Pregnancy Diet Mysteries – What Is Food Aversion In pregnancy

A food aversion is a mere opposite of a craving. Instead of deeply wanting to eat a certain food, you don’t want to eat a particular food or any food at all. Just like cravings, many pregnant women have food aversions or a new sense of repulsion at the very thought of a food that they previously enjoyed. Certain smells and tastes tend to get repulsive to you. Even a slight whiff or a sniff of it may trigger your nausea and morning sickness to strike while at times it could take tantamount proportions.Cravings and Aversions can be Unpredictable and often unavoidable too. It is better that you know about these as you tread on your wonderful journey of womanhood to the blessed motherhood!What Causes Them?Most think the culprit behind these reactions to food is hormonal. Progesterone and Estrogen are quite elevated during pregnancy and are probably to blame. Stress can heighten the reactions and improper diet can exacerbate symptoms as well.Food Aversions and their crazy cousins Cravings disappear or at least subside or get toned down usually by the second trimester. But this is not the last word. For some women, it may continue. Risks Of AversionsNausea and food aversions during pregnancy may range from mild to very severe. Aversion is a mild word for such a strong response. They’ll also send you running from foods that contain important baby-friendly nutrients such as Iron, Vitamin B12, Omega 3 Fats, Calcium etc.,While you only need an additional 300 calories while pregnant, you do need to choose all your calories with ideal combinations of Calorie and nutrient-rich foods. If you have an aversion to certain things, you may need to substitute something else to make sure there are no gaps in your diet. Let us take this with examples –

  • Can’t drink Milk – substitute with Yoghurt, fresh Curds
  • Can’t eat Chapattis, at least try broken wheat, germinated wheat powder mixed into porridges or while making soups
  • Can’t eat Fish or rather started hating Fish/Meats – eat a small fistful of Nuts, try different Dals, legumes such as chick peas, black peas, kidney beans etc., to compensate.


PICAPica is a condition in which pregnant women get strange cravings for things that aren’t edible. The word “Pica” is Latin for magpie which is a bird notorious for eating almost anything.“Don’t think you’re going CRAZY if it happens to you”. After all, everything comes with a price.What Causes Pica?The exact cause is unknown but it could be one of, or the combination of, different conditions/factors like:

  • Deficiencies in iron, calcium, zinc, and other nutrients (like thiamine, niacin, vitamins C and D)
  • Mental or physical illness
  • Malnutrition and hunger due to an eating disorder or poverty.
  • Women who experienced Pica in childhood


  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Recurrent infections and/or parasitic infestations
  • Dental injuries

Common Pica CravingsSome women develop a craving for non-food items, like

  • Clay, limestone, laundry starch, chalk, dirt, burnt matches, stones, charcoal, mothballs, toothpaste, soap, sand, plaster
  • Ice, cornstarch, coffee grounds, baking soda
  • Newspapers, toilet paper, cigarette ashes, coal, stones, sponges, paint chips, glue, hair, buttons, etc.

Try to eat a balanced diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein, carbohydrate and plenty of water – don’t think that I am being impractical in suggesting this one, but where it is possible allow your willpower and discretion to take the upper hand. Are you one of the blessed candidates going through PICA? – No worries, yield to your craving in moderation and try to eat healthy where and when possible.

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