Taste

Pregnancy Craving: Why Do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles and Other Kinds of Food?

Weird pregnancy cravings: the source of thousands of jokes and many late-night trips to the grocery store. The most stereotypical pregnancy craving is pickles and ice cream, but pregnant women have reported craving just about any kind of food you can think of. Around half of pregnant women in the U.S. have at least one craving, which can be as standard as the pickles and ice cream cliché, or as strange as eggplant or Cheese Whiz sandwiches. Other foods become repulsive to moms-to-be—sometimes food they loved before pregnancy.

Why do pregnant women crave pickles and other kinds of food?

These cravings and aversions occur for a specific reason—the influx of hormones can cause both biological and neurobiological imbalances. Pregnancy hormones impact a woman’s senses of taste and smell, which can cause major shifts in what she wants to eat. Some scientists also believe that some food cravings can indicate a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. The bottom line though? It’s not totally clear why women have cravings and aversions during pregnancy.

Although many women give into their cravings with no problems, food cravings can become severe, causing problems during pregnancy. In these cases, neurocounseling can be effective for reducing or eliminating cravings.

Incorporate cravings into a pregnancy diet for healthy fetal development

Interestingly, some experts have noticed that cravings often change during different stages of pregnancy. For example, many women start becoming hypersensitive to bitterness during the first two trimesters—possibly to prevent the consumption of harmful substances during fetal development.

It’s important to incorporate cravings into a pregnancy diet, since they can be an indication of what the mother or baby needs for healthy development. The catch is that many of these cravings consist of junk food, which should be limited during pregnancy. Too much junk food won’t help the baby’s development, and may cause excess weight gain. Balancing unhealthy cravings with a healthy diet (and healthy cravings) is key for a healthy pregnancy.

Coming up with alternatives for unhealthy cravings is…

Why do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles? Do Pregnancy Cravings Exist?

Is it hard enough to give up on eating those cheese and crackers during your pregnancy period? Pregnant women are thrust upon with endless notion that circles around for a long time: She must be craving those crispy, salty pickles and tacos. People also link those food cravings–including, but not limited to oatmeal, peanut butter, pickles, and ice cream–to the the weird yearning of their babies in the fetus. Different nations and their cultures experience a diverse range of foods that a women craves during pregnancy. The subject of food craving, whether it’s good to have or not, or what it heralds about the unborn baby, has become controversial among the people.

Pregnancy carving do exist and it’s not anything novice. It’s been around here for hundreds of years but there is not a one-fit-all food that is craved during pregnancy. Women crave pickles during pregnancy but that is not the only food at all. Expectant moms may desire for a lot of other foods, too. Pregnant women in the United States1 have been reported to crave for fruit juices, pickles, Ice cream, and pizza. Other common craved foods among pregnant women include meat, mangoes, yogurt, oranges, plantain, and soft drinks.

Many researchers, and medical doctors have explained why there is a strong inclination toward some foods while an aversion to few others.

Craving sweet foods during pregnancy is considered as a sign of having a baby girl and those savory snacks give sign of a boy. Dr Merriam Stoppard, an MD, Health care expert and Television presenter, debunked this myth of pregnancy craving that lingered around us for a long time. She says, “Cravings are thought to be the body’s response to deficiency in certain minerals and trace elements. Indulge them where reasonable but keep away from the ones that are obviously harmful such as coal.”

Pregnancy Craving May be Psychological:

Another research has been carried out to make the crazy pregnancy craving logical. They suggest that craving could be something on mind with no reasonable relation with the body demand for nutrients. A study conducted by the UAlbany2 , while reviewing the existing data of women collected from blog posts, internet websites and other social media platform, suggested that surprisingly there was no relationship between pregnancy craving and nutritional needs of the body.

Julia Hormes, University at Albany Psychology Department researcher3 , believes that a psychological factor of social norm that is prevalent in the U.S about the pregnant women could be the cause for food craving.

Some other studies suggested that food craving–during pregnancy–may lead to a weight gain.However, it’s not true for other nations. Such as a study carried in Tanzania4 where foods of more than 200 pregnant…

Struggling with What to Eat Tonight? Here are 20 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes For You To Choose!

You are a corporate workhorse. Your boss loves you for that. Your paycheque says it all. Life, as you know it, is good.

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. The other side of the story is you always head home with a tired body, exhausted brain, and a hungry stomach. Some nights you would go straight to your favorite fast food joint and get what seems to be your perpetual go-to meal. The question is, are you sure you are eating real, healthy food and not artificial junk masquerading as one?

