Eating Cornstarch While Pregnant: Revealing Unexpected Discoveries


Cravings during pregnancy can take unexpected turns, with some women developing a desire for non-food items. It’s not uncommon for expectant mothers to experience unusual cravings, and one such wish may arise a willingness to cornstarch. In this article, we’ll delve into eating cornstarch while pregnant, exploring its relevance, the underlying reasons for such cravings, and the potential concerns associated with indulging them.

Pregnancy is a transformative period where hormonal changes and increased nutritional demands can lead to cravings for edible and non-edible substances. While typical desires include pickles, ice cream, or chocolate, some pregnant women are drawn to non-food items like cornstarch. It’s important to acknowledge that these cravings can be puzzling but are not uncommon. We’ll dive deeper into the phenomenon known as Pica, which sheds light on the reasons behind these non-food cravings and their potential implications for both the mother and the developing baby.

Understanding the reasons behind cravings for non-food items, such as cornstarch, is crucial for expectant mothers. By exploring the underlying factors contributing to these cravings, we can gain insight into potential nutritional deficiencies and address them effectively. So, if you’re curious about the ins and outs of eating cornstarch while pregnant and want to ensure a healthy journey for you and your baby, keep reading to learn more about the complexities, concerns, and considerations surrounding this unique craving.

Pica and Pregnancy Cravings

A. Craving the Unconventional: Unveiling Pica and Its Quirks

Imagine the allure of cravings during pregnancy extending beyond pickles and ice cream(2). Welcome to the world of Pica, a fascinating condition where expectant mothers develop strong desires to consume non-food substances. These cravings might seem peculiar, but they shed light on potential nutritional deficiencies, including cornstarch cravings.

B. Craving Cornstarch: A Telltale Sign of Pica

Pregnancy can bring forth an array of unexpected cravings, and cornstarch is no exception. This humble starch, derived from corn, holds a captivating appeal for some pregnant women. The yearning to indulge in cornstarch can be an unmistakable sign of Pica. As strange as it may seem, Pica reflects an underlying desire to address specific nutritional deficiencies, such as those involving iron or other essential minerals.

C. Unraveling the Nutritional Puzzle: Deficiencies and Cornstarch Cravings

The association between Pica, cornstarch cravings, and nutritional deficiencies is not coincidental(3). When the body lacks vital nutrients, it may resort to unconventional desires to compensate. In the case of cornstarch, the allure might signify an underlying iron deficiency, which is not uncommon during pregnancy. Understanding the connection between cravings and weaknesses is crucial to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. If you find yourself longing for cornstarch, it’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals to address potential nutritional gaps and explore appropriate supplementation or dietary changes.

Nutritional Value of Cornstarch

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When it comes to calories and carbs, cornstarch ranks high. However, it falls short in providing essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

If we take a closer look at a cup (128 grams) of cornstarch, we find the following nutrient composition (1):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 488
Protein 0.5 grams
Carbs 117 grams
Fiber 1 gram
Copper 7% of the Daily Value (DV)
Selenium 7% of the DV
Iron 3% of the DV
Manganese 3% of the DV

Important Note:

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the nutritional content mentioned above is significantly higher than what most individuals typically consume in a single serving.

Let’s dive into the nutritional realm of cornstarch, which primarily consists of carbohydrates. This starchy ingredient is derived from corn and has a distinctive role in thickening sauces and creating culinary magic. However, cornstarch’s nutritional profile must offer substantial value for expectant mothers.

While cornstarch excels in its thickening prowess, its nutritional portfolio leaves something to be desired. Cornstarch doesn’t cut pregnant women regarding essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. As an expectant mother, nourishing yourself and your growing baby with a well-rounded diet encompassing a more comprehensive array of nutritional elements is vital.

During pregnancy, a balanced and nutrient-rich diet becomes paramount for the healthy development of your baby. While cornstarch might have its place in the culinary world, it’s crucial to remember that it cannot fulfill the comprehensive nutritional requirements needed during this critical time. Expectant mothers should incorporate diverse foods that provide the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for a successful pregnancy. Consult with healthcare professionals, such as doctors or registered dietitians, who can guide you in making informed choices to meet your nutritional needs.

Risks and Concerns

When it comes to eating cornstarch while pregnant, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks and concerns that may arise. While cravings for this powdery delight might be tempting, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being and the healthy development of your baby.

One of the primary risks associated with consuming cornstarch during pregnancy is the possibility of experiencing constipation. Due to its lack of dietary fiber, cornstarch can contribute to digestive discomfort and hinder regular bowel movements. We all know that dealing with constipation can be pretty uncomfortable, and it’s especially crucial to maintain a healthy digestive system during pregnancy.

