When you have a hankering for a particular food or kind of food, do you ever wonder why? Here are 5 common food cravings, and what they could mean.
If you often crave sweets, you may be experiencing blood sugar fluctuations. The irony? Eating sugary, processed foods causes a spike in insulin production, and when that spike takes a dip, you’re left craving…you guessed it: more sugar. While an overgrowth of candida yeast may be contributing to your big sweet tooth, it’s most probable that your body is in need of real, nutritious, satisfying food. Try choosing a piece of high-fiber fruit, or another high-fiber, high-protein snack that is low-glycemic. Over time, this new pattern will become a habit and second-nature, although at first it is usually difficult and emotionally painful. 🙂
Chocolate cravings are often an indication of magnesium deficiency, a mineral deficiency that affects an estimate of over 80% of the population. Try incorporating more naturally magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish (wild salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel), avocados, bananas, and dark chocolate (at least 75% cacao).
3. Salty Foods
Cravings for salty foods often point to stress taking a toll on the adrenal glands, which give us energy and help us cope with stress. If you’re overly stressed, your adrenal glands release cortisol, making you ravenous for high-fat, salty, and often processed foods your body can use quickly. Try choosing an alternative snack like nuts or seeds, veggies with hummus or spinach/artichoke dip; or stress-reducing activities like meditation or breathing exercises.
4. Red Meat
This certainly isn’t any surprise, but cravings for read meat are usually an indication of iron deficiency, particularly in women who are pregnant, nursing, or on their periods. Try eating good quality red meat, beans and legumes, prunes, and figs.
Craving that cheese pizza or mac n’ cheese? Mmmhmm. This craving often indicates a fatty acid and/or calcium deficiency. The body needs omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and protect against diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. Try eating good quality cheese (that’s not on a pizza or noodles;), unflavored yogurt, raw walnuts, wild salmon, flaxseeds, and krill oil.