will make you keep eating more, and then ... you've totally defeated the purpose of going low-fat. At least try and cut the sugar by having some luscious Greek yogurt with a bit of honey or fruit. I say go for the full-fat stuff, but you may want to check in with your doctor first.

7Flavored Chip Dust

Have you been licking the flavor dust off of Doritos and throwing the chips away? Well, your blood volume increases during pregnancy, which may cause you to crave more sodium. Before you start your new salt-heavy regime, though, check in with your doctor.

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8Eat This Instead: Sweet Potato Fries

If you really must give in to your salty/zingy craving, try sprinkling chili powder and salt over sweet potato fries (or just roasted sweet potato wedges). That way, at least you're getting some vitamins and fiber in there, too.

9Pickles

You and Snooki love your pickles! It's actually pretty common for pregnant women to crave tart and sour flavors, especially later into their pregnancies. But if you want to cut down on your sodium (ahem, the exact opposite of the previous slide), you may want to think beyond the grocery store stuff. Cravings for sour foods may actually mean you need more variety in your diet. Which is great for any pregnancy!

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10Eat This Instead: Kimchee

There's a lot of tart foods out there -- and this would be a great time to explore them AND get some healthy variety in your diet. Try kimchee, Korean fermented cabbage (and other vegetables). Or vegetarian Pad Thai. Or garlic-stuffed green olives. Or tomatillo salsa.

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