Drinking garri during pregnancy and other weird cravings
Weird pregnancy cravings will have you waking up in the middle of the night, digging through your fridge for things you normally wouldn’t eat. You’ll find yourself drinking garri during pregnancy when in actual fact the last time you drank it was when you were suffering in boarding school.
The funny thing is that food is not the only thing you will crave during pregnancy.
Types of cravings during pregnancy
There are two types of cravings during pregnancy and they are:
a. Food craving
b. Non-food craving
Food craving is when you get a strong desire to eat certain foods. This time, you may actually want to eat foods you normally wouldn’t touch.
Non-food craving happens when you get an uncontrollable urge to eat things that aren’t food. You might just develop a taste for chalk, ashes, charcoal, mud, soap, sand and even some toxic materials like paint. This desire to eat things that are not food is called pica.
The science behind cravings and why you think of drinking garri during pregnancy
Not all pregnant women develop cravings, nonetheless, a lot of pregnant women do. According to this paper published in the US National Library of Medicine, 50 – 90% of women in the United States develop food cravings during pregnancy. This is a significantly high number, which goes to show that there are a lot of cases all over the world.
The paper further shows that most craved for foods are sweets, cold foods, dairy, fast food, and meat.
But why does the body strongly desire some things during pregnancy?
1. Drinking garri during pregnancy might happen due to hormonal fluctuation
Pregnancy brings a lot of action at the hormonal level. During this period, many women have reported that their sense of taste and smell changed significantly. These changes might make the woman eat the foods she had hated previously and give up food they had liked before. It might even make her want to eat things like soil or soap because of their smell.
Taste and smell sensitivity during pregnancy might cause women to adjust their dietary preferences during pregnancy.
2. Your weird pregnancy craving is because your body is trying to get some specific nutrients
According to this paper, your body craves some foods because is trying to extract certain nutrients from that food. So you might get a sudden taste for meat, vegetables, or eggs because your body needs all the iron it can get.
If pregnant women pay attention to their cravings, they’ll find that the food they always go for are rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, Vitamins, and calcium.
3. Your weird pregnancy cravings might happen because of your culture
Many pregnant women from the south-south and south-east are familiar with eating nzu during pregnancy. A lot of people from other parts of Nigeria may not understand why these women are eating white clay or local chalk as nzu is sometimes called, but it is a culturally acceptable practice.
4. Sometimes you are drinking garri during pregnancy because your body is just acting weird
Pregnant women don’t always crave things that have nutritional benefits. That’s why you may find yourself eating fatty foods and foods that are way too sugary to be healthy.
How to manage pregnancy cravings
• You don’t always have to give in to your cravings
It might be hard for you to turn away from that appetizing smell of mud, but since it has no nutritional value whatsoever, you should reconsider.
• Pregnancy weight gain isn’t that good for you
Your body doesn’t really require you to eat for two during pregnancy. You only need about 300-500 extra calories to support your growing baby. If you have to give in to your craving, remember that you don’t have to finish that tub of ice cream.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your health and that of your unborn baby.
• If it’s toxic, it isn’t a good idea to eat it
This means no soap. No paint. No charcoal. It will be wise to turn away from items that are toxic and potentially poisonous.
Some of the really weird things pregnant women crave in Nigeria
After speaking to a number of mums, some of them admit to craving these foods and non-food substances.
• Bitter cola
• Kola nut
• Drinking garri during pregnancy
• Nzu or native chalk
• Red clay
• Ice cream
• Corn pap
• Spicy food
• Peppery suya
• Banga stew or ofe aku
• Pastries like doughnuts, meat pies, chin-chin
• Bitter leaf soup
• Okro soup
• Tiger nut milk or kunu aya
• Udara or African star apple
• Cigarette ash
• Tuwo and draw soup
• Cold soft drinks
Don’t be alarmed when you suddenly really need to eat certain questionable things during your pregnancy. Your body is going through a lot of changes, and you should learn to roll with it. To be on the safe side, you can follow these tips for managing pregnancy food cravings.