There are a few different reasons why women experience pregnancy cravings.
First off, hormonal changes cause cravings. It is due to these changes that tend to alter our sensory perception. “In one study, 26% of women reported noticing changes in taste, while over 65% found changes in smell sensitivity. In other words, how pregnant women perceive the taste, smell, texture, etc. of food changes. This could serve to protect expecting mothers and their fetuses, by discouraging the mother to eat potentially toxic foods during pregnancy.”
Hormones that fluctuate can be the leading cause of pregnant women’s sensory perception, leading to cravings. Secondly, cravings can happen in response to nutritional deficits in the mother. During pregnancy, the mother is required to meet a specific nutrition milestones daily in order to house a healthy baby. Sufficient nutrition is very important for the development of the fetus. Nutritional deficit suggests that pregnant women “crave foods rich in micronutrients that are either lacking in their diet: folic acid, zinc, vitamin A, iron…”
As the fetus grows, the amount of nutrients needed will also increase. This would lead to more frequent cravings.
An example of this would be ….
1) Craving pickles or potato chips: high in sodium (if a women is dehydrated and requires more electrolytes)
2) Craving yogurt or dairy: high in protein (if a women has not consumed enough protein for energy)