The most popular food cravings and aversions during pregnancy (and their meanings!)

Pregnancy Cravings – What Do They Mean?

by Sophie Knight |

If you're experiencing strange cravings for foods you've never even liked, or suddenly disgusted by your favourite meal pre-pregnancy, you are not alone. Food cravings and aversions during pregnancy are well documented and extremely common.

Read more: The early signs of pregnancy

In some cases, they can be entirely random, but sometimes when we crave or are disgusted by certain foods, it is for a reason. Whether it’s chocolate, crisps or, erm, chalk, read on to understand your pregnancy cravings and how to manage them.

Cravings can be a way of our body asking for certain vitamins, nutrients and minerals that we may be lacking in. This means cravings can become heightened during pregnancy to ensure that the growing baby is getting the nutrients it needs.

You're probably tiredstressed and worst still, suffering from nausea or morning sickness. All of that means you really can't face spending time cooking the healthy meal packed full of superfoods and nutrients that you know you need.

pregnancy cravings

Your body is crying out for broccoli while you cry out for a greasy takeaway, the list of foods you can't eat seems as long as your arm and you might have unexplainable cravings that are driving you mad. Despite all this it is important you maintain a healthy diet and eat the right foods for every stage of pregnancy.

In this article:

Health and fitness app Lifesum polled its users to find out what ladies most commonly craved while pregnant. Lovisa Nilsson, Lifesum’s in-house nutrition and fitness expert, helps explain the underlying causes of all those pregnancy cravings and also tells us how we can use exercise after birth to help shift post-baby weight if we have indulged in any of those not so healthy pregnancy cravings...

Common pregnancy cravings and what they mean:

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1) Coal

When women crave non-food items during pregnancy, they could be suffering from a condition called Pica

This might seem odd but it’s more common than you would think and 14% of Lifesum users polled said they craved coal. “When women crave non-food items during pregnancy, they could be suffering from a condition called Pica,” says Lovisa. “The reason that women suffer from Pica is unknown, however, it could be that their iron levels are low as coal is rich in this mineral, for example; when women crave chalk it is often because they need calcium to support the skeletal growth of the baby.”

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