Cravings. Everyone experiences them at one point or another. Some people experience them more than others, but with most cravings comes regret or shame. Or, who am I kidding? Both. Regret AND shame.
A craving is the overwhelming feeling to eat a certain food (or sometimes non-food) item. It usually results from your body needing a specific nutrient, vitamin, or mineral and the craving is its sneaky way of telling you so.
Let me paint a few scenario’s for you:
If you find yourself trying to sneak off while your kids are asleep to snag a couple pieces of their halloween candy that you yourself had to hide so THEY wouldn’t eat any of it, you’re most likely experiencing a craving.
If you’re alone and waiting for bae to get home from work, you black out and wake up finding yourself standing in the pantry with an empty box of Oreo’s in your hands and chocolate evidence everywhere, you’re most likely experiencing a craving. Let’s face it, if there was a crime scene investigation for who ate all the Oreo’s, you would be convicted in a heartbeat.
If it’s your “time of the month” and all you want to do is curl up on the couch watching your favorite chick flick (Friends With Benefits, anyone?) with a bowl of ice cream the size of the Pacific Ocean, AND complemented with a bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup by your side, then yep, you guessed it! You’re most likely experiencing a craving.
So here’s what you’re missing based on your craving…
Are you craving chocolate?
Your body is most likely lacking magnesium, a mineral that is essential for proper growth and maintenance of bones. It also helps neutralize stomach acid and keeps intestines running smoothly. Did you know that magnesium can be used as a natural laxative?
Also, there is magnesium in chocolate, so if you’re craving chocolate, and you’re a woman who is experiencing that time of the month where you’re losing a lot of copper, iron, and magnesium, you might need to take an extra magnesium supplement to prevent this deficiency and in turn, stop the chocolate cravings. Other magnesium food sources come from high fiber foods – mainly leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and squash. If you’re like me, and you want that chocolate fix anyways, go for 60% or greater dark chocolate, as it is also has a good amount of magnesium in it!
Are you craving fatty foods?
Your body is mercifully begging you for more calories, specifically, more calories from fat. That doesn’t mean you should hit the nearest McDonald’s drive-thru and order a number 7 – Angus Bacon & Cheeseburger, large fries, and large strawberry milkshake. Try adding healthy fats such as avocados, fish, coconut oil, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds.
Are you craving salt?
A LOT of people crave salt. Salty chips, salty pretzels, salty french fries, salty everything. Table salt is finely processed, as it as no nutrients left over including iodine. Try using sea salt to keep your salt cravings to a minimum. Nuts and seeds will also help quickly satisfy your hunger while adding a lot of other nutrients to your body to combat those cravings.
Are you craving sweets?
Your body could potentially be dehydrated. Try drinking a glass of water before diving into that bag of Twizzlers. If you crave sweets after studying, it is because your brain burns glucose as an energy source. Take a break every so often and consume some strawberries, carrots, or any form of natural sugar to keep your brain in motion.
Are you craving caffeine?
Before you assume that you’re craving caffeine because you didn’t get much sleep the night before, your body might actually be needing more iron. Iron deficiency leads to exhaustion, sleep deprivation or insomnia, and irritability. All things that caffeine can help combat, which is why you crave it. Instead, consume more iron-rich foods such as chicken, beef, kale, legumes, and iron-fortified grains. Additionally, pair those food choices with vitamin C sources (strawberries, broccoli, oranges) to help increase iron absorption.
I don’t know about you, but the next time I have a craving, I’m going to kick it right in the butt.
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