On other days, you try to muster up all the skills you need to prepare yourself a decent meal–using whatever’s left of your weekly supply. You’re lucky if you happen to have whole grain noodles, fresh tomatoes, and parmesan. Otherwise, grilled skinless chicken breasts would also make a nice, healthy treat. In both instances, you feel a quick sigh of relief, a refreshing break from your rather stale, unhealthy diet.

You don’t need to force yourself to eat food that only does your body more harm than good. It only takes a few minutes to whip up something that will not only satisfy your palate but will also boost your energy for the next day

Here are 20 quick and healthy dinner recipes you can enjoy all without breaking a sweat.

When you get both nutrition and gastronomic indulgence, you know it’s something you need to try. This easy marinara recipe makes use of fresh vegetables, ground sirloin, and jarred marinara sauce–no need to do the sauce from scratch! If you’re preparing a week-long meal plan, this recipe is recommended as it has a shelf life of five days and can be kept in mason jars.

  • Total prep and cook time: 30-35 minutes
  • Health factor: Ground sirloin is the leanest cut of meat–that’s fatless protein for you!

White beans have a mellow, blunt taste to them which means you can mix them in whatever sauce or broth you have. This tuna quesadilla recipe takes its taste from fresh cherry tomato pico, making it a savory meal you can have any time of the day.

  • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
  • Health factor: Beans are known to score low on the glycemic index. This helps reduce your risk of heart diseases and diabetes.

Can’t get enough of marinara? Partner it with coconut oil to make a succulent base for this super quick sardine meal.

  • Total prep and cook time: 1 minute
  • Health factor: Aside from tuna, sardines are known to be one of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids which lower chances of heart diseases

The lemon’s tangy taste cuts through the fresh, earthy texture of vegetables ultimately providing you with a satisfying multi-sensory experience.

  • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
  • Health factor: Keeping a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and improve digestion.

This simple Hawaiian dish offers a nice balance between the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of fresh salmon and the creamy, smooth taste of avocado. Add to this the filling quality of rice and you’ll surely have a full meal, hook, line, and sinker.

  • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
  • Health factor: Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats.

A healthy and deliciously satisfying meal in a single sheet pan. This improved and simplified…

Eating Trash With Claire: Tomato Skin Salt and Peach Skin Sugar

Photos by Claire Lower

I’m a big fan of repurposing seemingly useless scraps into something surprisingly delicious, which is why I was extremely pleased to stumble upon these recipes for tomato skin salt and peach skin sugar on Food52.

Both tomato skins and peach peels initially seem like a dead-end scrap. They’re flimsy, seemingly lacking in flavor, and kind of weird, texturally speaking. Drying them out and concentrating their flavor for use in a tasty powder seemed like almost too good of a solution, and I knew both of these recipes were something I needed to taste to believe.

This idea is the brain child of Gabrielle Hamilton, and can be found among many other treasures in her cookbook Prune. Tomato skins are one of those scraps I’d never given a second thought to, and I never felt particularly bad about it. They’re such a small part of the tomato,and tossing them didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but I now regret every bit of tomato skin I have ever cast aside, so good is this salt.

The process of turning the red skins into a pretty pink salt is an easy one, but first you have to peel them off the tomato, which is also not that hard if you know how to do it. Just take a pairing knife and make a small “x” on the bottom of the fruit, and dunk it in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Once you see the peel start to pull away slightly from the rest…

It’s The Era Of Avocado! Try these 50+ Super Easy Avocado Recipes At Home Now!

Avocados are gaining popularity because of their rich nutritional value plus it’s mild and unique taste. It’s a versatile food that works with all kinds of dishes. Avocados are not only nutritious and delicious, they seem to be the hipster icon of the year. I have seen so many avocado tattoos on calf muscles and biceps that I’ve lost count. So if you love that green berry (yes, avocados are berries) so much that you would eat it for every meal and get a tattoo of it, stay tuned. The potential to add them to everything from smoothies for a rich and creamy texture, to desserts in order to substitute unhealthy fats, is endless! Avocados are super nutrient-rich, and the fact that they taste delicious makes it easy to get all your vitamins and healthy fats with every bite.

How to shop for avocados:

I love a good life hack, and luckily there are plenty for picking avocados. It’s difficult to base your decision on color alone (though you should observe any discoloration and bruising,) so it’s better to squeeze the berry gently and see if it’s firm but gives just a little. Don’t use your fingertips though, because you could wind up bruising it! If the avocado yields to firm, gentle pressure, then it’s ripe and ready. But if it just feels kind of tough, it’s going to need a couple more days 1

My favorite life hack for avocado selection is this one: peel back the stem! If you scratch off the tiny little stem on the top of the avocado, you’ll be able to know if your choice will be delicious or just brown and slimy inside. If the stem comes off easy and what’s underneath appears green, then it’s ripe! If you find brown underneath, then it’s overripe and won’t be good. And if the stem doesn’t come off and all, then the avocado is under ripe and won’t be ready for some time.

