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20 Foods Pregnant Women Crave the Most & Why the Heck You Want Them

I'm Sarah - wife to my amazing husband, John, and mom to two little girls, Cami and Maisie.  I used to work in the finance industry before having my daughters, and now I'm a freelance personal finance writer and blogger.  I love being wi...

There's actually some science behind why we crave crazy things when we're pregnant

11. Sugary sweets

A craving for sweets and candy is one of the most commonly reported among pregnant women. This can sometimes be a sign of gestational diabetes, but most of the time it can be chalked up to hormonal changes that affect your scent and taste perception. Try eating fruit or having a glass of freshly squeezed juice to satisfy your craving — or just stick to one small piece of candy a day.

12. Beans and greens

Some women crave healthier foods, like leafy green veggies, legumes and whole grains, that provide the body with tons of essential nutrients, including magnesium and fiber. Feel free to indulge in these foods as often as you like.

13. Red meat

Red meat is full of protein and iron, which many pregnant women crave. The key here is to skip the fattier cuts like rib-eye and go for round or sirloin cuts. Or choose your favorite lean ground beef to make burgers.

14. Juice

Most fruit juices are full of vitamins, and growing a baby inside you can be thirsty work! That's why many women report craving juice when they are pregnant even if they used to drink only water before. As long as you stick to no-added-sugar juices, feel free to guzzle an 8-ounce serving when the craving kicks in.

15. Salt

It's not uncommon for women to crave salty foods as their pregnancy goes on. The reason? An increase in blood volume can change your dietary need for sodium. If salt is what you crave, then stick to the shaker — the sodium in processed foods can far exceed the needs of even a pregnant woman and often contain extra unsavory ingredients.

16. Vinegar

Sometimes a pickle craving escalates, and it turns out that vinegar is what a pregnant woman really wants. Some women lust after sauerkraut or salt 'n' vinegar chips, while some even admit to drinking the stuff straight up! Try unfiltered apple cider vinegar, which you can mix with seltzer for a refreshing drink — just watch out for heartburn.

17. Dairy

Milk, yogurt and cheese, oh my! Lots of pregnant women get the urge to eat dairy after their first trimester (when dairy can cause some tummy trouble). Calcium- and protein-rich, low-fat dairy foods, like string or cottage cheese, skim milk and Greek yogurt, are great choices to satisfy these cravings.

More: 10 Pieces of Pregnancy Advice I'm Glad I Ignored

18. Crazy combinations

Ever heard of moms-to-be dunking pickles into peanut butter or putting olives in their ice cream? No one knows exactly why some women crave unusual combinations of food when they're pregnant, but some theorize that it's the body's way of making sure the growing baby receives a broad range of nutrients. So feel free to ignore the strange looks from your family and friends, and mix it up however you like in the kitchen.

19. Comfort food

If you find yourself craving your mom's mac & cheese or a dish you have at Christmas every year, it might not have any relation to your body's physical needs. Pregnancy can be tough, and it's totally normal to crave foods that make you think of cozy, calmer times. So don't stress — let yourself indulge in an old favorite if it makes you feel better.

20. Nonedible food

If you're craving chalk, dirt or any other nonfood item, then go see your doctor. Pica — a condition in which one craves and eats nonfood items — can be very dangerous, especially if you give in to the craving. It's thought that pica can indicate an iron deficiency, but even if that's not the case, you should consult your physician to figure out what your body is trying to tell you.

There's actually some science behind why we crave crazy things when we're pregnant
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