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5 Foods I Don't Feel Guilty for Craving During Pregnancy

6/04/2013 *Sara-Marie* 1 Comments

My husband said the following to me the other day:
"When you first got pregnant, I didn't know what to expect. I sort of expected you to totally indulge in all the crazy pregnancy cravings I've ever heard of, especially since when you're typically PMS-ing you crave salty and sweet. And that would have been fine, because hey, you're growing a tiny human and that's hard work. But I am so relieved that you're actually craving really healthy stuff. Baby, I will buy you as many watermelons as you want - any time of day!"
I think I may have gotten teary eyed. Some may have taken offense that my husband was concerned I would blow up like a house during this pregnancy, but not me. I was touched by the fact that he noticed that I was trying my best to make healthy food choices - with the occasional indulgence.

To be totally honest, baby has been helping me. I really am not craving cakes, brownies, ice-cream, or cookies, like I thought I would be. I am often craving just 5 things: watermelon (with lime), mango (with lime), grapefruit, avocado, and plantains (unripe and ripe).


Here's why:

Watermelon with freshly squeezed lime juice is what got me through my first trimester. When nothing else was appealing or would stay down, watermelon always did the trick. This was my very first craving and it has remained strong throughout the last 5 months. Since it was still winter when I first started craving watermelon, they were hard to come by and my husband even spent $9 dollars on a half watermelon! Oh, but it was so worth it. What a good hubby.

According to the article "Watermelon Wonders" found on
Watermelon eases heartburn and reduces swelling; its high water content (92 percent) and fruit sugars alleviate morning sickness and dehydration; and the minerals it contains can help prevent third-trimester muscle cramps. Ounce for ounce, watermelon is richer than tomatoes in lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against cancer and cardiovascular disease, boosts the body's immunity to infections and naturally raises the skin's SPF, according to Steven Pratt, M.D., author of SuperFoods Rx (HarperCollins).

Even better news for pregnant women: A study in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that daily lycopene supplements reduced the incidence of preeclampsia by 50 percent. Test subjects were given 4 milligrams of lycopene; a single serving of watermelon can have triple that amount. What's more, scientists have discovered that watermelon is packed with vitamins A, C and B6, as well as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are important for the development of your baby's vision, brain, nervous and immune systems, and more. For you, potassium regulates water balance in the blood and body tissues during pregnancy. And you get all these benefits for less than 50 calories per cup.
Bring on the watermelon! Adding the freshly squeezed lime juice was just something I discovered by accident, while I was cutting watermelon and trying to make guacamole all at the same time with my next craving: avocado. A piece of watermelon touched some lime juice on my cutting board and I was in heaven. I've been adding lime juice to many things as baby really enjoys sour!

Now, when I knew I needed some type of substance in addition to my watermelon I turned to my BFF the avocado. I knew the healthy fat content would keep me full a little longer and hopefully keep the nausea at bay. Sometimes I'd just eat a whole avocado for lunch and call it a success. Now that I'm able to eat more complete meals, I still try to add 1/4-1/2 an avocado to my meals - either as guacamole or just topping it with some diced pieces. It always satisfies.

According to this article, "Avocados are good for pregnant women since the high folate content in them helps in the development of brain and other tissues of the baby.  The B6 vitamin in these fruits may help in reducing nausea that is associated with pregnancy." 

Sounds like a win-win!

My craving for grapefruit came on all of a sudden. I have enjoyed grapefruits in the past, but it was a while (maybe even years) since I've had one. Then one morning, they just came to mind and I HAD TO HAVE ONE. ASAP. I went grocery shopping that night and ate a very large grapefruit while I was driving home, and it was heavenly. Again, sour things have been very appealing! Plus, grapefruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, and a good source of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B1 according to this article. And I find them very filling.

So mangoes are my absolute favorite fruit in the world. To me, there is nothing better than eating a ripe, juicy mango - hands all sticky and everything. Whenever I am looking for a snack and find a mango waiting for me, I rejoice. It is always the perfect snack, a perfect addition to a salad, or even a perfect side dish. I just love them. I love them so much that my grandmother actually ships me mangoes as a gift. I love that lady. The mango pictured above is actually one that my grandmother shipped to me. It was perfect. God bless her.

Like the other foods listed here, mango is also very nutritious. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Folate - great for baby! It's also a good source of Fiber, Vitamin B6, and Copper.

Again - no guilt here!
Lastly, the plantain. My grandmother also ships me plantains because she doesn't believe we can find good ones here in PA. Either unripe and fried up as tostones or very ripe and sauteed as amarillos/maduros, plantains have been another staple during these months of pregnancy. They are denser and also help to keep me full.

Not many people realize that plantains are actually quite nutritious, since they are typically fried in Caribbean cuisine. However, I fry them in olive oil (a good fat) so I'm not concerned! Plantains contain significant amounts of Vitamins A, C, B6 and Folate, so I feel no guilt enjoying them!

So those are the 5 foods that I don't feel guilty for craving during my pregnancy. Now, of course things haven't been perfect. Over the last week, I've developed a craving that I'm not so proud of: crackers with a thin layer of mayonnaise on top. Hey - you win some, you lose some!

Don't judge :)


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1 comment:

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