You’re at home watching your favorite Netflix show. You get the sudden urge to scarf down some ice cream, or maybe it’s French fries or chips that you crave. You may even think that life cannot go on without taking a bite of that juicy burger you’ve been salivating over. These are called cravings.
Let’s clear one thing up right out of the gate: cravings and hunger are not the same thing. Saying that craving something and being hungry are the same is like saying that fast food is healthy; it just isn’t true. Cravings are generated by the brain, while the stomach controls hunger. When you are hungry, you eat food and feel full. You can be full and still crave something. So what causes cravings?
Your body is communicating with you when you have a craving, and saying that it needs certain nutrients to function correctly. For example, craving soda usually means you are deficient in calcium. If you crave sweets, you may need more carbon, phosphorus, and chromium in your diet. To better understand cravings, we’ve compiled a list of examples of what your body needs so you won’t have them.
A lot of people fall victim to craving chocolate. This is usually an indication of a magnesium deficiency. By eating nuts and seeds, avocados, green leafy veggies, bananas, or acai berries, you’ll make sure you get enough magnesium.
If you’re the type who craves a sugary soda, try eating more sesame seeds, kale, broccoli, legumes, and mustard or turnip greens to provide more calcium. These will supply your body with the right nutrients, so you won’t have to poison your body with soda anymore.
Sometimes people crave acidic foods, which can also translate to a magnesium deficiency. Since magnesium is so prevalent in the body, increase your consumption of legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, greens, and fruit. And if it is salty foods you find yourself craving, stress can often be the culprit. Try meditation, acupuncture, breathing exercises, exercise, or consuming B-vitamins and vitamin C.
Craving coffee or black tea is very common. People think that they can’t live without these stimulants. What they mean is that they are lacking in certain nutrients, which causes them to want the coffee. Try eating more cruciferous veggies, cranberries, asparagus, garlic, and onion for more sulfur, or legumes, figs, cherries, seaweed, and spinach for more iron.
If you crave alcohol, you may need more glutamine, potassium, or protein in your diet. For more glutamine, cabbage, beets, spinach, and parsley are the best. For potassium, bananas, tomatoes, pineapple, citrus, or seaweed are your go-tos. Green leafy veggies, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes are great sources of protein.
People usually crave common foods like cheese, meat, chips, or popcorn for a variety of reasons. People who crave cheese are usually deficient in essential fatty acids or calcium. To get more fatty acids, consume flax oil, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Get more calcium by eating legumes, mustard & turnip greens, kale, broccoli, and tahini.
Craving red meat means you need more iron in your diet. Try eating more beans, unsulfured dried fruit, figs, seaweed, spinach, and vitamin C-rich produce.
When it comes to chips, you probably need more chloride or essential fatty acids. Eat the aforementioned essential fatty acids and start eating more celery, tomatoes, olives, kelp, and Himalayan sea salt for more chloride.
We hope this helped to explain why you crave certain foods. You are stronger than your cravings and can use natural foods to curb them. Let us know if these suggestions helped you in the comments below.