Know About Your Food Cravings
I have heard a lot of my clients craving for sweets or bag of chips or ice cream or cheese etc. Surveys estimate that almost 100% of young women and nearly 70% of young men had food cravings during the past year. That covers most of us, doesn’t it? We all experience food cravings but do we really understand why?
Food cravings can occur for a variety of reasons, both psychological and physiological. So let’s discover reasons for some common food cravings:
It may indicate blood sugar imbalances, stress, increased cortisol, hormonal imbalances and mineral deficiencies such as chromium and magnesium. Sugar cravings are also more common when you are dehydrated and may signal a need for more water. Curb Your Craving with whole fruits and lightened-up desserts free of refined sugars
It may indicate dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. It is also a common symptom of Addison’s disease (decreased production of hormones by the adrenal glands) Curb Your Salt Craving by consuming foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Chocolate is high in magnesium and Cravings for it often indicate that your body is deficient in magnesium, which is a common deficiency. It may also be linked to low blood sugar, stress or changing hormonal levels prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Curb your chocolate craving with a smoothie made with cocoa or dark chocolate. Alternative sources of magnesium if you’ve had too much chocolate recently are nuts and seeds, legumes, fish, leafy greens and some fruits like bananas and avocados.
It may indicate insulin resistance, hypoglycemia (blood sugar fluctuations), chromium deficiency or fatigue. This is separate to sweet cravings, often it can go unnoticed, people often crave crackers, savory biscuits, noodles, white bread, chips, etc. Curb your carb cravings by eating more chromium and magnesium-rich fruits and vegetables such as bananas, apples, apricots, capsicum, spinach, beetroot, avocado, broccoli, celery etc.
It indicates a simple essential fatty acid deficiency, simply eating more good quality fats will solve this in a flash. Curb your cravings with avocados, nuts, olive oil, salmon and other fatty fish.
Cravings for cheese or pizza often indicate a fatty acid deficiency, which is common in most people. It also contains l-tryptophan, a compound that improves mood and promotes relaxation. Eat foods such as raw walnuts, wild salmon, flax oil; add ground flaxseeds to your diet.
So while food cravings aren’t the best diagnostic tools on their own, listening to what you crave — and putting those cravings into context — can help you give your body what it really needs.
If you want to learn about controlling these cravings, read my posts on How to Tame Food Cravings.