Cravings – Where do they come from and why now??

Posted in Tips and News

Like any other normal human being, sometimes even I have cravings 🙂

You know how you put the kids in bed and you finally have the whole house to yourself and then you feel like you want to nibble on something but not sure what, or maybe during work you feel that if you won’t get that piece of chocolate in you right now, you won’t be responsible for any consequences?Well…sound familiar, but have you ever stopped to think what drives our body to generate these cravings? How come you crave for sauerkraut one day and sugar the next day? Is it because you’re bored or is it that your body sending signals that indicate on something? Well, apparently cravings are our body’s way of letting us know it needs something, a nutrient, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to find yourself sitting in a pile of chocolate wrappers every day 🙂

My mom, who among many other things and titles is a natural nutritionist (she also has a blog in Hebrew – you can translate it though 🙂 http://golovaty.com) provided me with some useful information about this “phenomena” called cravings, so I compiled a list of things we crave for and a brief explanation as to why we crave them and how can we substitute the obvious option with something a bit more nutritional:

Craving for Chocolate:

Why we crave it?

Eating chocolate releases serotonin which creates the sense of happiness, so when we feel we lack physical or emotional energy we find comfort in eating chocolate.

What does it mean?

Craving for chocolate means our body lacks Magnesium. The cocoa in chocolate is rich with Magnesium and that is why our body craves for chocolate when it needs Magnesium.

A healthy alternative OR how to decrease craving levels:

Pumpkin seeds, Avocado, Almonds and whole wheat bread.

Craving for sugar:

Why we crave it?

If you find yourself craving candies or if you sweeten your coffee too much, it probably means you lack Chrome, Sulfur or Phosphorus.

What does it mean?

These are all essential for normal body functioning and therefore when their missing our body tries to supplement them.

A healthy alternative OR how to decrease craving levels:

Fresh fruit, dairy products, yogurt, corn, beans, nuts, spinach, asparagus, sweet potatoes, rolled oats, eggs, onion, garlic, broccoli, mushrooms, grapes and raisins.

Craving for Salty:

Why we crave it?

If you crave for chips, popcorn or pretzels or just any other salty snack, you probably need more Chloride and Sodium.

What does it mean?

The Chloride and the Sodium help in regulating the body fluids, control blood pressure and assist in metabolism.

A healthy alternative OR how to decrease craving levels:

Other than table salt you can supplement salt by eating celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, raw goat milk, spinach, beef and beet leaves.

Craving for Spicy:

If you crave something spicy it’s probably your body’s way of saying ‘I need Zinc’.

What does it mean?

Zinc is a nutrient that takes part in the process of growing, healing wounds, the immune system and regulating acidity in our body. The first sign of lack of Zinc is taste loss, so when we unknowingly lose our taste, we crave for spicy food.

A healthy alternative OR how to decrease craving levels:

Beef, seafood, leaves and root veggies, whole grain, nuts, and pumpkin seeds

Craving for meat:

If you dream of a juicy steak you probably have a low level of vitamin B12 or perhaps your blood sugar levels are unbalanced. It can also mean that your body needs proteins.

What does it mean?

Vitamin B12 assists in generating red blood cells and prevents tiredness and anemia.

It improves our memory and participates in the process of growing. The proteins basically build our body and muscle mass.

A healthy alternative OR how to decrease craving levels:

If the body needs proteins you better add a nice big glass of egg based shake to your diet. Other foods are greens, dairy products, yeast, sprouts, soy, whole grain, dried fruits, avocado and nuts.

Now, you may think that all of these healthier alternatives are included in your diet anyway, that you consume them daily yet you still have various cravings during different times of the day but the thing is that you need to know how to find the point where your diet is balanced. If you refrain from eating Carbohydrates or sweets, then you better find an alternative that will not get in the way with you diet. Personally I always thought that the diets where you avoid specific nutrients are bad for you. The really good diet is when it’s all balanced. You will then find yourself more energetic and happy and THAT is what generates motivation, for everything in life. But that’s just my personal opinion, I’m no professional 🙂

 

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