By LuAnn Womach
Are you craving foods you never imagined you’d like this much, or never liked before? You’re not alone. Research says that 19 percent of pregnant women crave the sour taste of citrus, while another 20 percent frequently want sweets of some kind. Instead of indulging in empty extra calories, satisfy your taste buds with these nutritious solutions to your cravings.
• If you’re sweet on sweets, fresh fruits supply needed vitamins and minerals, and you can drizzle your favorite type with low-fat chocolate syrup to satisfy that desire for chocolate. Glazed walnuts contain protein and omega-3 fats. And non-fat frozen yogurt delivers necessary calcium along with a sweet shot.
• Prefer pucker power? Citrus fruits, greens with lemon juice, cranberry juice, and, yes, pickles provide essential vitamins and add that sour zip you can’t get enough of.
• Need a spicy kick? Hot sauce is an easy way to add zing to bland dishes. Salsa served with whole-wheat crackers and black bean soup or gazpacho also offers extra zest. Plus, all of these alternatives are loaded with vitamins and fiber.
• Satiate salty desires with whole-wheat pretzels, nuts, or popcorn seasoned with herbs and spices. And pick snack products with spelt or flax, which add fiber and protein.
“Don’t make eating during pregnancy a complicated, scientific endeavor,” says Karen Gibson, R.D., a nutritionist in the department of pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. “Instead, focus on the quality of the food you consume.”