People often view cravings as a form of mental weakness but that’s not always the case. Yes, sometimes we get stressed and look for immediate gratification to the pleasure centers of our brain. Other times though, cravings are our bodies way of telling us that they need something — whether that’s a particular nutrient, more stomach acid, or even just more food in general.
Nutrient deficiencies in particular could contribute significantly to stress, inflammation, and even hormonal imbalances, while low stomach acid could trigger poor digestive activity. So, you can see that your cravings could certainly give you insight as to what is going on in your body. Here are what some of your cravings might be trying to tell you:
If you’re craving…
- Vinegary foods (pickles, sauerkraut, salt and vinegar chips, kimchi) — Craving vinegary, acidic foods can indicate that your stomach acid may be low. Your body is looking to get you to eat more vinegary foods because they can trigger the stomach to produce more acid. Low stomach acid can be caused my many things (including stress) and could cause issues like hair loss and poor digestive activity.
- Sugar — Cravings for sugary foods can mean quite a few things. One, it may be your body telling you it needs more carbohydrates. If you follow a low-carb diet but do high-intensity exercise, that may be the case for you. Otherwise, cravings for sugary foods could mean you are deficient in:
- Phosphorus – foods rich in phosphorus include chicken, beef, fatty fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, veggies, and grains.
- Tryptophan – foods rich in tryptophan include sweet potatoes, raisins, and spinach.
- Chromium – foods rich in chromium are fresh fruits
- Chocolate — If you are craving chocolate in particular, you may be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium rich foods include seeds, nuts, as well as fruits and veggies.
- Fats — If you’re craving fats, your body may be telling you that you’re not eating enough and it needs more calories. Another reason you may be craving oily foods is due to a deficiency in calcium. Foods rich in calcium include organic or goat milk, leafy greens, grass-fed meats, and veggies.
- Carbohydrates — If you’re craving things like bread and pasta, your body may be telling you it needs more nitrogen. Nitrogen can be found in protein rich foods like salmon, nuts, meat, beans, and seeds.
- Salty foods — The craving for salty foods could mean you are deficient in chloride or silicon. Foods to eat instead inlude fatty fish, like salmon, goats milk, cashews, and seeds.
If you have questions about the information above or want to work with a nutrition coach to start working towards your goals, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!