Everyone gets cravings. You know the feeling, whether you’re after something sweet, salty, sour, or carb-filled. But how do you know what your body is ACTUALLY craving?
Once you figure out what your craving is, it feels like you have to get your hands on it as soon as possible. You suddenly become a wild animal searching for its prey- even if that prey is just some dark chocolate.
Your cravings could be saying something about what your body lacks. With some nutritional knowledge, you can figure out what your body is actually craving.
What You Want vs. What You Need
Let’s start with the most stereotypical craving–chocolate.
This sweet craving typically means your body wants more than just a bowl of Cocoa Puffs. A chocolate craving points to a disparity of some pretty essential ingredients for a balanced diet.
For one, craving chocolate can mean your brain is low on a chemical called serotonin. If your brain needs some emotional support, you might search your cabinets for some chocolatey goodness to boost serotonin. Try to use physical touch with a loved one or pet to support that need instead.
Craving chocolate can also indicate a nutritional need. Your body may be lacking key nutrients like magnesium, vitamin B, fats, and many more.
Instead of eating any old chocolate bar, try eating natural cacao instead. Eating cacao will boost the nutrients in your body that you need to feel balanced once again.
Craving salt is another common craving that’s easy to misinterpret. This craving can mean a variety of things that might feel counterintuitive.
Craving salt may simply mean that you are dehydrated. This seems odd since salt dehydrates you even more, but it means you need more electrolytes.
Another reason is stress. Craving salty foods may be your body’s way of asking you to calm down when you feel out of control.
If you can’t tell what your body is trying to say, there’s no harm in trying multiple things. Drink somewater or add some extra vitamin B to your diet and see if those cravings disappear.
Mmm…carbs. The thought of a warm bread roll or a bowl of pasta may make you salivate.
This craving is extremely common. Craving carbs often points to a lack of proper sleep or just fatigue in general. In a culture that runs on busyness, it’s not surprising that people crave the short burst of energy that carbs offer.
In addition to low energy, craving carbs can also alert you to a blood sugar issue. Try focusing on sleeping properly and introducing more magnesium, chromium, and fiber into your diet.
Fried foods are another common craving. However, it’s not good to follow through on this craving.
Craving fried foods can point to a lack of fatty acids. Adding healthy oils and fats to your diet is vital so you don’t turn to fried foods as an alternative.
These include natural oils like coconut and olive oil. You can’t forget other healthy fat sources like nuts, nut butter, salmon, and avocado. Unhealthy fats can be extremely harmful to your health, so be sure to prioritize these healthy fats in your meals.
If you don’t have cravings from nutritional deficiencies, you might have an emotional attachment to specific foods.
Find out what memory is associated with that food, and try to fill that emotional need another way. There are many ways to soothe your body when you’re feeling overwhelmed other than giving into cravings.
There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, but you don’t want to be deendent on a food for your mental health.
Cravings are normal!
Everyone gets cravings sometimes. It’s simply your body’s way of letting you know it needs something.
However, it’s time to change your habits if you have constant cravings. Focus on de-stressing, eating a balanced diet, and sleeping well. Your body will thank you for taking such good care of it.