If you’re buying avocados for an event, such as a party that absolutely needs guacamole, purchase unripe avocados 4-5 days in advance. That should give you a nice window and help to ensure you won’t wind up with over-ripe berries at your party.

Taking off the steam is the easiest way to tell whether it’s good to eat or not!

It’s not ripped yet!

How to store avocados:

Once you’re a pro at choosing avocados, you still have to be able to store them. If you’re like me, you don’t always use the entire berry in one sitting; sometime’s I’ll put half into my smoothie, and sometimes I spread a quarter on toast. I typically put my leftover avocado in Tupperware before sticking it in the fridge, but there are better ways to store the green goodness and ensure it won’t be gross by the next morning 2.

No matter what form it’s in, cut, sliced, mashed, or even guacamole, put the remainders in a bowl and sprinkle some lemon, lime or even fresh orange juice on top. The acid slows down the oxidation process (that’s what leads to the brown slime) and prolongs the life of the avocado. But if you do start to see some browning, just scoop those parts out and toss them.

If your avocado is simply sliced in half, you can just run some water over the cut surface and put it in the fridge. It’ll most likely develop a little brown film, but it’ll peel back easily and can be tossed.

If your avocado is perfectly ripe but you don’t have the time to use it, don’t throw it away! Puree your avocado with a food processor or blender and store it in the freezer. When you are ready to try out that new dip or spread recipe, you can take it out and use it.

How to ripen an avocado:

I think we’ve all been there: in the produce section of our supermarket standing in front of the lousy selection of avocados and being forced to find the best of the worst. Obviously you want to choose one that is under-ripe and not over-ripe, but it still means you are going to have to wait to be able to eat it. Maybe as long as four days! Or does it?

It turns out, there are some simple and effective methods to ripening an avocado quickly.

  1. Place the under-ripe avocado in a paper bag. Make sure the bag is in good shape and there aren’t any rips or tears. The bag is going to seal in the ethylene gas and ultimately ripen the berry.
  2. Add a banana in the bag with the avocado. You can use an apple or a tomato if you don’t have any bananas lying around, but the banana is your first choice. These fruits emit more ethylene gas than others, and the more they produce, the faster they’ll ripen.
  3. Close the bag by rolling it down and keep it at room temperature and away from sunlight.
  4. Check in often. The avocado will ripen as quickly as one day, so be sure to check it out. As it ripens, it will get some hints of deep purple and black. Once it’s ripe, store it as discussed, but only fora few days.

How to ripen a cut avocado:

If you forgot to check for the ripeness of the avocado and went straight to slicing it open, you may be disappointed to realize it’s not read to eat. Luckily you can take a couple steps and ripen the halves in no time.

  1. Sprinkle the avocado…

Why Marijuana Gives You the “Munchies”

marijuana

If you’ve ever smoked marijuana, then you’ve probably had some experience watching all three Lord of the Rings movies while eating the most delicious steak you’ve ever had owing to the fact that you decided to cover it in peanut butter and jelly. It is at this point that you might find yourself wondering why marijuana gives you the munchies.

The answer appears to be a combination of a few different things, primarily an increase in your ability to smell, which in turn makes your food taste better; an upsurge in the release of a neurotransmitter, Dopamine; and through the complex mechanism of how the human body deals with hunger, the production of an appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin. So how does marijuana accomplish all this?

Marijuana, and its active ingredients, known as cannabinoids, affect the brain in a number of ways. For instance, the cannabinoid that gives us that memory-killing-high is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are at least 85 separate cannabinoids in marijuana, all exhibiting varied effects within the body. To better understand the role of these in feeling famished, let’s look at what normally stimulates our appetite.

The body uses several complex mechanisms to regulate hunger and subsequent feeding. Those mechanisms aren’t yet fully understood. However, what we do know is that hunger has been shown to be a two part mechanism that flip-flops when the body senses a decrease or excess in energy stores.

shutterstock_316922606

When it senses a deficit, it triggers the release of ghrelin. This hormone is released by the GI tract and stimulates your hypothalamus in the brain to increase hunger. Interestingly, it also affects an area of the brain known as the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA), which helps in the release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.

