Food Checker Pregnancy

Craving Onions During Pregnancy (Benefits, Safety, Boy or Girl)

Craving a particular type of food during pregnancy is extremely common for moms- to-be.

And as you may know first-hand, pregnancy cravings can vary dramatically, from refreshing foods like ice cream, lemons and oranges, to much more strange types of foods like vinegar, tuna or even chalk.

Many times there is a reason behind a pregnancy craving, such as your changing nutritional needs or your body trying to tell you it’s lacking some sort of nutrient – and a craving for onions is no different.

What Causes Pregnancy Cravings?

According to experts, pregnancy cravings can be caused by a number of different things.

Some of the most common causes of pregnancy cravings include:

  • Changing hormones
  • Heightened sense of smell and taste
  • Nutritional deficiencies or other needs
  • Need for hydration and refreshment

When Do Pregnancy Cravings Occur?

Typically most pregnant women experience cravings quite early on in their pregnancy, usually during the first trimester.

For a lot of women the cravings peak during the second trimester, but although this is frequently the case for many women, you should note that cravings can in fact occur at any time throughout your pregnancy.

Pregnant Woman Looking at the Kitchen Cabinets

Why Am I Craving Onions During Pregnancy?

If you find you suddenly have a strong urge to eat onions while pregnant, you might be wondering what exactly is going on.

As with all pregnancy cravings it’s impossible to say for sure why your body wants that particular food type.

However, some of the possible reasons for your craving include:

Vitamin Deficiency

Onions are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and a good source in particular of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese and Copper.

Often, a craving can be an indication that your body wants something that it is currently not getting.

So your craving may be your body telling you that it would like to do something to address a nutritional deficiency you may currently be experiencing.

Your Immune System Needs A Boost

Eating onions can also be an effective way to detox your body.

This ability to help detox, in addition to the high amounts of Vitamin C, means that eating onions can give your immune system the boost that it needs when you are feeling sick.

Our bodies are very effective in healing themselves, especially from minor illnesses like a cold.

So by craving a food that is nutrient-dense, your body is effectively asking for what it needs to help fight the virus or infection you are currently dealing with.

You Like The Taste or Smell

Up to this point you may be thinking that your craving must be down to a deficiency, feeling sick or some other negative reason, but this is not always the case.

It’s also quite possible that your craving is down to the fact you like the taste and / or the smell of an onion!

Onions – especially when combined with garlic or tomatoes – are found in many of our favorite foods and are frequently used as a base for a lot of delicious stocks and soups.

From caramelized with a well-done steak (pregnant women should only eat meat which has been thoroughly cooked), to salads, tacos, pizzas or a home-made pasta sauce, this vegetable is a staple in many cuisines, and once cooked, they can smell and taste delicious.

During pregnancy a lot of women naturally find themselves longing for comforting foods that provide nostalgic or sentimental value.

So if you find you are craving a dish made with onions that you grew up eating (for example spaghetti Bolognese) or a meal that gives you positive feelings, memories or emotions, this could explain your sudden craving.

Woman peeling red and white onions into pan

Benefits of Eating Onions During Pregnancy

Like many vegetables, onions are incredibly nutritious and there are plenty of studies that link eating this vegetable with several important health benefits.

Some of the most note-worthy features and benefits include:

  1. Packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  2. May benefit your heart health and reduce cholesterol levels.
  3. Loaded with antioxidants which may reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
  4. Help control blood sugar.
  5. May boost your bone density.
  6. Have antibacterial properties and can fight potentially dangerous bacteria.
  7. May boost digestive health, as they are a rich source of fiber and prebiotics, which are necessary for optimal gut health.

Related: Your Complete Guide To A Happy & Healthy Pregnancy

Can I Eat Raw Onions While Pregnant?

Raw onions can add a lovely bite and extra flavour to salads, so a common question from moms-to-be is can I eat this vegetable in its raw form while pregnant?

The good news is yes, you can safely eat raw onions during your pregnancy, and this can be a great idea as you will not lose any nutrients through cooking.

Just remember it’s good practice at all times to wash all vegetables before you eat them, but especially while you’re pregnant.

Can I Eat Red & White Onions While Pregnant?

Yes, you can go ahead and safely eat both red and white onions while you are pregnant.

As you can tell by now, this wonderful vegetable – whether eaten raw or cooked – is perfectly safe for pregnant women to eat, and can provide a multitude of health benefits.

You might want to make sure you don’t overdo it and eat too many however, because some people complain that eating large amounts can cause gas or other digestive issues.

But if you eat them in moderation, and ensure they are washed if you eat them raw, then you have nothing to worry about and can enjoy the wonderful health benefits provided by the humble onion.

Does Craving Onions While Pregnant Indicate A Boy or Girl?

A lot of people have heard the line “Craving salty foods means you’re having a boy, sweet for a girl” – but is  there any truth to it?

Or more specifically, if you are craving onions during your pregnancy, does this accurately indicate you are going to have a boy rather than a girl?

This old wives tale originates from the belief that craving sweet foods indicates you will have a baby girl, whereas wanting to eat salty, spicy, or savory food while pregnant is a sign that a baby boy is on the way.

Unfortunately this old wives tale is just that – a tale – and there is no scientific evidence or proof that your cravings for onions can accurately indicate the gender of your impending precious new arrival.

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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