Craving Soup During Pregnancy: What It Means

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Soup is a fan favorite in the cold winter months, but many pregnant women find themselves craving it at all times of the year. Is there a reason you might crave soup during pregnancy?

Overall, researchers are still not sure what causes pregnancy cravings. However, soup cravings are completely normal and can be safely indulged. 

Let’s discuss why you might crave soup during pregnancy, how to indulge safely, and whether there are any health benefits!

Is it Normal to Crave Soup When Pregnant? 

First of all, it is important to note that craving soup is completely normal during pregnancy. 

miso soup in a bowl

Many researchers still struggle to explain why pregnancy leads to increased food cravings, including soup. However, cravings are commonly thought to relate to nutritional deficiencies or hormonal changes that naturally occur during pregnancy.

While nutritional deficiencies make sense as a cause of cravings, this doesn’t explain why many pregnant women crave foods high in salt, sugar, and fat (source: Frontiers in Psychology).

There is also scientific evidence that pregnancy causes sensory alterations, such as changes in taste and smell, which can lead to food cravings. 

If you find yourself craving soup and nothing else, you need to be sure you consume a balanced variety of ingredients. Many soups contain adequate amounts of vegetables. Make sure the soup you choose also includes a good source of protein, like beans or meat.

tomato soup with pasta in a bowl

The most commonly craved soups during pregnancy are miso soup, tomato soup, and chicken noodle soup. Pair tomato soup with some grilled chicken or another protein source. Add some soft tofu into your miso soup to increase the protein content.

By the way – if you’re a tomato soup fan, you might want further details on safety, risks, and benefits of tomatoes for expecting mothers.

Another tip – if your soup is a broth-based soup (versus a creamy soup), pair it with a glass of pasteurized milk or non-dairy milk substitute to get adequate calcium and vitamin D. If you want to learn about the safety and benefits of bone broth during pregnancy, take a closer look at our article for valuable insights.

If your soup does not contain any rice or pasta, add a whole-grain source of fiber, such as a wheat dinner roll or crackers. Fiber supports a healthy digestive system, regulates blood sugar, and can even lower cholesterol (source: Mayo Clinic). 

To get all your essential vitamins and minerals, pair your soup with a small piece of fruit. 

Finally, to safely indulge in your soup cravings, it is crucial to be mindful of the sodium content. Since sodium is both a flavor enhancer and a preservative, it is often plentiful in soups and can add up quickly. 

The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Limiting your intake to 1,500 milligrams is even better. 

If you eat canned soup varieties, look for lower sodium options to decrease your sodium intake.

Making your own soup at home is the best way to have complete control over the amount of salt you add, and it also allows you to use ingredients you enjoy. 

Have you ever wondered which soups are the most beneficial during pregnancy? We’ve included that in our coverage too! Explore our full article listing the 12 best soups for pregnancy, including those that help with nausea.

Udon soup with pork, eggs, shiitake and onions

Does Craving Soup Mean I’m Having a Boy or Girl?

You may have heard that craving soup during pregnancy can indicate whether you will have a boy or a girl, but this is not backed by science. It may be fun to speculate, but there is no relationship between craving soup (or any cravings!) and having a boy or a girl.

In conclusion, I hope you found this article informative and helpful in deciphering what your soup cravings mean and how to indulge safely.