Have you ever wondered why you are craving fruit during your pregnancy and how to safely indulge in those cravings?
You may crave fruit during your pregnancy due to nutrient deficiencies, or you may simply be experiencing the effects of hormonal imbalances. Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly why pregnant women have food cravings.
Let’s dive into the research behind craving fruit during pregnancy and debunk some common myths. Read on to learn more about why you might be craving fruit, and any meanings that science has discovered.
Why Am I Craving Fruit During Pregnancy?
Keep in mind that craving fruit (or anything, for that matter!) is entirely normal during pregnancy and usually nothing to worry about.
Whether you seem to crave sour or sweet fruits, craving fruit during pregnancy can mean a few things.
It is also an antioxidant, which means it protects your body’s cells against damage from harmful free radicals that are naturally produced from body processes such as metabolism.
Similarly, vitamin A is an important nutrient for pregnant women as it supports healthy eyes and teeth in the baby (source: American Pregnancy Association).
Vitamin A is found in yellow fruits such as cantaloupe, as well as blueberries.
The relationship between pregnancy and cravings is still being discussed in the research community. Let’s discuss some of the hypotheses, beginning with hormonal changes.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy do not necessarily cause cravings, but they do play some role. Hormone secretion during pregnancy contributes to sensory alterations, including those senses of taste and smell (source: Frontiers in Psychology).
These changes in taste perception likely contribute to pregnancy food aversions and cravings, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty as to why and how.
Nutritional deficiencies are a bit mysterious, too. Some pregnant women crave fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods, but the majority of cravings are for energy-dense foods such as sweet foods, fried foods, and salty snacks (source: Frontiers in Psychology).
If common pregnancy cravings were solely the result of nutritional deficiencies, it would be more likely that women would only crave nutritious foods.
Experts agree that more research needs to be done to determine what causes cravings during pregnancy. The main point here is that types of cravings are normal, natural, and nothing to worry about!
Let’s discuss how to satisfy your fruit cravings in a healthy way.
I’m Craving Canned Fruit When Pregnant – What Does It Mean?
If you are wondering why you may be craving canned fruit specifically, it may just be because canned fruit is often packed in juice or even a sugary syrup, making it much sweeter than fresh fruit.
Canned fruit is still an excellent option to get your vitamins and minerals (and satisfy that craving!), especially if the fruit you are craving is out of season or expensive to buy fresh in the produce section of your grocery store.
However, opt for canned fruit that is packed in water or 100% fruit juice instead of syrup, even light syrup. These options will reduce the sugar content, which can contribute to excessive weight gain.
Does Craving Fruit Help Predict Baby’s Gender?
While many find it fun to interpret their food cravings during pregnancy as a way to predict their baby’s gender, there is no scientific evidence to back this up.
As mentioned above, a food craving is a normal occurrence during pregnancy that could be due to hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies, or no known reason at all.
Why You Might Crave Fruit Juice When Pregnant
If you crave fruit juice during pregnancy, it may be because your body wants more hydration. Dehydration during pregnancy can increase the risk of neural tube defects, premature labor, and more (source: American Pregnancy Association).
The American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women increase their water consumption to at least eight to twelve cups a day, which is higher than for non-pregnant women.
Fruit juice provides the vitamins and minerals from the fruit, as well as fluids that can keep you hydrated.
However, fruit juice often has dietary fiber removed, which is essential during pregnancy. Opt for fruit juice with the pulp to get adequate amounts of dietary fiber.
Another consideration for safely consuming fruit juice during pregnancy is that it must be pasteurized (source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]). Pasteurization is the process of heating the juice to high temperatures to kill any dangerous bacteria.
Avoid juice from health food stores, farmer’s markets, or juice stands, since these products are often unpasteurized. Unpasteurized juice is required to have a warning label on it.
Craving Fruit AND Vegetables During Pregnancy
Finally, you may experience fruit and vegetable cravings during your pregnancy. This is nothing to worry about, and you can safely satisfy your cravings for fresh produce during pregnancy.
In fact, it is encouraged to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables during your pregnancy, whether fresh, frozen, or canned.
Just remember that fruits, vegetables, and any other fresh produce (such as herbs), need to be thoroughly washed under running water and scrubbed with a vegetable brush if the exterior is firm (source: FDA).
Washing your produce is especially important during pregnancy because it lowers the risk of foodborne illness.
I hope this article helps you understand why you might crave fruit during your pregnancy and how to safely satisfy that craving!