We’ve all been through times when food cravings tempt us. Some cravings are simply associated with pleasure like your favorite comfort foods, while others could signify hormonal imbalance and lack of some nutrients.
If it’s not stress or other reasons like emotional eating, then there may be some physiological reasons as to why your body wants you to eat potato chips or pasta.
You may give in to temptations once in a blue moon, but if you want to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, you need to make certain choices. Here, you will get to know what cravings mean and whether you should give in to them or not.
Chocolate Cravings Could Imply Need For Magnesium
Cravings tell us that we may be lacking in some nutrients. For example, when you crave for chocolate, you don’t necessarily require chocolate. It’s likely that you are short of magnesium, vitamin B and chromium.
You can supplement your body with these micronutrients or eat dark chocolate as it is a natural source of magnesium. Almonds can also help you deal with the cravings as they too are laden with magnesium.
Cravings For Sugary Foods Could Imply Need For Water
When you crave for sugary foods like cake or soda, the underlying cause could be dehydration or low blood sugar levels.
If you reach out for another scoop of ice cream, you may go through a sugar crash, which will disturb your metabolism and hormones. So, when you feel like going for sweets, drink some water, which will give your system time to reboot.
If you still have cravings, have an apple, oranges or berries. Unnecessary sugar cravings could also mean depression. If you feel low, do a little bit of exercise to boost your serotonin levels.
Cravings For Salty Foods Means Lack of B Vitamins
Craving for salt may indicate too much of sugar, lack of sodium or excess of potassium. In such cases, cut out on sugar and table salt. You can have juice to give minerals to the body. Take a vitamin B complex and this will curb your craving.
If you are craving for salt after a workout or illness, an electrolyte powder is better than normal water to make up for the missing minerals. It is great to choose them instead of sports drink that have a lot of sugar content.
Cravings For Fried Foods Could Imply Requirement of Essential Fatty Acids
When you crave for fried foods, you may be deficient in Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). Burgers and many similar foods may contain too many trans fats that are used for lengthening the shelf life and make the products comparatively cheaper.
So, instead of going for fried chicken, go big on avocados, flaxseed oil, olive oil and so forth. Seeds and nuts contain healthy oils and make for a great choice. Also, include fish like salmon in your diet or take a fish oil supplement. Your brain is 60% fat and the body needs oils to remain healthy.
Craving For Bread or Pasta? You May Require Nitrogen
These are comfort foods. When you eat them, dopamine or pleasure chemical gets released, It is therefore difficult to cut out on carbs.
Craving for carbs means your body needs more nitrogen. Have some nuts or hummus if it helps. If all this doesn’t seem to work, it is a gratification craving.
Cravings For Red Meat Means You Need Iron
This craving could imply deficiency of protein and also iron, phosphorous and amino acids. Usually iron deficiency is the cause for such craving. But you shouldn’t eat too much to compensate for it.
Instead, you can have cheaper non-meat alternatives that can help you manage your deficiencies and associated cravings. If you are deficient in iron, eat beans, prunes, fruits and so on. They are loaded with iron and get easily digested.
So, now that you know your unhealthy food cravings and what do they indicate, you need to choose whether you should give in to your cravings or go for a healthy alternative. With what discussed above, you could easily unleash the hidden meaning of all sorts of cravings. It may be surprising, but at the same time, true!