I just came across an article* that made me very happy. Because who doesn't enjoy being right?
A strange thing seems to bind many nutritional rebels and the line-towers together: a belief that food cravings either don't mean anything or, even worse, are a sign of our unhealthy "addiction" to something bad or toxic (e.g., salt, sugar, saturated fats, etc.). As a good little skeptical biologist, this always seemed a bizarre assumption to me. Why would evolution have favoured these incredibly strong impulses (i.e., instincts) if they served only to make us harm ourselves? I'll admit I haven't conducted exhaustive research on the subject but I'm pretty sure that instincts are generally aimed at self-preservation and not self-destruction. Even the old belief about lemming mass-suicide has proven incorrect (though it still makes for a fun game).
As such, I've always found it demeaning that pregnant women and their "crazy" cravings are so mocked and treated with dismissive condescension. This article is the first time I've read something interesting and scientific that supports my crazy notion that maybe, just maybe, our bodies actually know what they need. It also happens to be particularly interesting to me because one of the few things I really wanted to eat when I was first pregnant was steak. The rarer the better. I enjoy steak at any time but for the first trimester of my pregnancy, eating steak was a compulsion. I didn't crave it so much as I felt that I (and the tiny parasite I've come to love and call my daughter) needed it.
And apparently I was right: sweet delicious Vitamin B12
*Note: Just do yourself a favour and ignore the final moronic comment from the vegan-biased "nutritionist", there's plenty of evidence that stat fats are good for you and even more that B12 (a vitamin not available from a vegan diet) is necessary for healthy moms and babes).