Craving foods isn’t the same as hunger. So if your craving something, that doesn’t always mean your hungry but it is a sign your body is in need of something and it’s communicating with you, so listen closely. Hunger is controlled by the stomach and is a survival mechanism. The brain controls cravings and is for your body communicating.
Most crave sugar, and when they do most go to candy, baked goods, chocolate, etc. What many don’t realize is there is so many alternatives to sugar cravings. When one is craving sugar the body is asking for quick energy. Glucose is fuel for the body’s cells. All carbohydrates contain sugar – but can vary based off of their chemical structure wither it is a complex or simple carbohydrate. They are processed differently. A simple carbohydrate is highly processed and contains refined sugars so they have little nutritional value. They have short-chained sugars which enters the bloodstream very quick causing a rush of energy then a crash in the body. Carbohydrates that are complex are carbs that are natural from the earth such as rice, grains, vegetables, etc. These are long chained and bond with fiber in the food. This process is slow in the body, which helps provide long lasting energy. Complex carbohydrates are healthy for the body.
When your blood sugar drops it will be telling you to eat something to bring it up. When people turn to sugar, coffee etc. to get through the rest of the day the blood sugar levels continue to go up and down throughoout the day. Instead grab a complex carb for example: oatmeal, quinoa, yams, and vegetables.
A carbohydrate is typically known as “evil” in the dieting industry or health. That isn’t always true, it’s the type of carb that people are eating which is the problem. A carbohydrate is the body’s number one energy source it is needed for the body to function such as a heartbeat, breathing, digestion etc. Just like anything you don’t want to overeat on a complex carb but you want enough to provide energy for the body to function properly. Simple carbohydrates are the ones you want to stay away from, they can cause weight gain because our cells do not require a large amount of glucose at one time then the extra storage is stored as fat.
Listen to your cravings they are signs. For example if one is craving a lot of salt foods they can be deficient in minerals, if your craving sweets they can be deficient in complex carbs, etc. The cravings are the body’s solutions to imbalances.
If you’re craving salty food it often means mineral deficiency. Salt contains 60 different trace minerals. When people are using table salt it has been refined and stripped away many of these minerals, which makes people lack in minerals. To satisfy this you can eat more seafood and vegetables, which naturally will be higher in minerals or also purchase a high quality sea salt to use when cooking. Having a multivalitin with minerals will help as well. If you find yourself stress it can be a sign of hormone fluctuations and low levels of electrolytes to help with this make sure your getting B-vitamins in your diet as well as electrolytes, coconut is a great option for electrolytes.
Craving bitter foods?
Bitter foods enhance digestion, which can be what the body is calling for. So if you’re typically craving bitter foods try to have more dark leafy greens, kale, collards, and dandelion. Dark greens help stagnant organs and elimination.
Craving pungent foods?
If you crave heavy, saucy foods it may be your body asking for more pungent foods. Try adding more ginger, cayenne, onions, leeks, pepper, or garlic to your foods.
Want more spicy foods? The foods you’re having could be lacking flavor. If you’re craving spicy the body is calling for vitality and energy. Try to incorporate more sauces with foods such as oregano, basil, red pepper, celery, garlic, jalapeno peppers, etc.
Craving heavy or light foods?
Foods can make you feel heavy or light. For example a lot of vegetables, raw food, or salads can make one feel light.
Do you crave entertainment?
If you find yourself out of boredom turning on the TV or eating, your body is craving a more creative life. Find what you like to do that is creative and supplement it the next time you get bored.
Do you crave a hug?
Are you eating to feed your emotions? Touch, love, and affection is important for the body and fulfillment. Don’t be afraid to talk and ask your friends and family for a hug when you need it.
Do you crave movement?
Stress and hard work cause tension, aches, tightness, and constipation. Exercise is a good way to release physical tension built up in the body. Do an exercise you like to start getting flow to the body.
Then we have the popular addicting foods that you may be craving:
Many crave pop with its caffeine boost and sugar addiction. A common reason many may also be craving pop is a calcium deficiency. In carbonated drinks such as pop there is phosphoric acid, which can leach calcium and magnesium from your bones, creating a vicious cycle of depletion and your body may really be craving and needing calcium. To get off of a pop addiction make sure your taking a calcium supplement, try a natural caffeine drink such as coffee no more then one time a day, stick to only black coffee, then limit your self slowly on caffeine drinks.
Potato Chips or French fries:
Unfortunately you typically find french fries or potato chips served when going out. These foods are fatty junk foods. If you’re craving them your body may be low on fats. Make sure your taking an omega 3 supplement or at least getting healthy fats such as salmon, fatty fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, coconut, and such in your diet. Having fried foods can increase the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the blood system and link to strokes, diabetes, heart diseases, and more.
The moment your feel thirsty your body is already at dehydration levels. If your craving water, make sure to keep some on you throughout the day this will help you get in water. I always have a bottle where I go and continue to fill it up throughout the day. If your craving liquids or wet drinks it can correlate with issues like diabetes. Excessive urination and thirst are signs that your insulin levels are not healthy. Is what happens is extra sugar gets built up in your blood and your kidneys go in overtime and stress to process it. When the kidneys can’t keep up it gets excreted through your urine and makes you thirsty again.
Eating spicy food can change the body’s temperature and increase your metabolism by the way the body has to work to cool down. Your body may be craving it to cool down the body’s temperature.
If you sweat a lot, your body has a tendency to deplete sodium and glucose, which the body needs to function. If your craving a salty treats like popcorn it can be the body telling you its needing sodium, minerals, or glucose.
Craving Ice cream?
Many have an emotional connection with ice cream, taking us back to childhood or just memories of summer sun and heat. When your having an emotional time turn to what makes your happy, such as your hobbies, relax, and think of positive things you have in your life.
The crave for chocolate may be a sign the body needs magnesium, chromium, b-vitamins, or essential fatty acids. Chocolate is rich in magnesium, and cacao is one of the highest sources of magnesium. Craving chocolate may also be from emotions, chocolate helps metabolize serotonin levels. If your body is calling for it add cacao in a morning smoothie, oatmeal, protein shake, or buy a dark chocolate bar that is at least 75 percent cacao.
Craving Red Meat?
Does a hamburger or steak sound good? Cravings for red meat are an indication of iron deficiency. Make sure to get iron in your daily life, you can get it through a vitamin or supplement its important or consume more beans, spinach, fruit, legumes, etc.. Iron deficiency leads to fatigue and weaken your immune system.
Cravings are signs, so listen to them. Now that you know this try to make sure your getting in your diet what your body is telling you it needs. Cravings aren’t a sign to over indulge they are a sign to put it in your nutritional lifestyle.