Another concern to be mindful of when it comes to cornstarch consumption is its potential interference with the absorption of essential nutrients from other foods. While your body requires a diverse range of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support your baby’s growth, indulging excessively in cornstarch might compromise the absorption of these vital elements. Ensuring optimal nutrient absorption is critical to maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

Iron Deficiency and Cornstarch Cravings

Have you ever wondered why some pregnant women develop cravings for cornstarch? There might be a fascinating link between these cravings and iron deficiency. Iron plays a crucial role in producing red blood cells and the delivery of oxygen throughout your body. When your iron levels are low, your body might trigger unusual cravings to compensate for the deficiency.

Identifying and addressing underlying nutritional deficiencies, such as iron deficiency, is paramount during pregnancy. Ensuring you and your baby receive adequate nourishment is vital to a healthy and prosperous pregnancy. If you frequently yearn for cornstarch, it might indicate that your body lacks essential nutrients. Don’t worry, though! You can take steps to manage these deficiencies and ensure a balanced diet.

When managing iron deficiency, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider. They can guide you in determining the appropriate supplementation or dietary changes to address your nutritional needs. Incorporating iron-rich foods into your meals, considering prenatal vitamins, and making informed dietary choices can effectively combat iron deficiency and reduce your cravings for non-food items like cornstarch.

Professional Guidance

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When it comes to matters of pregnancy and nutrition, it’s crucial to rely on the expertise of healthcare professionals. They possess the knowledge and experience to guide you through this transformative journey. Seeking their advice can provide valuable insights and personalized recommendations tailored to your needs. So, don’t hesitate to reach out and consult with healthcare professionals who specialize in prenatal care.

Doctors and registered dietitians are valuable allies during pregnancy, especially when navigating your dietary choices and managing cravings. They can help you make informed decisions by assessing your nutritional requirements and understanding the implications of consuming certain foods, including cornstarch. Building a solid partnership with your healthcare provider allows you to address concerns, clarify doubts, and receive reliable guidance throughout pregnancy.

Every pregnancy is unique, and so are the nutritional needs of expectant mothers. Professional guidance is essential in identifying and addressing dietary deficiencies contributing to cravings for non-food items like cornstarch. By embracing personalized recommendations from healthcare professionals, you can develop a comprehensive plan to nourish yourself and your growing baby, ensuring a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy.

Safe Consumption and Alternative Options

Maintaining a nutrient-rich diet during pregnancy is essential for the mother’s and baby’s optimal development and well-being. Your body requires many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support this miraculous journey. By prioritizing the consumption of wholesome, nourishing foods, you can provide your body with the fuel it needs to thrive during this critical time.

When it comes to nourishing yourself and your baby, selecting foods with a wealth of essential nutrients is important.

  • Fruits: Enjoy a variety of fresh fruits to benefit from their natural sweetness, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
  • Vegetables: Include a colorful assortment of vegetables to obtain essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
  • Whole Grains: Opt for full-grain products like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oats, which provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins.
  • Lean Proteins: Choose lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans, and tofu, to support your baby’s growth and development.
  • Healthy Fats: Include healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil to support brain development and nutrient absorption.

These choices will provide you with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed to support your baby’s growth and your overall well-being. Remember, a diverse and balanced diet ensures you get all the necessary building blocks for a healthy pregnancy.


In summary, we have explored eating cornstarch while pregnant and its implications for expectant mothers. We discussed how cravings for non-food items, including cornstarch, can be a manifestation of a condition called Pica. These cravings may indicate underlying nutritional deficiencies, particularly in iron.

Consulting with healthcare professionals, such as doctors or registered dietitians, is crucial in making informed choices for your and your baby’s health. They can provide personalized recommendations tailored to your specific needs and help address any nutritional deficiencies you may have.

As you embark on this incredible journey, remember that a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is critical to supporting a healthy pregnancy. Prioritize foods that offer essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Opt for iron-rich alternatives to cornstarch cravings and explore various healthy snack options. You can ensure a nourishing and fulfilling pregnancy experience by making informed choices and seeking professional advice.


FoodData Central. (2023). Retrieved May 19, 2023, from website:

Orloff, N. C., & Hormes, J. M. (2014). Pickles and ice cream! Food cravings in pregnancy: hypotheses, preliminary evidence, and directions for future research5.

Miao, D., Young, S. L., & Golden, C. D. (2015). A meta-analysis of pica and micronutrient status27(1), 84–93.

Joseph Emb
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Hi there! I'm Joseph Emb, a nutritionist and certified personal trainer passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals. With over ten years of experience in the health and wellness industry, I've accumulated a great deal of knowledge that I love to share with my readers. I have a degree in exercise science and am proud to have been featured in reputable publications such as Men's Health and Women's Fitness. My goal with my blog is to inspire and empower others to take control of their health and live happier healthier lives.