Who hasn’t been there?
Desperately wanting a piece of pepperoni pizza? Hankering after a pack of M&M? or Yanking open the fridge just to get a scoop of ice-cream?
Have you ever wondered where do all these sudden cravings come from? They visit you at times that you didn’t expect, can be in the middle of work, during shower time or even after a big meal? Why is that?
I used to think when I suddenly craving for donuts, it simply means my body (or even my life) is low on donuts. But seems it’s not as simple as I thought.
Food craving and Hunger Are Two Different Stories
Food craving and hunger are actually two different things. Hunger is a survival mechanism that your brain has on your stomach. Your brain sends signals through the stomach to tell you that you need energy input to function.
Food craving is different. According to various researches, food craving is defined as an intense desire to eat a specific foodstuff; is a common occurrence across all cultures and societies.
It also indicates your body is lacking some key nutrients. In searching your food history and experience, your brain will signal you to the food that contains the type of nutrient your body needs.
You may be craving for donuts (like what I do), french fries, burgers or a nice piece of Angus steak, you can name anything! But here, I narrowed down some of the most common food cravings that I am sure most of us have experienced before and what do they actually say about your body.
They might not work well as
So hold your craving for a second and let’s get started!
If You Are Craving For Chocolate- You are either low on magnetism or having a bad day.
Chocolate is high in magnetism and if you are craving for it, it can mean you are experiencing a magnetism deficiency. Magnetism is an important nutrient for your hair and skin and low in magnetism can cause dizziness, muscle weakness, and low blood pressure.
Another reason is the flavor of a chocolate trigger the release of serotonin. It’s like a natural anti-depressant in the form of dessert, that your brain seeks out for when it senses your mood is hitting the pan. It can give an instant uplift to the happy chemicals in your brain.
There is no harm to go for a few pieces of chocolate but make sure you don’t overeat. It;s also better if you go for dark chocolate as it contains less sugar and high in antioxidants.
If You Are Carving For Salty Food- You are either dehydrate or low on calcium
We all had times where we want to suck up a big box of Mcdonalds fries or finish the whole pack of pretzels while watching Netflix. A craving for salty food can indicate that you may be dehydrated or more seriously, low in calcium.
Consuming salty food gives our bodies an illusion of “calcium satisfaction”. Once it fades, you start craving for salty food again and digesting salty food consumes more water from your body than usual.
And the loop goes on.
Instead of going to the drive-thru at 3 am, try to include high calcium food such as dark leafy green, low-fat milk and yogurt in your diet.
If You Are Craving For Sugar- You are experiencing blood sugar fluctuation.
Craving for sugar means your body has a lack of Chromium. It’s a mineral that works together with insulin that regulates your blood sugar level.
If you give this into chocolate and sweets, it will only make it worst.
In order to stop the craving, you should go for low GI food in your meals as they increase your blood sugar level slowly and steadily. But for the meantime, you can snack on fruits instead of processed sugar to cure your cravings.
If You Are Craving For Red Meat- You are low on Iron
This one is not very surprising. Red meat generally contains high level of iron and a sudden craving for it can indicate you are low in iron. This usually happens around women, either going through their period or pregnant.
This usually happens around women, either going through their period or pregnant, times they need an extra input of iron.
Try to include more red meat into your meals or simply get more leafy greens such as kale and spinach to boost your iron intake.
Instead of Eating What You Crave, You Can Go For Some Healthier Options!
Here is a simple table that tells you what healthier options you can go for when you experience certain cravings!