Why Do Some People Crave Citrus Fruit When Pregnant?

Ah, pregnancy cravings. We've all heard about the utterly strange hankerings that women get when carrying a baby. From pickles to donuts to cheese, some sound delicious and others sound kinda scary.

Singer Katy Perry had big pregnancy cravings, eating a daily burrito that consisted of mango, beans, cheese, tortillas, and Tabasco when pregnant with her daughter, Daisy Dove Bloom. She even carried Tabasco sauce in her purse (via US Weekly).


Cravings during pregnancy and even during PMS can be triggered by hormones. Most women report having either an extreme craving for a specific food during pregnancy or a deep aversion to foods they normally enjoy. The most common pregnancy cravings include a hankering for dairy, sour foods, and salt, which is likely where pickles come into play.

Sometimes, pregnancy cravings include oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. Is there a reason for this citrus fruit craving?

What craving citrus fruits means

Some cravings are rooted in simple nutritional deficiencies as the body tries to get what it needs. For example, sometimes you crave salt but what you really need is water because you're dehydrated (via Healthline). The body gets you to consume salty food so you'll drink and replenish fluids. It's an inborn protection system.


However, when it comes to citrus fruits, there is no medical science behind why some women seem to crave oranges, grapefruits, and other citrusy flavors when pregnant and some don't. Cravings are very individual.

According to Verywell Family, fruit is one of the more common pregnancy cravings, though. The bold, bright flavor may be one reason since women naturally want stronger flavors when pregnant. During pregnancy, you also have changing nutritional needs and sensory perceptions due to an influx of hormones, which can add to your desire to consume more citrus fruits and drinks.

Can citrus cravings predict the sex of the baby?

There's an old notion that, when you crave citrus foods during pregnancy, you're having a girl. However, there is no scientific evidence to back up that claim (via Pregnancy Food Checker).

Still, a little extra vitamin C is always a good thing, said registered nurse Ashley Wood, per Bustle. "Since vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all of your body tissues, it's essential to have enough," she said.


Vitamin C contributes to many necessary bodily functions. "It also plays a role in the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, your immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Some foods to eat that provide vitamin C include oranges, grapefruit, and fresh green vegetables," she said.

Plus, fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are thought to help reduce nausea during pregnancy, which may be another reason why citrus is so appealing when you're pregnant.