A lot of people joke about how pregnant women crave weird things like pickles and ice cream, and I guess half of that is true for me because for both of my pregnancies now it's been pickles! I also crave fresh fruit, so all in all I guess I go on a citrusy/sweet/juicy kick. I never hold back on my fruit intake, but have been trying to limit my pickles to just one a day since I always assumed they weren't very healthy. Well, yesterday I heard the contrary on a quick radio tidbit about how pickles ARE a healthy part to our diets....yippee! So, pick up a bottle of pickles and snack away! My fav. kind is Nalley's Kosher Dill Spears with Garlic Seasoning (as pictured right). For more details on healthy pickles, you can visit this online article. For those of you who don't have the time, here's what I consider to be the most relevant findings...
Pickles are a popular snack, side dish, and condiment. But did you know that pickles are also a healthy part of your diet? There are many different pickle recipes out there, but each version has its own healthy benefits depending on the ingredients that went into the pickle and the method used for pickling, whether fermented or packed with vinegar. Pickles are great for most diets because not only are they low in calories, and low in fat or fat-free, many versions are also low in sugar.
Pickles are also a healthy edition to your diet for other reasons. Pickles, being made from cucumbers or other vegetables, are high in fiber which is necessary for digestive health and fighting cancer. They also contain antioxidants, which fight free-radicals, which can be a good source of calcium, magnesium, and iron. The recommendation by most health professionals is to eat five servings of vegetables and fruit each day. Eating pickles is a great way to get a daily serving or two of your five-a-day!
The spices with which pickles are made are also healthy. For example, dill and garlic, both of which are popular in pickles, both have the ability to regulate bacterial growth. Dill and other spices also contain flavonoids, which is a healing addition to your diet. Mustard seeds are known to be good for digesting foods and even turmeric powder has medicinal properties and is believed to lower rates of Alzheimer's disease.
While exploring this topic, I also thought I'd google why pregnant women crave the foods that they do and found this list from this online article.
Why Pregnant Women Crave Certain Foods
There is no definitive answer as to why pregnant women crave certain foods in their diet. In fact, it is also common for pregnant women to experience no cravings at all. Nonetheless, several explanations have been put forth by researchers trying to find the key to pregnant diet cravings:
Hormonal changes during pregnancy may alter a woman's sense of taste and smell making her crave food that she normally would not have enjoyed. This could also explain why menopausal women often experience food cravings and aversions.
Temporary nutritional deficiencies may cause cravings; however, this reason would not explain why some women crave more than enough amounts of certain nutrients. Nonetheless, a craving for pickles could indicate low sodium levels in the blood, while craving chocolate may be triggered by a vitamin B deficiency. A craving for red meat may indicate a need for protein, while cravings for peaches might be a result of low beta carotene levels.
Emotional needs are known to be connected with food intake. A pregnant woman may be craving certain foods, consciously or subconsciously, as a response to emotional needs. Many pregnant women crave nostalgic foods that remind them of their childhoods or religious and cultural background, particularly if they are removed from it.
Warding off pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and nausea may be the basis for certain food aversions as well as pica cravings of non-food items during pregnancy. Substances like baking soda are known for calming digestive discomfort, while coffee, alcohol, and fried foods may induce nausea as well as harm your baby.