Pregnancy is a beautiful journey but may sometimes take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Before pregnancy, you could be a health-conscious individual, eating your salads, fruits, balanced meals, and drinking sufficient water.
Then pregnancy happens, and suddenly you’re longing for dill pickles and a pint of ice cream. Others may never get satisfied from eating bread and always crave it. The funny thing is maybe these foods you’re craving might have never been your go-to’s. Read on to learn more about why you crave bread, what to do, and foods to eat when longing for bread.
What It Means When You Crave Bread While Pregnant
Your Body Has Insufficient Carbohydrates
Bread is made up primarily of carbs, so it’s an excellent carbohydrate source. Your craving for bread could result from your body’s need for this nutrient.
Carbohydrates are energy-giving foods and vital for proper body functions. So, anytime you crave bread or other high carbohydrate-containing foods while pregnant, it’s better to give your body what it needs – carbs, rather than ignoring it.
Eating bread whenever you crave it gives your body the recommended amount of carbohydrates it needs to function throughout the day properly.
You Need A Boost In Your Mood
As a carbohydrate-rich food, bread help you produce serotonin which boosts mood. That’s why most stressed people tend to binge on junk foods high in carbs to boost their moods and feel better. Thus, if you’re feeling down or emotionally stressed while pregnant, you may crave bread because you need the serotonin in it to boost your mood.
If that’s the case, just give in to the craving and enjoy some bread to lift your mood. But remember to eat moderately and avoid overindulgence, which may result in more problems.
Did you know hunger can make you crave bread when pregnant? When you’re hungry, you can crave any food, including bread. Again bread is a high carbohydrate food, and eating it can make you full fast.
As previously stated, bread is an essential nutrient your body needs but only takes it in moderation to satisfy your craving. Don’t overeat as it may lead to excessive weight gain while pregnant.
You Need Nutrients From The Bread
Bread contains various vitamins and minerals alongside carbohydrates. And although these nutrients are in small amounts, your lacking them can make you crave bread. Besides carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins, eating bread offers antioxidants and fiber.
Pregnancy in itself increases your nutrient demands. You’ll need more nutrients during this time for yourself and that of your growing baby. So, having nutrient deficiency during pregnancy is very likely if you don’t make efforts to eat right. This can make you crave bread. And what better way to provide those nutrients other than eating the foods you crave?
Is Bread Good During Pregnancy?
Bread is an excellent source of carbohydrates, a nutrient you and your baby need. Since bread is part of a healthy diet, it’s good to eat it when pregnant. Although there are various kinds of healthy bread in shops and supermarkets, pregnant women can safely enjoy all types of bread in moderation. Reading nutrition labels and packaging can let you know the bread you’re buying.
However, sometimes the bread cravings are constant, and you may find yourself eating bread all the time. That’s something different and unhealthy. It’s crucial to follow a healthy and balanced diet while pregnant to ensure optimal mother and baby health.
Most refined breads are high in sugars, lack specific vitamins and minerals, and contain lots of sodium, preservatives, and additives, unlike whole-grain bread. Such breads are only best when eaten in moderation to satisfy the craving but not make it your quick fix. Overconsuming refined foods high in salt, sugar, and additives are not recommended and can be harmful to your health.
Carbohydrates should form a third of your daily food consumption while pregnant. The recommended carbohydrate intake for expectant mothers is six to eleven servings per day. Note that one serving of carbohydrates does not mean a full plate and is smaller than people think. For instance, one-third of a cup of cooked rice or one-half of an English muffin counts as one carbohydrate serving. Other dietary recommendations when pregnant include:
- Eating a variety of foods.
- 2-4 servings of fruits.
- 3 servings of proteins.
- 4 servings of dairy products.
- 4+ servings of vegetables.
- Eating fats and sweets sparingly.
Tips To Deal With Pregnancy Cravings
- Remove all unhealthy snacks from your house and instead stock up on healthy snacks like yogurt, dark chocolate, and fruits. This is the easiest way to avoid eating junk foods.
- Look for non-food substitutes to satisfy your food cravings. Like calling a friend or taking a walk anytime your cravings sets in.
- Practice moderation and avoid food restrictions. Eat anything your craving for, but know where to draw the line and avoid overindulgence.
- Eat small meals and snacks frequently (after every 3 hours) to stabilize your blood sugar and prevent cravings before they occur. Hunger can make pregnant women crave all sorts of foods.
- Focus on well-balanced nutrition but don’t be too hard on yourself. Pregnancy can be a challenging period, and being kind and giving yourself the grace to enjoy a treat once in a while is okay.
- Lastly, avoid foods not recommended for pregnant women. There are various reasons why such foods are not recommended, and steering clear of them can prevent future consequences. Foods like unpasteurized dairy, fish containing high mercury, alcohol, refrigerated smoked seafood, raw or undercooked eggs, and certain types of meat should be avoided during pregnancy.
To sum it up, a craving for bread when pregnant can be due to various reasons. You could be emotionally in a bad place, hungry, or lack carbs or other nutrients in the bread. And the best way to deal with such cravings is to eat the bread. But remember to do so moderately and avoid overeating it. Eating healthier bread like whole grain bread is also better than refined ones. At the end of the day, it’s okay to give in to your cravings, but ensure you know where to draw the line.