Q:

Why do you crave tuna during pregnancy?

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Quick Answer

The reason that some women experience tuna or any type of food cravings during pregnancy is unknown. According to Dr. Andrei Rebarber at NYU Medical Center in New York, the cravings may suggest a nutrient deficiency in the mother. The Mayo Clinic recommends eating seafood in moderation and avoiding types of fish that are associated with higher mercury levels, including tuna.

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Full Answer

Dr. Rebarber maintains that the woman is not necessarily craving the particular food, but her body is craving a nutrient that the food contains. Her taste buds then interpret this deficiency as a craving. WebMD explains that this process is not an uncommon one with most people. Taste buds play a large role in how a person generally interprets her body's nutritional needs.

The change in hormone levels during a woman's pregnancy can alter her sense of taste and smell, according to WebMD. She may develop an aversion to some foods along with intense cravings for others. In rare instances, pregnant women can develop cravings for non-food items, such as dirt, paint or laundry starch. This is condition is known as pica, and there is no known cause for it.

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