Conversely, when there’s an excess in energy stores, fat cells release the hormone leptin. This stimulates the hypothalamus to inhibit hunger. Leptin has also been shown to affect the VTA, thus, also affecting dopamine release. Additionally, leptin counteracts the effects of another neurotransmitter, anandamide. Anandamide is another potent hunger stimulator that binds to the same receptor sites…

Why Marijuana Gives You the “Munchies”

marijuana

If you’ve ever smoked marijuana, then you’ve probably had some experience watching all three Lord of the Rings movies while eating the most delicious steak you’ve ever had owing to the fact that you decided to cover it in peanut butter and jelly. It is at this point that you might find yourself wondering why marijuana gives you the munchies.

The answer appears to be a combination of a few different things, primarily an increase in your ability to smell, which in turn makes your food taste better; an upsurge in the release of a neurotransmitter, Dopamine; and through the complex mechanism of how the human body deals with hunger, the production of an appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin. So how does marijuana accomplish all this?

Marijuana, and its active ingredients, known as cannabinoids, affect the brain in a number of ways. For instance, the cannabinoid that gives us that memory-killing-high is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are at least 85 separate cannabinoids in marijuana, all exhibiting varied effects within the body. To better understand the role of these in feeling famished, let’s look at what normally stimulates our appetite.

The body uses several complex mechanisms to regulate hunger and subsequent feeding. Those mechanisms aren’t yet fully understood. However, what we do know is that hunger has been shown to be a two part mechanism that flip-flops when the body senses a decrease or excess in energy stores.

shutterstock_316922606

When it senses a deficit, it triggers the release of ghrelin. This hormone is released by the GI tract and stimulates your hypothalamus in the brain to increase hunger. Interestingly, it also affects an area of the brain known as the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA), which helps in the release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.

Conversely, when there’s an excess in energy stores, fat cells release the hormone leptin. This stimulates the hypothalamus to inhibit hunger. Leptin has also been shown to affect the VTA, thus, also affecting dopamine release. Additionally, leptin counteracts the effects of another neurotransmitter, anandamide. Anandamide is another potent hunger stimulator that binds to the same receptor…

Study Sheds Light on Why Salty Snacks Are So Addictive

Anyone who’s torn through a bowl of popcorn in one sitting knows that salty snacks can be dangerously addictive. A new study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation [PDF] suggests that more than the snack’s taste fuels our insatiable eating habits. The more salt we ingest, the more water we retain, which may leave us still feeling hungry after a snack binge.

As MDC Insights reports, the findings come from a group of international researchers looking at “cosmonauts” on simulated flights to Mars. Two groups, each made up of 10 male volunteers, were fed meals that were identical in every aspect except for salt content. Subjects eating the saltier diet produced more urine, which came as no surprise to the researchers.

It’s the common belief that salty food makes people want to drink more, thus making them pee more. On a Mars mission where every ounce of water equals more money spent on fuel,…

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

Starbucks has not formally announced the product, but there have been sightings in the wild of a pink-and-blue-swirled drink called the Unicorn Frappuccino. From the descriptions, this resembles coffee in no way, shape, or form. It’s a sweet/sour drink that is supposed to change flavor as you drink it, and from reports, the taste wavers between mango and Skittles. According to Eater, it should be unveiled on Wednesday. Mike…

10 Utterly Flavorful Drinks You Can Drink All Day And Still Not Gain Weight.

As you embark upon a journey of weight loss you soon discover how many empty calories we all intake, and they don’t always come from food we eat. It can be quite frustrating to realize that no matter how hard you try to regulate your diet, the drinks you are used to consuming are actually harming your weight loss process. What’s even more challenging to most people is the fact that healthy alternatives in food and drinks usually taste quite blend which is one of the most frequent reason why people return to old habits of eating and drinking. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between healthy, low calorie drinks and drinks that taste good. In order to help you stick to your healthy regiment, we have compiled a list of 10 flavored drinks you can drink and still not gain weight.

Instead of fruit juices that are high in sugar, why don’t you try vegetable juices instead? I promise they taste just as good!

In order to avoid fruit sugar, and still keep great flavor, you can opt for delicious vegetable juices that not only taste great, but can also help you lose some body fat.

Cucumber juice

Cucumber is high in water and it’s good for hydrating your body too!

One of the most refreshing beverages that actually aids the weight loss process by acting as a strong diuretic, cucumber juice is one of the best options when you want a flavored, refreshing, and toxin-removing drink.

Beetroot juice

Beetroot contains antioxidant and it’s good for your skin too!

Beetroot is known for being rich in healthy nutrients. By containing both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, beetroot helps reducing body fat as it sustains proper bowel function. Beetroot juice provides a tasty and healthy alternative to sugary juices that turn into fat.

Wheatgrass juice

Wheatgrass is high in fibre and it’s can help to ease your digestion!

Wheatgrass is beneficial to weight loss since it not only acts as a great detoxifier, but it is only rich in fiber, which…